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Citations: APA Style (7th ed.)

How to create a document and cite using the most recent edition of APA.

Student Template

APA student manuscript layout: title page, paper, references page


  • Variety of font choices are permitted as long as it is the same font throughout the text of the paper.  Some suggestions are 11-point Calibri, 11-point Arial, 10-point Lucida Sans Unicode, 12-point Times New Roman, and 11-point Georgia.

    If your instructor has specified a font or font size, follow those guidelines.

Line Spacing

  • Double-spaced - including title, headings, footnotes, quotations, references, and figure captions, an all text lines of the paper


  • 1-inch margins all the way around - this is probably the default


  • Do not justify the right margin (make the right margin even); for text use flush left

1. Title Page Formatting

Below are the rules of format for an APA title page for the student manuscript. (If your professor has requested other information, though, then follow their guidelines instead!)

Inside the Top Margin (Running Head)

  • Page number: in the top-right corner of the margin. On the title page, it will be 1. 
    • From Microsoft Word click on  "Insert"  tab
    • Locate "Page Number" and click on the drop-down icon
    • Select "Top of Page and "Plain Number Three"  which pages the number "1" in top right corner 

In the Body of the Title Page

Starting about 1/3 of the way down:

  • Paper Title: bold, centered. Skip a line afterward before including your name as author.
  • Author byline: your name (first, middle initial, last); if writing with other students, their names as well
  • Institutional affiliation: Lone Star College-University Park
  • Course: your course number and title, e.g. PSYC 2301: General Psychology
  • Instructor: Your instructor name, e.g. Prof. Jane Doe
  • Due Date: Month date, year, e.g. October 24, 2021

2. Paper Content (with Headings)

  • Include your paper title at the top of the first page of text (page 2 of your overall document), bold and centered.
  • When you start each new paragraph, hit the Tab key once to indent the first line.

Now, you'll start writing whatever it is you're supposed to address, which will depend on your professor's specifications for the assignment.

Always include in-text citations whenever you're doing a research paper, as close to the referenced information as you can get it (typically at the end of the same sentence). Refer to the page in this guide about In-Text Citations for more information and examples.

Headings & Sub-Headings

You probably won't use these frequently, if at all, but if you do, APA has a stylistic hierarchy. "Levels" nest inside each other: subsections under a level 1 heading would be formatted as level 2.

Level Format

Centered, Bold, Headline Capitalization

Begin writing the text as a new paragraph.


Flush Left, Bold, Headline Capitalization

Begin writing the text as a new paragraph.


Flush Left, Bold Italic, Headline Capitalization

Begin writing the text as a new paragraph.


Indented, Bold, Headline Capitalization, Ending With a Period. Begin writing the text on the same line and continue as a regular paragraph.


Indented, Bold Italic, Headline Capitalization, Ending With a Period. Begin writing the text on the same line and continue as a regular paragraph.


3. References Formatting

References should be listed in alphabetical order by whatever the first name or word is. A work without an author will be alphabetized by the first word of the article title.

All references will be double-spaced, just like everything else. They will also use a hanging indent -- not a list, not the normal paragraph indent.


  • Authors names are always given last name first.
  • Do not write the author's first name! Only use the first initial and, if provided, their middle initial, e.g. Smith, J. A. not Smith, John.

Publish Date

  • Publication years are written with the year first, followed by the month (not abbreviated) and day, if available. E.g. 2014, January 29.

Source Titles

  • Article titles are always written like sentences. Capitalize the first word of the title and, if used, the subtitle, as well as any proper nouns. Everything else will be lower case.
  • Website names and magazine/newspaper/journal names, however, will be properly capitalized.

Location Info

  • DOI is preferred to URL
  • Place of publication is not commonly needed. If you have to include a place of publication (movies, TV shows), include....
    • just the city and state for United States locations.
    • For international cities, also include the country.


The other pages of this guide will help you create the References themselves. If you need additional help, please get in touch with a librarian!