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APA Citations (7th ed.): General Formatting

This guide will help you learn how to properly cite sources in APA style and how to avoid plagiarism.

Order of Pages

Arrange the pages of the paper in the following order:

  • Title page (page 1)
  • Abstract (start on a new page after the title page)
  • Text (start on a new page after the abstract, or after the title page if the paper does not have an abstract)
  • References (start on a new page after the end of the text)
  • Footnotes (start on a new page after the references)
  • Tables (start on a new page after the footnotes)
  • Figures (start on a new page after the tables)
  • Appendices (start on a new page after the tables and/or figures)

Note that your paper may not include all of these sections! Skip over the sections not required for your paper and continue on with the order. Make sure to check with your instructor what is required.

See pages 40-43 of the manual to learn more about footnotes, tables, figures, and appendices or other supplemental materials.


Use the same font throughout the text of the paper. Options for font include:

  • A sans serif font such as 11-point Calibri, 11-point Arial, or 10-point Lucida Sans Unicode
  • A serif font such as 12-point Times New Roman, 11-point Georgia, or normal (10-point) Computer Modern

Other fonts and sizes may be included:

  • Within figure images. Use a sans serif font with a type size between 8 and 14 points.
  • When presenting computer code. Use a monospace font, such as 10-point Lucida Console or 10-point Courier New.
  • When presenting a footnote in a page footer. The default settings in your word-processing program are acceptable.

Line Spacing

Double-space the entire paper, including the title page, abstract, text, headings, block quotations, reference list, table and figure notes, and appendices, with the following exceptions:

  • Title page: An additional double-spaced blank line appears between the title and byline. At least one double-spaced blank line also appears between the final affiliation and any author note.
  • Table body and figure image: The table body (cells) and words within the image part of a figure may be single-spaced, one-and-a-half spaced, or double-spaced, depending on what format creates the most effective presentation of the data. If text appears on the same page as a table or figure, insert a double-spaced blank line between the text and the table or figure.
  • Footnotes: Footnotes at the bottom of a page should be single-spaced and formatted with the default settings of your word-processing program. Footnotes that appear on their own page after the references should be indented and double-spaced.

It is not necessary to add blank lines before or after headings, even if the heading falls at the end of a page. Do not add extra spacing between paragraphs.

See p. 45 of the manual for more information.

Margins and Paragraphs


Use 1-in. margins on all sides of the page. This is the default page margin in most word-processing programs.
Theses and dissertations may have different requirements if they are to be bound.


Align text to the left and leave the right margin uneven (do not use full justification). Do not manually insert line breaks into long DOIs or URLs; however, breaks automatically applied by a word-processing program are permissable.

Indent the first line of every paragraph 0.5 in within the text of your paper. For consistency, use the tab key or the automatic paragraph-formatting function of your word-processing program.

If you have section labels, they should be centered and bold.