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APA Style - 7th Edition

The APA 7th edition was published in October 2019. Please check with your instructor about which edition should be used for your work.

Paper Formatting

If your paper will follow strict APA formatting, follow the steps below. Your paper should have three major sections: the title page, main body, and references list. The Publication Manual covers these guidelines in Chapter 2. This research starter will cover how to set up a student paper in APA format.

The 7th edition now has specific formatting for student papers versus a professional paper (i.e. one being submitted for publication). If your instructor has requested a different format or additional elements, use your instructor's preferences.
*Hint* When creating a new word document, you SHOULD NOT change the default margins. Everything will already be set correctly for you. But...if you do change them. . . .

Basics

The margins of the paper should be set to 1" (one inch) all around.

Step-by-Step Directions

  1. Go to the Page Layout or Layout tab
  2. Click Margins
  3. Select the Normal option

Margins > Normal

Basics

The line spacing for the paper should be set to double (2.0).

Step-by-Step Directions

  1. Go to the Home tab
  2. In the Paragraph box, click the icon that looks like two up/down arrows with text to the right
  3. Pick 2.0
  4. Alternate Method: You can also press the Control Key [CTRL] along with the number 2 to quickly double space.

Paragraph > Spacing > 2.0

Basics

Your title should summarize the main topic of your paper. Try not to be too wordy or off-topic. While there is no word limit for titles, "short but sweet" is the goal.

Basics

Insert the page number in the right area of the header. Use the built-in page numbering system; do not attempt to type each page number manually.

Step-by-Step Directions

  1. Go to the Insert tab
  2. Under Header, select Edit Header (at the bottom)
    Header
    Edit Header
  3. Press Tab once or twice to go to the far right
  4. Click Page Number
  5. Click Current Position
  6. Click Simple / Plain Number

Basics

On the first page you will include the following information:

  • Title of Your Paper
  • Your Name
  • Santa Fe College
  • Course Number: Course Name
  • Instructor
  • Due Date

This information will be centered, and will be a few lines down from the top.

Step-by-Step Directions

  1. Go to the top of the first page.
  2. Press Enter 3-4 times.
  3. Center your text.
  4. Type in the title of your paper, in bold.
  5. Press Enter twice, in order to have one blank line between the title and the next element.
  6. On the next line, type your full name.
  7. On the next line, type Goodwin University
  8. On the next line, type your course number, a colon, and your course name.
  9. On the next line, type your instructor's name.
  10. On the next line, type the due date of the paper.

The references list should be on a new page, and should be the last section of your paper.

Heading of Reference List

The heading at the top of the reference list should say References at the top (not Bibliography or Works Cited, unless your instructor tells you otherwise) and bolded.

Hanging Indent

All reference lists should have a hanging indent.

To create a hanging indent in Word, you can press the Control key along with the letter T.

control+ T

Spacing

Line spacing in the reference list should be set to double (2.0).

Alphabetizing

When organizing your references list, you must alphabetize your references. Generally, you will organize by the author's last name. Go letter by letter and ignore spaces, hyphens, punctuation etc.

If a work has no author, use the title to alphabetize. You will use the first significant word to alphabetize; this means you skip words like the, a, and an.

The Font?

APA does not specify a specific font or size, just that it must be legible. Their only guidelines is that the same font should be used throughout the paper. Some suggestions are 11-point Calibri, 11-point Arial, 10-point Lucida Sans Unicode, 12-point Times New Roman, and 11-point Georgia.

If your instructor has specified a font or font size, follow those guidelines.

Source: Publication Manual, 2.19

The Running Head?

Student papers do not need a running head.

Source: Publication Manual, 2.8; 2.18

Annotated Bibliographies

APA now has guidelines for an annotated bibliography. Annotations will be a new paragraph directly below the reference, indented 0.5" from the left. Retain the double-spacing.

Delmas, P. M. (2017). Using VoiceThread to create community in online learning. TechTrends, 61, 595–602. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11528-017-0195-z

This study investigated how VoiceThread could impact online student persistence. It used the Community of Inquiry framework as a guidepost for applying the technology, most specifically by leveraging social presence. The study sought to answer the question "does VoiceThread help create community for online learners?" Researchers surveyed 39 participants in master's and doctoral programs that were either fully online or blended. Based on the data, the researchers concluded that VoiceThread, as perceived by students who have used it, can promote social presence in online learning communities by making students feel more connected to other students and the instructor. Three positive themes for VoiceThread related to student to student interaction included hearing a voice, hearing voice inflection versus text, and learning about peers' professional/educational experience. While positive trends were highlighted succinctly, there was little discussion of negative trends, which challenged validity, and a small sample size (N=39) makes it difficult to generalize.