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APA Boot Camp

APA Style 7th edition (2020)

Formatting APA Style 7th Edition Papers

Paper Size 8.5" x 11"  
Margins 1-inch on all sides  
Header Top right of every page, starting with the Title page (A "running head" is no longer used).
Line Spacing Double Spaced throughout paper Exceptions: Tables or Charts do not have to be double spaced.
Spacing after punctuation One space after end punctuation  
Section Labels See Heading Levels for both Student and Professional papers.  
Font Recommended: 

11-point Calibri

11- point Arial

10-point Lucida Sans Unicode

12-point Times New Roman

11-point Georgia

10-point Computer Modern

Paper Format

Click on individual buttons for:
Order of pages                                Title page setup
Font                                                 Page Header
Line Spacing                                   Margins
Paragraph Alignment and Indentation
Headings                                         Accessibility
Sample Papers

Also see Levels of Headings pages in PDF format for 
    Student papers
    Professional papers 

Formatting examples Use "quotation marks" around examples for better accessibility, instead of using italics.  
Student Title Page Guide
(PDF format)
  Publication manual of the American Psychological Association
BF 76.7 .P83 2020
Available at service desk in Boca & Jupiter
Available in general collection at HBOI
Sections 2.3 to 2.6

Concise Guide to APA Style
BF 76.7 .C66 2020
Available at service desk in Boca

Sections 1.5 to 1.9
Handout for Formatting: Formatting your paper in MS Word for Windows. This contains instructions for setting up the professional style paper. If doing a student paper, just eliminate those steps you don't need.  See link below for Windows
Handout for Formatting: Formatting your paper in MS Word for Mac. This contains instructions for setting up the professional style paper. If doing a student paper, just eliminate those steps you don't need. See link below for Mac

Students: Include these on the Title Page

Page Element
Title of paper

Start this about 1/3 of the way down the page (3-4 double-spaced lines below the top of the page). Center this (and remaining lines on Title Page) on each line.
Generally, start each word with a capital letter, except small words of 4 letters or less.

Author(s) Use full first names, middle initials and last names. Use commas between more than 2 authors, and use an ampersand (&) before the last author. See Title Page Content info sheet for additional details.
Affiliation The department of the course the paper is written for, and the university name written in full (e.g., Department of History, Florida Atlantic University). Avoid using abbreviations.
Course prefix and number The course prefix and number the paper is written for. Use the same format for this as the course instructor uses for your course. (They may also request your 5-digit course section number)
Instructor name Use the professor's preferred name and designation (e.g., Dr., Professor). Check spelling
Assignment due date Spell out month, followed by day and year, (e.g., March 13, 2020).
Header with page number A header is placed in the 1" space between the top of the page and the 1" margin. Choose header in your word processor, tab to the right side of the page, and choose consecutive page numbers as the format. See Word and Mac formatting sheets for additional information. 
More Information: Student Title Page Guide
  Sample Title Page and details
  Publication manual of the American Psychological Association
See Chapter 2.


Grammar basics need to be observed when writing in APA Style. Here are some links to information.

What it is
Anthropomorphism Giving animals human characteristics Avoid this
Logical Comparisons Make clear and logical comparisons. Check your work carefully. Do this.
Verb Tense Verb tense should match noun number. Use a consistent verb tense within a paragraph. Do this
Active and Passive Voice Use active voice, and avoid passive voice
"We did the exercise." instead of "The exercise was done by us."
Do use active voice
Avoid using passive voice
First-Person Pronouns Use "I" and "we" to describe what you and your coauthors have done. Avoid using third person pronouns to refer to yourself and your co-authors. Do use first-person pronouns to refer to self and co-authors.
Singular "They" The word "they" can now be used instead of "he" or "she," "They" is now accepted as a generic pronoun for singular third person Do use "they" if uncertain of singular gender.
Mechanics of Style See detailed information on
Punctuation                                         Spelling and hyphenation
Capitalization                                       Lists                        
Italics and Quotation Marks                 Abbreviations
Numbers (expressed as words or numbers)
More Information Publication manual of the American Psychological Association
Chapter 4


What it is
General principles for reducing bias How to write about people, their features, and qualities without showing bias. See APA Manual, Sections 5.1 and 5.2. Be specific. See examples on the linked page.
Historical context The content of what you have read may reflect past biases. See APA Manual, Chapter 5. Follow recommendations on linked page to be mindful of historical context as well as language bias.
Age Be aware of and use preferred terms for different age groups. See APA Manual, Section 5.3. Talk about age in terms that are sensitive and politel.
Disability Be aware of and use preferred terms for different specific and general disabilities. See APA Manual, Section 5.4. Avoid negative and condescending terminology
Gender Gender is now seen be some as being fluid, while others may identify with gender that is not related to their sex. Gender identify can be separate from sexual or biological assignments. See APA Manual, Section 5.5. Show sensitivity and respect by using terms that are used by persons in describing themselves.
Participation in research Understanding the differences in terminology used to describe persons involved in research versus the illness or disorder being researched is needed. See APA Manual, Section 5.6. Reading the linked section on this topic will help readers understand what constitutes appropriate terminology. 
Racial and ethnic identity Awareness of preferred designations of racial and ethnic identities, and avoiding the use of dated terms and those with negative connotations. See APA Manual, Section 5.7. Sensitivity and respect should be reflected in the racial and ethnic terms you use in writing.
Sexual orientation Sexual orientation may be separate from physical sexual or biological assignments. It is a component of an individual's identity and often is associated with a directionality of sexual attraction, or lack of same. See APA Manual, Section 5.8. The term "sexual orientation" is preferred over sexual preference, sexual identify, or sexual orientation identity.
Socioeconomic status This term can include social and economic statuses, as well as educational attainment. Avoid using "broad, pejorative, and generalizing terms" when referring to socioeconomic status. See APA Manual Section 5.9.

Avoid using generalizing terminology with negative connotations, such as "homeless," "ghetto," or "inner city."

Intersectionality​ Being respectful of the multitude of characteristics and differences that make up individuals, how they intersect, and how they might combine to create different types of discrimination. See APA Manual, Section 5.10. Avoid generalizations of groups of persons, and instead be inclusive and sensitive to the range of variations in humankind.
More information: Publication manual of the American Psychological Association
See Chapter 5.


Tables and Figures are covered in the Publication manual of the American Psychological Association, Chapter 7.


Basics: Number pages in order, starting with the Title Page. If any page types are not used, continue numbering the remaining pages consecutively.

  • Title Page (new page)
  • Pages after Title Page
    • Abstract (new page)
    • Text (new page)
    • References (new page)
    • Footnotes *
    • Tables *
    • Figures *
    • Appendices *

*  These pages may not be used in all papers. See the APA Manual, Section 2.17 for more information and details. 

Student Paper Examples
Professional Sample Papers
Last updated on Feb 27, 2024 1:35 PM