Skip to main content

APA Formatting

How to format your assignment in APA style

Document Format

Page formatting such as margin size, font style, and line spacing are standardized in APA style. A standard format makes your paper easier to read. The image below gives you a brief overview of some of the standard formatting.  You can also print or view "APA (7th ed.) Formatting Guide" to learn more about setting up your APA document.

1. Page numbers begin on your title page. Use Microsoft Word’s automatic page numbering function (at “Insert” tab) to place the number in the top right-side of each page.
2. Margins are the white spaces  between letters and the edge of the page. There are four margins: top and bottom; left and right. All four margins should be set at 1 inch (2.54 cm), which is the automatic default setting in Microsoft Word.
3. Font is the size and shape of the letters in the main text of your paper. Fonts are divided into serif (curls at ends) and sans serif (straight lines). Serif fonts like Times New Roman (12) and Georgia 11-point are preferred for the main body text. Sans serif fonts are used mostly in figures and tables. Acceptable sans serif fonts are Calibri 11-point, Arial 11-point, Lucida 10-point (APA, p. 44, 2.19).
If you are submitting a paper copy for your assignment, your instructor may prefer a serif font such as Times New Roman.
4. Line spacing: The entire text, including the title page and must be double-spaced. Do not add extra spaces between paragraphs. Use the “paragraph” tab to check these settings.
5. Paragraph indentation: Use the tab key to indent the first line of every paragraph in your paper by 0.5 inches
6. Paragraph Alignment: All of your main body text should be aligned to the left, which means that the first letter of each line should be all the way to the left margin of the page and the ends of the lines on the right side of the page will be uneven. Never use “Full Justification” (APA, p. 45, 2.23).