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APA 7th Edition Style Guide: Formatting Your Paper

How to set-up and cite your sources using APA 7th edition format.

Typography

APA recommends using the same font throughout your paper. IRSC Librarians recommend using 12-point Times New Roman font. If not using Times New Roman, then another serif or sans serif typeface should be used for its readability. Only use different typeface in figure descriptions, in that case, use a font between 8 and 14 points.

Line Spacing & Margins

Use double-spacing throughout the entire paper.To add double-spacing in Microsoft Word, highlight all the text you want double-spaced, then click on Page Layout. Next to the word Paragraph click on the arrow. Under Spacing, Line Spacing, select Double and then click OK.

Leave 1 in. margins from top to bottom and side to side. Microsoft Word usually is set to 1 in. margins. You can check this by clicking on Page Layout, then click on Margins. The margin you are using is highlighted, select Normal if it is not already selected. 

Number of Spaces after a Period

APA style recommends placing one space after a period

  1. that ends a sentence, 
  2. when the period separates parts of a reference entry, 
  3. and after author name abbreviations (i.e. Lander, F. K.).

Do not put a space after a period

  1. for internal abbreviations (i.e., U.S., p.m.).

Video How-To Set-Up an APA Paper for a Mac

APA Research Paper Template

You can save this template in Microsoft Word (IRSC students, download Office for free). Above is a template you can use every time you need to set-up a research paper using APA style format. Simply open the template and type your own information every time you need to write an APA style research paper. 

Sample Paper

Example Title Page

The new APA 7th edition has a format for writing a professional paper as well as one for a student paper. These directions are a set-up for student papers. In the header, on the right, is the page number, starting with 1. Centered on the page is the full title of the paper in boldface type. Place one extra space after the title of the paper. Following is the author (or authors if this is a group paper), the department and institution to which the paper is affiliated, the course number and course name, the professor's name, and the due date of the paper.

Example Page Two

The text of your paper begins on the second page. The full title starts it off at the top center of a new page, in boldface font. For the rest of the paper, you only need page numbers in the header. Remember to cite!

ExampleReferencesPage

Your References start on its own page and goes at the end of your paper. Title it References, centered, and bold-faced at the top. The references are alphabetized and have a hanging indent.