APA 6 Formatting Guidelines
Notice: This guide provides information about APA 6th edition (2010) formatting and referencing requirements. For information on formatting and referencing requirements for APA 7th edition (2020), please see our updated APA 7 guide.
- Paragraph Indent
- Title Page
- Running Head
- Page Numbers
- Tables and Figures
- Mathematical Expressions
- Submitting the Paper
Note: If your instructor has their own requirements, follow them. These guidelines are the most commonly required.
Use Times New Roman or a similar font, 12 point in size with standard 1 inch (2.54 cm) margins.
Double-space throughout the essay, including for block quotations (where relevant) and the list of references.
For each new paragraph indent five spaces or ½ inch. Keep the text alignment to the left.
Subheadings help to organize the text. Headings remain in the original font of the paper.
Level 1 headings are centred and bolded.
Level 2 headings are bolded and left-aligned.
Further details on subheadings can be found in the sixth edition of the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association (2010).
- APA requires a title page. See sample title page.
- Keep the title to a maximum of 12 words. The title should summarize the main idea and identify variable or theoretical relationships.
- The title should be written in headline style.
- Capitalize the following the first word, a word following a colon, and any significant words.
- Do not capitalize the following: articles [a, an, the], prepositions [of, for, with, etc.], or conjunctions [and, but, or, etc.].
- Don't underline, italicize, or bold the title, and it is not necessary to put it in quotation marks or in block capitals.
- Centre the title, your name, and the name of your school. Some courses may require the course code, the name of the professor, and/or the date of submission.
- The entire title page should be double spaced. Use 12 point black Times New Roman font.
- The title page requires a running head. It includes the label 'Running head', followed by a colon and an abbreviated title of the paper (see details below).
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You are required to include a running head at the top of your paper, beginning on the title page and continuing through reference pages and appendices. A running head is an abbreviated title of the paper written in uppercase letters. Keep the running head to a maximum of 50 characters including spacing and punctuation.
The running head on the title page includes a label, 'Running head', which is different from the remaining pages in the document.
Page numbers begin on the title page; all pages should be numbered in the top right corner (use only the number, do not write page, p. pg.).
Tables and Figures
Label and title both tables and figures. Tables are labelled “Table 1” and numbered consecutively. A title, which briefly identifies the data in the table, follows the label; both are positioned at the top of the table. The labels, titles and captions for maps, graphs, charts or other images, are placed below the figure with consecutively numbered labels. A title, which briefly describes the figure, follows the label. A caption offers more detailed information on the figure.
Refer to tables and figures in the text of your paper by their label: “In Table 1, it is clear that . . .” or “. . . area is separated into five geographically distinct sections (Fig. 2).
Conventions for numeration, mathematical and statistical expression and taxonomical nomenclature are laid out in detail in the sixth edition of the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association (2010).
Submitting the Paper
When submitting a hard copy, staple or clip pages together at the top left-hand corner. Don't bind or put the essay in a folder unless required to by your professor. Use only white, 8 ½ by 11-inch good quality paper.
For electronic submission, follow your instructor’s direction. Keep file names clear and relatively short by using your last name and date or course code, unless indicated otherwise. Save your file in a standard format (.doc is often best).