APA doesn’t just apply to citations and References; it applies to the way the document is formatted.

  • The document will have four major sections:
    • Title Page
    • Abstract
    • Main Body
    • References
  • Use white, 8.5 x 11 inch paper.
  • Type (print out) your work.
  • Use 1″ margins on the left, right, top and bottom of each page.
  • Double-space and use a serif font like Times Roman in a size 12.
  • Each page should have a page header:
    • Type the first two to three words of the title of your work, insert five spaces, and then include the page number. Right-justify the entire header.


  • The title page will include the page header described above.
  • On the first line of the title page, flush-left, add a running head
    • The running head includes an abbreviated version of your title in 50 letters or less and starts with “Running Head:”
    • Example (this would be left-justified on the first line of the title page):
      • Running Head: Amer. Economics and the Drama of The Breadline
  • Type your work’s full title, your name, and your university on the top half of the page. Put each item on a separate line that is center-justified and double-spaced


  • Begin a new page (this new page will contain the page header described above).
  • On the first line of the new page, type “Abstract” (no special formatting).
  • On the next line write a summary of the key points to your research.
  • Do not indent the paragraph.
  • The paragraph should be a single paragraph, double-spaced
  • The paragraph should be less than 120 words

Click below to download a PDF sample essay in the APA format. The paper includes annotations – comments – that help you understand the rules and expectations.