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PSY 218 - Health Psychology (Infanti): APA paper format

How to format your student paper in APA style, 7th ed.

Great guides from the official APA style site

Student paper setup guide 

Student title page guide

  • Use the top section about student title pages, not the lower section for professional ones.


A quick, basic overview of the student format

Elements that you must include

  • A title page
  • The body of your paper, with your in-text citations
  • A list of references
  • [Your instructor may require an abstract, too. Ask!]


The whole paper: these rules apply to every section


Title page: format

  • Here is a sample. Adapt it to your situation. This information should be in the upper half of the page.
  • This page will be numbered: 1.

The body of the paper: format

  • Begin on a new page.
  • Give the title (again) at the top, centered and in bold font. Don't add extra line spaces.
  • Each paragraph has its first line indented 0.5".
    • Exception: when you are quoting a source using a block quote, the entire block is indented 1.0".
  • Every time you borrow words, facts, or ideas from a work, you mark this with an in-text citation. This citation refers to one of your listed references.
  • How to create in-text citations.
  • Your paper may call for additional sections with headings. Examples: Discussion, or Conclusion.  Ask about this.


References list: format

  • Begin the list of references on a new page, following the body. Insert References as a centered heading at the top. Don't add additional line spacing.
  • How to order your list.
  • Hanging indentation
  • If you have a long URL that doesn't fit on one line, let your word processor decide how to wrap it. Don't mess with it.


Less common situations: formats not covered here

  • Additional headings and subheadings
  • Appendix or appendices
  • Figures and tables in the body
  • Formats other than for a paper, such as a presentation

Format your document: Spacing, Font, Page numbers

Microsoft Word

1. Open a blank document

2. Right-click on the page: Paragraph | Line spacing | Double

3. Ribbon: Layout tab | Margins |Normal

4. Ribbon: Select Times New Roman, 12pt

5. Double-click the page about ½ inch from the top. This selects the header.

  • Page number | Top of page | Plain Number 3

6. Double-click lower on the page. This unselects the header


Google Docs

1. Open a blank document

2. Ribbon: Select Times New Roman font, size = 12

3. Ribbon: Format tab | Line and paragraph spacing | Double

4. Double-click ½ inch from the top of the page:  The selects the header

5. Options: Page numbers, then this keyboard shortcut: Ctrl+Shift+R

6. Click anywhere lower on the page. This unselects the header.

Return to Format your document: Spacing, Font, Page numbers.

Add hanging indentation to Microsoft Word or Google Docs (References list)

Microsoft Word

  • At first, enter your citations without any indentation
  • Select all text in the list, and then right-click it.
  • From the pop-up menu, select Paragraph.
  • To add a hanging indent, under Indentation, Special, select Hanging

Google Docs

  • At first enter all your citations without any indentation
  • Select all text in the list.
  • Format | Align and Indent
  • Indentation Options
  • Special - Hanging
  • Apply.