Skip to main content

APA 6th edition: Home

This guide details basic information about properly formatting an APA-style paper and its accompanying references.

Components of a Paper/General Guidelines

  • Typed, double-spaced with 1" margins on all sides.

  • Clear, readable font.  (APA recommends 12 pt. Times New Roman).

  • Page header (also referred to as a running head) at the top of every page.

  • Page numbers flush with the right side of the header.

  • Title of your paper (IN ALL CAPS) flush with the left side of the header.

  • Your paper should have four sections: a Title, Abstract, Main Body, and References.

  • On the title page, write "Running head: TITLE OF YOUR PAPER"  flush with the left side of the header.  Page number flush right.

  • On the upper half of the page, type your title using upper and lowercase letters.  

  • Beneath the title type the author's first name, middle initial, last name.

  • Beneath the author's name, type the institution the author is affiliated with (conducted the research at).

  • Begin the abstract on a new page.  Maintain the same header from your title page, but omit "Running head:".

  • Center "Abstract" as the first line on your new page.

  • On the next line, summarize the concise points of your research.  Your abstract should be between 150 and 250 words.

  • You may wish to include keywords for your paper: to do so indent the line after your abstract, write "Keywords:" and follow with your key words. Both should be italicized.

  • On the next page, write your title at the top of the page below the header in upper and lower case letters, and write your paper.  

  • At the end of your paper, begin a new page.  This is your references page.   

  • The rest of this LibGuide details how to format your paper's references in-text and on the references page.  You may wish to view the "Sample APA Paper" tab to see how your paper should look.

Ask A Librarian

Call Research Services at (724) 738-2641, speak to the librarian on-duty in the 1st floor Research Services Office, or follow the link below to be taken to Ask A Librarian, our online query system.

Publication Manual of the APA

APA Style Website