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APA paper format


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The formatting performed on a paper is one of the deciding factors to accepting it as a complete work. If the appearance of the paper looks good, it will improve its recognition.

Elements of a paper

A paper has many elements, such as the title page, abstract, text, and references. The following sections provide details of the elements in the order they appear in a paper.

Title page

The title page is the first page of a paper. It contains the title, the names of the authors, and the affiliations of the authors.


Start your abstract on a new page. It gives a brief description of the content discussed in the paper.


Start this on a new page after the abstract. In the absence of an abstract, the text can follow the title page. The main work of the paper is detailed here.


It follows the main text on a new page. It includes the bibliographic information of the works cited in the text.


If you cite footnotes, include them after the references on a new page. It provides extra information on terms referred to in the text. The most common designator for footnotes is superscript Arabic numerals.


Tables, if any, are included after the footnotes. Each table appears on a new page.


Figures follow tables. Similar to tables, each figure takes a separate page.


They appear as the final elements in a paper. If you want to include multiple appendices, include each on a separate page.


Multiple font types are allowed in APA style, but follow the same font throughout the paper. If you want to follow sans serif fonts, use Calibri (11-point), Arial (11-point), or Lucida Sans Unicode (10-point). If you want to use serif fonts, you can choose from Times New Roman (12-point) or Georgia (11-point).

For figures, use sans serif fonts (point size 8–14).

For computer code, use monospace fonts such as Courier New (10-point).

Line spacing

Use double-line spacing throughout the paper. A few exceptions are listed below:

On the title page, in addition to double-line spacing, follow double-spaced blank lines between the title and the byline (line on which the author names appear) and between the last affiliation and the author note.

For footnotes, use single-spaced lines.

For displayed equations, you can use triple- or quadruple-spaced blank lines before and after them.


Always use a 1-inch margin for the top, bottom, left, and right margins on all pages.


The text, including the headings, is flush left. Do not justify the text. Rag the right margin. Never break a word at the end of a line.


The first line of every paragraph is indented 0.5 inch. However, the first line of the abstract is flush left. Block quotes are indented 0.5 inch from the left margin. Follow hanging indent of 0.5 inch for reference list entries.

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