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Orange Park: APA format using Word

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Formatting Your Paper


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Using Word to set up your paper

Formatting a paper in APA format using Word 

1. Settings for the entire paper:

  • Set the font – Click on the HOME tab. In the FONT box, select Times New Roman and 12 pt.
    Set the margins, spacing, and indentation
    Click on the PAGE LAYOUT tab. 
                    Set the margins – Click on MARGINS.    Click on 1” all around
                    Set spacing and indentation

                     In the Paragraph box, click on the arrow in the bottom right corner of the box. This opens the paragraph box.
           In the Paragraph Box
                    Under indentation – change left to "0.5.”
                    Under spacing -  change After to 0 pt
                    Change line spacing to DOUBLE
                    Click OK

2. To format the Title/Cover Page

  • Double-click your mouse near the top of page 1 (in the blank area where the header will go). This will open the Design Tab of the Header & Footer Tools
  • ​Click DESIGN under Header & Footer tools. In the Options panel, click Different First Page.
  • Place the cursor at the left margin. Type Running head: SHORT TITLE LESS THAN 50 CHARACTERS
  • Tab over to the right margin. Select Page Number from the Header & Footer panel at the far left. Select Current Position. Select Plain Number.

Click twice in the body of the paper below the header to exit editing the header.

Hit enter EIGHT times. Center the title, your name, university, instructor's name, and date written out (e.g., September 5, 2024) on separate lines.

3. To begin typing the body of the paper:

Hit control & enter to force a page break and create a new page
Create a header that is the short title. Follow the exact instructions for creating a header, except  1. DO NOT use the phrase "Running Head" and 2. UNCHECK "Different First Page."   Next, double-click in the body to exit the header.

After the header, hit ENTER. Center the title of your paper in upper & lower case letters.

  • Do not make a section heading for the Introduction.

APA Headings  

Level        Format

  1            Centered, Boldface, Uppercase and Lowercase Headings

  2            Left-aligned, Boldface, Uppercase, and Lowercase Heading

  3            Indented, boldface, lowercase heading with a period.

  4            Indented, boldface, italicized, lowercase heading with a period.

  5            Indented, italicized, lowercase heading with a period.

The choice of a heading level depends on how many types of headings you are using in your paper

4. References:

The references use a hanging indentation. Click on the Page Layout tab. Click on the small box at the bottom right of the paragraph section. In the middle of the box, where it says INDENTATION, click on the down arrow in the middle box SPECIAL and select HANGING. Change the page spacing to DOUBLE. Click OK at the bottom of the box.

  • Always start your references on a new page.
  • Use the APA format in the LIRN databases and cut & paste into paper. You may have to reformat using hanging indentation.
  • Under the REFERENCES box in Word, create a citation and bibliographical entries.
  • References are listed alphabetically by the author’s last name
  • Titles of books and journals and volume numbers should be italicized                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              

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Jenna Nelson, BA, BS, MA LIS
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Orange Park, FL 32605
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