A Step-by Step Process for Formatting your Paper
Below is a step-by-step process on how to format your paper according to APA Style guidelines. Beneath this tutorial, you will find links to additional resources should you need help in an area of APA formatting not covered here. Please also feel free to visit me in the Learning Resource Center or to contact me here for additional help. APA Workshop, CLICK HERE.
To use a preconfigured APA Template, CLICK HERE.
The sections of your paper will include a Title Page, the Main Body (i.e., your essay), and your References Page. The adapted version of APA style we use at the Institute of Technology does not generally require an author’s note or abstract. For each component of this process, I will reference the page and section numbers in bold where you can find these guidelines in the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association (6th ed.). NOTE: To magnify a tutorial image, simply click it.
Page Setup (Section 8.03, pp. 228-230) Return to Top
1) Open Microsoft Word
2) Set your typeface to 12 pt. Times New Roman font
3) Set your line spacing to Double
4) Set your Page Margins to 1 inch all around
Title Page (Section 2.01, p. 23; Figure 2.1, p. 41) Return to Top
Flush center and position in the upper half of the page the following:
The full title of your paper (APA recommends that the title be no more than 12 words; use uppercase letters for main words)
Your full name (AKA your “byline”)
Your school (Institute of Technology)
Your class and/or instructor's name (depending on your instructor's preference)
The date (your essay's due date)
Next, set up your header and page numbers.
Click the Insert tab
Then select Page Number > Top of Page > Plain Number 3
Now that your page number is flush right, type “Running head:” and follow it with a shortened capitalized version of your title and align it completely to the left:
Main Body (Figure 2.1, p. 42) and In-Text Citations (Sections 6.11-6.21, pp. 174-179) Return to Top
For every other page besides your title page, you'll need to have "Running head:" removed from your header. To do this, click Page Layout > Page Setup dialog box > Different first page > This point forward
Next, edit your header by removing "Running head:" (your header will remain like this throughout).
Head the first page (and only the first page) of your Main Body with your full title and indent every paragraph 1/2 inch (by pressing the Tab key on your keyboard).
In-Text Citations (Sections 6.11-6.21, pp. 174-179) Return to Top
In-text citations are used in your main body to credit the sources that you paraphrase, summarize, or quote from. If you quote directly from a source, APA style requires that you list the following information for that source in an in-text citation: the author’s last name, the year of the source’s publication, and the page number(s). If you paraphrase or summarize a source, APA style only requires the author’s name and year of publication.
Here is an example of how you can go about formatting an in-text citation for a paraphrase or summary:
Abbott (2012) notes that any discussion of English Renaissance writing must also involve a discussion of rhetoric (p. 158).
Another way of citing this would be as follows:
Any discussion of English Renaissance writing must also involve a discussion of rhetoric (Abbott, 2012, p. 158).
For an in-text citation that is directly quoted from its source, the format would be the same as the examples above but with quotation marks enclosing the cited material:
Abbott (2012) notes that "any discussion of English Renaissance writing must also involve a discussion of rhetoric" (p. 158).
For in-text citations referencing sources with two to five authors, cite as follows:
Abbott, McNeely, and Rhodes (2012) note that any discussion of English Renaissance writing must also involve a discussion of rhetoric (p.158).
Any discussion of English Renaissance writing must also involve a discussion of rhetoric (Abbott, McNeely, & Rhodes 2012, p. 158).
(Use “and” when the listed authors are introduced in a sentence and the ampersand (“&”) when enclosed in a parenthetical citation.)
When citing works with six or more authors, list the surname of the first author followed by “et al.”:
Abbott et al. (2012) note that any discussion of English Renaissance writing must also involve a discussion of rhetoric (p. 158).
Any discussion of English Renaissance writing must also involve a discussion of rhetoric (Abbott et al., 2012, p. 158).
**For other in-text citation scenarios, please seek help at the Learning Resource Center**
References Page (Sections 6.22-6.31, pp. 180-189; Chapter 7, pp. 193-224) Return to Top
Reference pages are used to provide full information for every source you use in your essay. Every in-text citation you use must have a matching reference entry on this page, and every reference entry must likewise be used in your paper (if you did not use a source in your essay, do not include it in your References Page).
After your main body, begin a new page with the word “References” centered at the top, capitalizing only the “R.” Set your reference page to have a hanging indent of ½”. You can do this by: right-clicking on the first line after “References” > selecting“Paragraph” > under “Special” select “Hanging”and set to “0.5”. (If a reference is more than one line long, this setting automatically indents each subsequent line ½”.)
All of your references should include the authors' names, publication dates, and publication information. This tutorial will show you how to cite books, journal articles, and webpages (if you need help citing other types of sources, please visit the Learning Resource Center). Here are the three reference examples we will be working with:
McNeely, T. (2004). Proteus unmasked: Sixteenth-century rhetoric and the art of Shakespeare. London,
England: Associated University Press.
Laperle, C. (2010). Rhetorical situationality: Alice Arden’s kairotic effect in the tragedy of master Arden
of Faversham. Women’s Studies, 39(3), 175-93. doi:10.1080/00497871003595844
Pressley, J. M. (2014, July 5). Shakespeare's grammar: Rhetorical devices. Shakespeare Resource Center.
Author Name & Date
The author's name should be arranged by last name, comma, and inititals: McNeely, T.
If a work has two authors, retain the same format and separate by a comma and an ampersand ("&"):
McNeely, T., & Peet, D. M.
If a work has three to seven authors, retain the same format and separate by commas, using an ampersand before the final name: McNeely, T., Peet, D. M., Rich. J., & Sawyer, R.
If a work has more than seven authors, list the first six authors followed by an ellipsis and then the final author's name:
McNeely, T., Peet, D. M., Plett, H., Rhodes, N. A., Rich. J., & Sawyer, R. . . . Womack, P.
The date should follow the author name(s) in parentheses and then a period: McNeely, T. (2004).
Only capitalize the first word of the main title, the word of the subtitle (if any), and proper nouns.
BOOK titles are italicized: Proteus unmasked: Sixteenth-century rhetoric and the art of Shakespeare.
JOURNAL ARTICLE titles are not italicized: Rhetorical situationality: Alice Arden’s kairotic effect in the tragedy of master Arden of Faversham.
WEBPAGE titles usually are not italicized (though there are exceptions for other online resources, please visit the LRC if you need assistance): Shakespeare's grammar: Rhetorical devices.
For BOOKS, publication information consists of location (city and state if published in the U.S.; city and country if outside it) and publisher and should be formatted as follows: London, England: Associated University Press.
For JOURNAL ARTICLES, publication information includes the title of the periodical (italicized), the volume number (italicized), issue number in parentheses (if available), page numbers, and digital object identifier (if available): Women’s Studies, 39(3), 175-93. doi:10.1080/00497871003595844
If a DOI is not listed, include the URL instead:
Women’s Studies, 39(3), 175-93. Retrieved from
For WEBPAGES, after the webpage title include the name of the host website (italicized) & the URL: Shakespeare Resource Center. Retrieved from
Once formatted, you'll need to list your references in alphabetical order by authors' last names (if you are referencing multiple works by the same author, list them chronologically beginning with the earliest). Using the above examples, a properly APA formatted References Page would look as follows:
*For help with citing other types of sources or any other aspect of APA Style, please visit the LRC*
(Content written/compiled by Joshua Commander)
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