Guidelines for Research Paper
Your essay should be typed, double-spaced on standard-sized paper (8.5" x 11") with 1" margins
on all sides. You should use 12 pt. Times New Roman font.
Include a page header (also known as the "running head") at the top of every page (except the
Title Page). To create a page header/running head, insert page numbers flush right. The
running head is a shortened version of your paper's title and cannot exceed 50 characters
including spacing and punctuation.
Major Paper Sections
Your essay should include four major sections: the Title Page, Abstract, Main Body, and
Type your title in upper and lowercase letters centered in the upper half of the page. APA
recommends that your title be no more than 12 words in length and that it should not contain
abbreviations or words that serve no purpose. Your title may take up one or two lines. All text on
the title page, and throughout your paper, should be double-spaced.
Beneath the title, type the author's name: first name, middle initial(s), and last name. Do not use
titles (Dr.) or degrees (PhD).
Beneath the author's name, type the institutional affiliation, which should indicate the location
where the author(s) conducted the research.
Begin a new page. Your abstract page should already include the page header (described
above). On the first line of the abstract page, center the word “Abstract” (bold).
Beginning with the next line, write a concise summary of the key points of your research. (Do
not indent.) Your abstract should contain at least your research topic, research questions,
participants, methods, results, data analysis, and conclusions. You may also include possible
implications of your research and future work you see connected with your findings. Your
abstract should be a single paragraph double-spaced. Your abstract should be between 150 and
Three or more
APA Style uses a unique headings system to separate and classify paper sections. There are 5
heading levels in APA. The 6th edition of the APA manual revises and simplifies previous
heading guidelines. Regardless of the number of levels, always use the headings in order,
beginning with level 1. The format of each level is illustrated below:
Centered, Boldface, Uppercase and Lowercase Headings
Left-aligned, Boldface, Uppercase and Lowercase Heading
Indented, boldface, lowercase heading with a period. Begin body text after the
Indented, boldface, italicized, lowercase heading with a period. Begin body text after
Indented, italicized, lowercase heading with a period. Begin body text after the period.
Last name first, followed by author initials.
Berndt, T. J. (2002). Friendship quality and social development. Current Directions in Psychological
Science, 11, 7-10.
List by their last names and initials. Use the ampersand instead of "and."
Wegener, D. T., & Petty, R. E. (1994). Mood management across affective states: The hedonic
contingency hypothesis. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 66, 1034-1048.
Three to Seven Authors
List by last names and initials; commas separate author names, while the last author name is
preceded again by ampersand.
Kernis, M. H., Cornell, D. P., Sun, C. R., Berry, A., Harlow, T., & Bach, J. S. (1993). There's more
to self-esteem than whether it is high or low: The importance of stability of self-esteem. Journal
of Personality and Social Psychology, 65, 1190-1204.
More Than Seven Authors
List by last names and initials; commas separate author names. After the sixth author's name, use
an ellipses in place of the author names. Then provide the final author name. There should be no
more than seven names.
Miller, F. H., Choi, M. J., Angeli, L. L., Harland, A. A., Stamos, J. A., Thomas, S. T., . . . Rubin, L.
H. (2009). Web site usability for the blind and low-vision user. Technical Communication, 57,
Two or more works by the same author
Order chronologically starting with the oldest
Basic Format for Books
Author, A. A. (Year of publication). Title of work: Capital letter also for subtitle. Location:
Note: For "Location," you should always list the city and the state using the two letter postal
abbreviation without periods (New York, NY).
Calfee, R. C., & Valencia, R. R. (1991). APA guide to preparing manuscripts for journal
publication. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.
Edited Book, No Author
Duncan, G. J., & Brooks-Gunn, J. (Eds.). (1997). Consequences of growing up poor. New York, NY:
Russell Sage Foundation.
Edited Book with an Author or Authors
Plath, S. (2000). The unabridged journals. K. V. Kukil (Ed.). New York, NY: Anchor.
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