Purdue OWL: APA Formatting – The Basics


APA formatting, the basics
A vidcast brought to you by Beth Jones
and Gina Hurley in cooperation with the Purdue Online Writing Lab. This vidcast takes you through how to format a literature review following APA style. We will be using the sixth edition of the APA manual. Your instructor may have different guidelines
for you to follow.
Always follow your instructor’s guidelines. Begin by opening your word processor program. For our demonstration here, we will use Microsoft Word, 2007. APA recommends using
12-point Times New Roman font. Be sure your word processor is set to this font. Spacing, margins, and headers. APA requires all papers to be
double-spaced throughout. To set your line spacing to double-spaced,
open up the paragraph menu in Microsoft Word. Change the default line spacing setting from
“after 10 point” to “0 point.” Then change the line spacing from
“Multiple” to “Double.” APA requires that your paper be set to
1 inch on all sides. To do this, open up the “Page Layout” menu
in Microsoft Word. Select “Margins,” then click on “Normal,” which should have top, bottom, right, and left margins of one inch. You will need to create a page header flush with the left margin at the top of every page. On the title page, this header will be different.
It will read “Running head.” Include a short version of your paper’s title
in all capital letters. Your running head cannot exceed 50 characters, including spaces. All subsequent pages only the running head title
in all capital letters. Do not include the words “Running head”
on subsequent pages,
as shown in this screen shot. You will also need to insert page numbers
flush with the right margin. In order to make your first page header
different from subsequent pages,
select the “Page Layout” menu; Select “Page Setup;” open up the “Layout” tab
and place a check in the box by
“Different first page. Doing this will ensure that the phrase
“Running head” only shows up
on your title page. Sections of your research paper APA Style recommends organizing your paper
into the following sections: Title page, abstract, main body, and references. The first of these sections is the title page. Center the title of the paper-
no more than 12 words in length, the author’s name- without titles or degrees,
and the institutional affiliation As mentioned before, include a running head
in the page header. The running head should include the words
“Running head,” with a shortened version
of your paper’s title. Include a colon after the phrase “Running head.”
Be sure to capitalize the “R” in “Running”
and the entire title of your running head. Insert page numbers flush right at the top of the page. Include a number on the first page. Start a new page to create your abstract. If you have inserted a header, this page should already include the page header with your title
in all capital letters. On the first line, center the word “Abstract”
without italics, bolding, underlining, or quotation marks. The first line of the abstract should not be indented. The abstract should be a concise, 150-200 word summary of your research. You can also include key words from your paper underneath your abstract. To do this, type, italicize, and indent the word “Keywords” after the abstract. Then, type in a few keywords that describe
your paper in normal typeface. The main body of your paper should be double-spaced. Insert the full title of your paper on this page,
which will be page three. Center the title. Do not underline, bold, or italicize it. Indent the first line of each paragraph
in the main body of your paper. At the end of the main body of your paper, insert a new page and center the title, “References.” Do not underline, italicize or bold this title.
Capitalize this title. Then, list all of your in-text citations on this page in alphabetical order by author’s last names. Double-space the reference entries throughout. Some final notes. Print your paper on white,
8 and a half by 11 inch paper. Also, if you are using a word processor
other than Microsoft Word 2007, search YouTube using the name of the processor
you are using such as “Microsoft Word for Mac 2011” plus “APA formatting.” For more information on different types of papers
in APA style, visit the Purdue OWL at the following URL For more information for how to format entries in the references list, visit the Purdue OWL at the following URL This has been a presentation of APA Formatting:
The Basics, a vidcast by Beth Jones and Gina Hurley, brought to you in cooperation with the
Purdue Online Writing Lab.

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