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APA Formatting

How to format your assignment in APA style


Using headings in your paper helps you organize your ideas as well as guide your reader through your paper. All headings use bolded text and title case. Title case refers to the way words are capitalized or not. Capitalize the first word of the title and first word after a colon and all major words. Use lower case for minor words (articles, conjunctions, prepositions) that are less than three letters (e.g., a, an, the, and, or, for, by, etc.).

See APA (2019a) pp. 47-49, sections 2.26, 2.27


The headings are organized in numerical order according to the way you divide your paper. Level 1 headings are for the major sections, such as the Results and Discussion. Level 2 headings are used for subsections. If, for example, you have several parts to your Results section, you would use a Level 2 heading for each of these. If one of those subsections requires you to divide it even further, use a Level 3 heading. 

Note: The title of your paper (as it appears on title page) should be place on the first line of your first page of content. Do not place a level 1 heading that announces "Introduction." It is assumed that the first paragraphs is your introduction.


Watch this 10-minute video for more information about APA headings.

Smart Student. (2020, November 22). Headings and subheadings tutorial: APA 7th edition format [Video]. YouTube.


American Psychological Association. (2019a). Publication manual of the American Psychological Association (7th ed.). 037/0000165-000

American Psychological Association. (2019b). Sample Student Paper