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APA Style (7th ed.): Formatting & Mechanics

Basic Aspects of APA Mechanics & Style

These are the basic aspects of APA Style (7th ed.) Consult the Publication Manual and Sample Papers for more information about how to format tables, headers, and title page.

A variety of fonts are permitted in APA Style papers. Font options include the following:

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

Arrange the pages of an APA Style paper in the following order: 

Page Headers

  • The page header appears within the top margin of every page of the paper.
  • For student papers, the page header consists of the page number only.
  • For professional papers, the page header consists of the page number and running head.


Use 1-in. margins on every side of the page for an APA Style paper.

Page Numbers

  • Use the page-numbering function of your word-processing program to insert page numbers.
  • Insert page numbers in the top right corner. The page number should show on all pages.
  • The title page carries page number 1.

Line Spacing

In general, double-space all parts of an APA Style paper, including the abstract; text; block quotations; table and figure numbers, titles, and notes; and reference list (including between and within entries). Do not add extra space before or after paragraphs.

Paragraph Alignment

Align the text of an APA Style paper to the left margin. Leave the right margin uneven, or “ragged.” Do not use full justification for student papers or manuscripts being submitted for publication.

Paragraph Indentation

Indent the first line of each paragraph of text 0.5 in. from the left margin. Use the tab key or the automatic paragraph-formatting function of your word-processing program to achieve the indentation (the default setting is likely already 0.5 in.). Do not use the space bar to create indentation.

Changes to 7th Edition

Acceptable fonts now include Calibri 11, Arial 11, Lucida Sans Unicode 10, Times New Roman 12, and Georgia 11.

The running head on the title page no longer includes the words “Running head:”. It now contains only a page number and the (shortened) paper title.

Heading levels 3-5 are updated to improve readability.

- Use only one space after a period at the end of a sentence.

- Use double quotation marks instead of italics to refer to linguistic examples.


APA endorses the use of the singular pronoun they

APA endorses the use of the singular pronoun “they”


- Instead of using adjectives as nouns to label groups of people, descriptive phrases are preferred.


The poor

People living in poverty


- Instead of broad categories, you should use exact age ranges that are more relevant and specific.


People over 65 years old

People in the age range of 65 to 75 years old


Staff LADR