How do I type a paper in APA format?

Expert Answers
mwestwood eNotes educator| Certified Educator
  • There are minor differences between the different styles of research papers, so your paper should be typed with 1 inch margins on all sides of the standard 8.5 x 11" paper. It is recommended that a 12 point font that can easily be read be used. Times New Roman is the traditional, but here you see a font that is sans serif ; that is, it does not have the little projecting features on each letter as Roman does, so you can use a font such as Arial or Calibri.
  • There are 4 main sections to the paper:
  1. Title Page - Make your title no longer than 12 characters; this is centered on the paper. Then under it put your name, and on the next line your school's name (this is all double-spaced and centered). Put a 
  2. Abstract - This is a brief summary of what the paper contains. At the bottom of this write in italics "keywords," then put the words that mention your key ideas.
  3. Main Body
  4. References

At the top of each page of the Main Body, there must be a page header, or running head followed by the page number; that is, type "Running Head: TITLE OF PAPER". On each paper you will keep this running head. It will look like this:  TITLE OF YOUR PAPER and have the page number flush right.

For the details and how to type the Reference page, please see the link below from Purdue OWL which has an example paper for you. Also, see the Enotes page that gives pointers on how to write a research paper. Good luck!

William Delaney eNotes educator| Certified Educator

You can, of course, get an APA style manual and learn all about the proper format, but the simplest way to deal with a single project, as I have learned from personal experience, is to get an article printed in the correct APA format and just imitate it. Probably the easiest way to find articles in APA format is to obtain a copy of a journal that uses that format. The biggest differences, as I remember, are in citations of published works in the reference notes and bibliography. I think we can learn much of what we need to know about such things as punctuation and formats just by observing how they are handled by the leading publications in their fields. What is "correct," including "correct" spelling, is usually determined by the most influential publications. 

tyler-k | Student

APA Format is used mainly in social sciences. Citations are done in parenthesis after information, instead of using endnotes and footnotes. The first website below shows how to cite any source used in an APA style paper. The second link will lead you to a tutorial video on how to format your paper. 

Other than that, you need to include a title page with any author notes. Another important feature of an APA paper is the title, which should be a header on each page, followed by the page number. Page 1 should be the title page. 

The last link below is a sample APA style paper. Hope this helps!

amysor | Student

APA format is a writing format that is often used in schools. It has:

  1. 1 inch margins
  2. Times New Roman
  3. Font Size 12
  4. Pages


  • Title of Paper Centered in Paper Head
  • Page Number on the left in the Paper Head
  • Roughly around the center of the paper and center marginalized 

Course Name





  • Same header as the title page
  • First Line, title is centered
  • Body, is left-marginalized

For a more detailed explanation and a visual of this format, check out this link from Purdue Owl