Skip to main content

APA Citations (6th ed.): Formatting Your Paper

This citation guide will help you learn how to format and cite your paper in APA style.

Paper Set Up

APA has a number of rules that your instructor may want you to follow. The following information came from the 6th edition of the APA Handbook. See the page number that follows each style rule for more information. NOTE: Your instructor may prefer slight changes to these rules. Check with your instructor for any variations.

Document Format:

Margins - 1 inch all sides, including top, bottom, left and right (p. 229)

Font preference and size - Choose a standard, easily readable typeface and type size e.g. Times Roman 12-pt. (p. 228)

Line Spacing - Double spacing should occur throughout the document. (p. 229)

Page Numbers & Running Heads - Include a page header (also known as the "running head") at the top of every page. To create a page header/running head, insert page numbers flush right. Then type the title of your paper in the header flush left using all capital letters. The running head is a shortened version of your paper's title and must be less than 50 characters including spacing and punctuation. (p. 229).

Paragraph Indentation - Paragraphs should be indented 5 spaces or 1/2 inch. (p. 229)

Punctuation Spacing - Leave one space after a period or other concluding punctuation mark, unelss your instructor prefers two spaces. (p. 87)

References List


Always start your works cited on a new page.

Page title - The words References should appear centered one inch from the top of the page. The page should be titled References. (p. 49, 180)

Line Spacing - Double space between each line. (p. 180)

Alignment - The first line of each entry should align with the left margin. All subsequesnt lines should be indented 5 spaces or set a hanging indent at 1/2 inch. (p. 180)

Order of entries - Alphabetical order by author. If there is no author use the title of the document. If you have more than one entry by the same author, then arrange by year beginning with the earliest publication. (p. 181)