Introduction: How to Format an APA Style Paper

Formatting an APA style paper can be intimidating whether its your first time or one hundredth time doing it. I know APA can look intimidating, but once you get the formatting down it's just like writing any other paper. Hopefully, this set of instructions will help make this process easier for you.


You will need: Access to a computer that has Microsoft word.

Step 1: Open Microsoft Word

Once you have logged in to your computer go to the Word icon and double click on it to open Microsoft word. After you have done that double click the option that says blank document, this will give you a completely new document to work with.

Step 2: The Beginning of Formatting

Now that you have opened Word to a brand new document we can start on the fun stuff. If you look in the top left corner of word you will see options that say Home, Insert, etc... Click on the option that says layout. Below layout you will see another option that says "Margins" click on that and set your margins to 1-inch.

Step 3: What Size Font? Single or Double Spaced?

In APA style formatting people never know what size font that they should use or whether or not the paper should be single or double spaced. The correct size font for APA is 12 and the font should be in Times New Roman, which is similar to MLA. An APA style paper should be double spaced throughout the entire paper

Step 4: Creating the Title Page

Now you will start to create your title page; at the top right corner of your title page will be your running head and the page number . To make the running head all you will need to do so double click at the top of the document to create a header. After creating your running head, you will type the title of your document, which is located in the upper half of the document, your title should still be centered. Start by typing the title of your document, your title should be one to two sentences long. Below the title type the name of the author, try to include first, middle, and last name (if applicable) Below the name the of the author type the name of the institution in which they are affiliated with(this should indicate where they conducted the research)

Step 5: The Abstract

Begin a new page, this page will be where you write your abstract (a summary of what your research is about)

Step 6: Begin Typing Your Paper

Congrats! You've formatted your APA paper! Now you can begin typing your actual paper. Included is a screenshot of what your title page and abstract should look like after you have finished formatting everything.