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SU APA LibGuide: Formatting

APA LibGuide

APA Style 7th Edition

As a reminder, students should always follow the guidelines and procedures set by their instructor via the course syllabus or provided to them in class for the format of the paper.   

APA 7th Edition 

A copy of the Publication manual of the American Psychological Association (7th ed.) is available in the SU Library for review.  Instructors, students and staff are all welcome to review the manual in the library and it is not available for checkout. 

Students are also encouraged to visit the APA Style website ( for style and grammar guidelines.   

In addition, the OWL at Purde Writing Lab ( is also highly recommended for additional resources and citation examples. 


The APA 7th edition sets required elements for both a professional paper and a student paper.  

Required Elements 

Student papers will usually include the following pages: 

  • title page (page 1) 

  • text (immediately after the title page) 

  • and references (always included in the paper).   

Additional pages that might be required are an abstract (included immediately after the title page), footnotes, tables, figures, and/or appendices. 

As a reminder, students should always follow the guidelines set by their instructors for the format of the paper. 

General Formatting 

For examples of how to format the entire manuscript, please refer to pages 29-67 of the manual. 

  • Double space the entire paper (APA Manual, p. 45). The title page, text, headings, and reference list should all be double spaced.  There are a few exceptions which can be found on page 45 of the manual. 

  • The margin is 1-in. on all sides of the paper (top, bottom, left, and right).  Always check the word processing program to ensure that the margin is 1-in. all sides. 

  • All text should be aligned to the left.  Do not use full justification. The first line of each paragraph should be indented at 0.5-in. 

  • All papers should contain the page number, flush right, in the header of every page. 

  • Students should always follow the guidelines set by their instructors for the length of the paper. 

Student Title Page 

The student specific version of the title page should include the following: 

  • title of the paper and must be bold, centered, and in the upper half of the sheet, approximately 3-4 lines down from the top margin 

  • the name of the author (student’s name) written in first name, middle initial, last name format; 

  • affiliation (university name); 

  • course number (as listed on Syllabus and course name (as listed on syllabus); 

  • instructor’s name as listed on syllabus or check with instructor for preferred format;  

  • assignment due date; and page number (APA Manual, p. 30-31). 

Note: Student papers do not typically include a running head. 


Student papers do not typically include an abstract.  Students should always follow the guidelines/requirements set by their instructors. (APA Manual, p. 30) 

Body of Paper

Students should always follow the guidelines set by their instructors for the length of the paper. 


Insert a space after all punctuation marks.


Reference List

Formatting Reference Page 

  •  Start the reference list on a new page.  
  • The word  References  should be bold and in upper and lower case letters, centered on the page. 
  • All entries in the Reference list should be listed alphabetically by author.  
  • Double space the entire reference list.  All entries should be double spaced throughout the list.
  • The first line of the citation should begin at the left margin. If a citation is longer than one line, double space between the lines, with the second line being indented 1/2" or 5 spaces from the left margin. 
  • If you are using a citation generator, always check the citation to ensure it complies with the APA 7th ed.