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APA General Format

APA General Format

When formatting your essay according to the APA guidelines, use standard-sized paper (8.5″✕11″) with double spaces and 1″ margins on every side. Make sure to use a simple font that’s easy to read. For instance, APA recommends 12 pt Times New Roman.

Your paper should include a running head, also known as a page header, on every page. The running head is a short version of the title of your paper. It must be written in all caps on the left, with page numbers on the right. Make sure that the running head doesn’t exceed 50 characters.

Major Sections

Your essay must contain a title page, abstract, main body, and references.

Title Page

This section should contain the title of your essay, your name, and the institutional affiliation. This page should also include the running head. On the title page, your running head should look as follows:


On all the other pages, your running head should look like this:


We’ve talked to APA publication specialists and found out that the 6th edition of APA sample papers has incorrect examples of running heads. Please visit this page and check out a complete list of mistakes in the 6th edition of the APA style guide.

Your title should be written in both uppercase and lowercase letters. APA recommends that you make your paper up to 12 words long. It can take up to two lines and shouldn’t contain any unnecessary words or abbreviations. All text in your paper must be double-spaced.

After the title, include the author’s name in the following order: first name, middle initials, and last name. Avoid degrees (PhD) and titles (Dr).

After the author’s name, write an institutional affiliation. This is the location where you’ve conducted the research.


The abstract must include the page header and start on a new page. On the first line, write “Abstract.” Don’t use quotation marks, underlining, bold text, italics, or other types of formatting.

The next line is where you should start a concise summary of your research. Don’t indent it. Make sure that your abstract includes the topic of your research, its questions, methods, participants, results, data analysis, and conclusions. You can also provide possible implications of your research and recommendations on what future work you consider relevant to your research. The whole abstract must be a single double-spaced paragraph. Its length may vary from 150 to 250 words.

In the abstract, you can also list your keywords. Start a new paragraph, write “Keywords:” in italics, and then list words that will help others find your work in databases.

APA General Format
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