1. Use 12-point Times New Roman font.
The 12-point size is considered the standard font size for academic papers, as well as other professional documents. Times New Roman is a highly legible typeface that is widely used in print and digital publications. It is easy to read, especially when printed in smaller sizes and it can be used to create a professional looking document.
2. Double space the entire document, including text and references.
In order to make a paper easier to read, APA recommends that it be double-spaced throughout, including all text and reference materials. This helps readers quickly find information within the document and makes it less cluttered. It is also important for authors to ensure that there are no extra spaces between paragraphs or after headings.
3. Left justify all text.
APA requires that all text in the paper is left justified (aligned on the left margin), rather than centered or right justified. The only exception is when quoting from another source directly, which should be indented from both margins instead of just one.
4. Indent the first line of each paragraph half an inch.
In order to set paragraphs apart from one another and make them easier to read, APA recommends that authors indent the first line of each paragraph by a half-inch. This helps readers quickly identify where a new paragraph begins without having to search for it on the page. It also makes the paper look more organized and professional.
5. Use one-inch margins on all sides of the document.
All text within the paper should be contained within a one-inch margin on all four sides – top, bottom, left, and right – in order to keep everything consistent and visually appealing. This creates uniformity throughout the paper so that it looks neat and professional.
6. Number all pages consecutively starting with page 1.
In order to make it easier for readers to navigate the document, APA requires that all pages be numbered consecutively, beginning with the title page (page 1) and ending with the reference list (last page). Authors should also make sure that each page has a header in the top left corner containing their last name, along with a shortened version of the paper’s title. This helps readers quickly identify what page they are on and which paper they are reading.
7. Include a title page with the following information.
APA requires that authors include a separate title page at the beginning of their papers that includes basic identifying information about themselves and the paper’s topic. This should include the following:
a) Paper title
b) Author name(s)
c) Institution name
d) Date submitted
8. In the header of every page, include the following information.
In order to make it easy for readers to identify each page and know where they are in the document, APA requires that authors include a header at the top of every page. This should include the following information:
a) Page number
b) Title of paper (use headline-style capitalization - only capitalize first word and proper nouns)
9. Include a page header on every page (also known as running head).
The “running head” is a short version of the title (usually fewer than 50 characters long, including spaces). It should be included on every page of the document, starting with the title page, and aligned to the left margin. This will help readers quickly identify the paper’s title when they are navigating the document.
10. Use proper APA in-text citations.
In order to give credit where it is due and avoid plagiarism, authors must include appropriate in-text citations whenever they use another person’s ideas or words. APA style requires the use of author-date citations, which include the last name of the author and year of publication (e.g., Jones, 2020).