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APA Formatting using MS Word 2010+: Complete APA Paper Formatting Instructions

Provides instructions for overall APA paper appearance and how to use MS Word 2010+ to achieve that appearance.

Not included in the instructions

I have not included information on the author's note, which is usually needed only for actual publication. Ask your professor if s/he wants you to include the author's note.  

I have not included the five levels of heading, but only heading 1. Please see a librarian for more information about other APA heading levels. The wording of the headings in the template are for experimental articles. Your headings, depending on your type of article, may differ in wording but not in formatting.

PDF Handout

Steps to Formatting an APA Paper, 6E

Step 1.  Open Microsoft Word. Go to the Home tab and turn on visible formatting marks.visible formatting icon circled in red

 

 

 

Step 2.  Ctrl+A and change font to Times New Roman, 12-point font. times new roman, 12-point font circled in red

 

 

 

Step 3.  [Page] Layout>Margins to confirm 1-inch margins all around. (Older versions of Word do not default to 1-inch margins.)  margins and normal margins circled in red

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Step 4.  Ctrl+A>Home and set to double spacing.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Step 5.  Ctrl+A>Home and click Remove Space Before/After Paragraph.  "Remove Space Before/After Paragraph" is circled.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Step 6.  Create a page break using Ctrl+Enter.  

 

 

Step 7.  On page 1, before the page break, type the title of your paper in title case. If there is a sub-title, type a colon, add a carriage return, and type the sub-title.

Step 8.  Carriage return (Enter) and type your name.

Step 9.  Carriage return (Enter) and type your school.

 

 

Step 10.  Highlight that information only then center horizontally. 

 

 

 

Page setup, layout, vertical alignment, and apply circled in red,

Step 11.  Center vertically using [Page] Layout>Page Setup>Layout>Vertical alignment>Center>Selected Text. Hit 5 carriage returns (Enter).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Author note would go here. See page 24, 2.03 in APA Manual for more information.

 

   header icon circled in red, blank header circled in red

 

Step 12.  Click the Insert tab>Header>Blank.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Header and Footer Tools

 

Step 13.  While in the Header & Footer Tools>Design, click “Different First Page” check box. 

 

 

 how the Running head: TITLE OF PAPER ALL IN CAPS looks

Step 14.  ‚ÄčType: Running head: TITLE OF PAPER ALL IN CAPS

 

 

 

circled in red are page number, current position, plain number

  

 

Step 15.  While in the Header & Footer Tools>Design, click Page Number>Current position>Plain Number.

 

 

 

 

times new roman and 12 circled in red

  

Step 16.  Highlight the entire header and change font to Times New Roman, 12-point font.

 

Step 17.  Place the cursor before the page number and tab to the right margin.

position of page number on right margin

 

 

Step 18.  Click in page 2’s header area. Delete the extra carriage return, then type: TITLE OF PAPER ALL IN CAPS.  

title in header with position of page 2 number on right edge

 

Step 19.  In the Header & Footer Tools Design tab, click Page Number>Current position>Plain Number.  

circled in red are page number, current position, plain number

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

times new roman, 12-point font circled in red

 

Step 20.  Highlight page 2’s entire header and change font to Times New Roman, 12-point font.

 

Step 21.  Place the cursor before the 2 and tab to the right margin.title in header with position of page 2 number on right edge

Step 22.  On page 2’s body, before the page break, type: Abstract, place 1 carriage return. Center Abstract horizontally.  Abstract page

Step 23.  Before the page break you would begin your abstract without a tab (or indent).

Step 24.  Place another carriage return, tab once, and type: Keywords:. Put Keywords and the colon in italics, but the key words and phrases following it are not in italics.

header 1 centered and bold

 

Step 25.  On page 3’s body, type the title of the paper in title case, and then place 1 carriage return. Tab once, type: Introduction goes here, and place 1 carriage return. Highlight only the title and horizontally center.

Step 26.  On the line below “Introduction goes here,” type each of these then carriage return 2 times: Literature Review, Method, Results, Discussion, and Conclusion.

Step 27.  Place a page break before the last carriage return using Ctrl+Enter.

Step 28.  Highlight Literature Review, Method, Results, Discussion, and Conclusion individually and bold and center. Tab each of the carriage returns after each header.

 

Step 29.  On page 4, Type References, place a carriage return, and then highlight and center References only.  "References" center and hanging indent.

Step 30.  Highlight the carriage return after References and type CTRL+T 1 time only.

Step 31.  Save this as APA template.docx. Open when you need to write a paper, save it with a new file name, and…

 

You will never have to worry about the basics of APA paper formatting.

 

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