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Citing Sources: Formatting your paper in APA style

A guide to citing sources in MLA, APA, and Chicago format.

Formatting papers (APA Style 7th Edition, Student paper format)

IMPORTANT NOTE: APA Style 7th edition distinguishes between the style of a student paper and a professional paper.

This guide details the 7th edition style of the student paper.

Your instructor may or may not want you to use this format for assignments so it is always a good idea to check to see if you instructor has any special instructions.


  • APA Style permits a variety of fonts including: 10-point Lucida Sans Unicode; 11-point Calibri, 11-point Arial; 11-point Georgia; 12-point Times New Roman.

  • Use one inch margins at top, bottom, and sides of paper

  • Use double-spacing throughout the paper.

    • In Microsoft Word:  Select all text > click Home tab > in Paragraph box, click Line Spacing icon > select 2.0

  • The title should appear on the title page as well as above the first line of text on the first page.

  • Page numbers start at number 1 on the Title page. The References page and any other additional pages at the end of the paper should be numbered.

  • Indent the first line of every paragraph, with the exception of the abstract, block quotations, titles and some (level 1-3) headings.

  • Each section (e.g. Abstract, References, Appendices) should start on a separate page


  • The title page includes the following elements:
    • Page number 1 - placed in the top right corner in the header of every page.  
    • Title - centered and in bold on top half of page.
    • A few spaces between the title and the Author of the paper.
    • Author of paper.
    • Institution.
    • Class with class number (PSY 218) followed by a colon and the class name
    • Instructor's name.
    • Date.
    • New!! - the student style paper no longer includes a Running head or an Author's Note.

ABSTRACT PAGE (ask your instructor if they require an Abstract page)

  • This includes the following elements:
    • Page number - top right in the header.
    • Abstract heading - bold and centered at top of page.
    • Abstract text - not indented.
    • Suggested Keywords at the bottom of the Abstract page.


  • This includes the following elements:
    • Page number in the header, top right.
    • Title - the full title should be centered at the top of the first page of the body of the paper.
    • See General Formatting above.

Example title page (APA Style 7th Edition, Student paper format)





Fast Food and Childhood Obesity



Peter Bright

Pima Community College

PSY 218: Health Psychology

Dr. Claire Wise

November 20, 2020








See sample papers:

Sample APA paper from OWL
Sample paper from the APA Style website (PDF)

Example of abstract page






Childhood obesity is the result of eating too many calories and

not getting enough physical activity.  In the United States, 17%

of all children and adolescents are obese (“Overweight and

Obesity,” 2012).  This is triple the rate from just one generation

ago.  Recent studies have also indicated that childhood

consumption of fast food is up fivefold from the 1970s (Lin,

Guthrie, and Frazao, 2001). This paper will use recent studies to

determine if there is a link between increased consumption of

fast food and childhood obesity.


Keywords:  childhood obesity, obesity, fast food, exercise, school meals, diets, depression