Rock Valley College

APA 6th Ed Doc Formatting

 APA Format (6th Edition) 

Create a document in APA style 


Designing a document in APA style requires you to adhere to a specific set of formatting guidelines. Following these rules is important because it allows readers to locate essential information, such as your name and paper title, in an established order. Maintaining design consistency throughout the document helps to strengthen your credibility as a writer in this field. For every APA document: 

  • Use 1-inch margins 
  • Double space the entire document 
  • Use 12-point Times New Roman, 11-point Calibri, or 11-point Arial font 
  • Leave one space after periods or other punctuation marks 
  • Italicize the names of long works (books, journals, films, websites, etc.) 
  • Offset the names of shorter works in quotation marks (poems, articles, webpages, etc.) 


To format the Cover Page of your document you will need: 

  • Left-align the Running head and right-align the page number in the heading. The Running head is a shortened version of your paper title in all caps. For example, Running head: HOW TO FORMAT APA. The label “Running head” only appears on the first page. Successive pages will still have a heading with the all-caps title. 

  • To Format the Running head in Word: Click Insert and then Header. Select the first option in the drop-down box labeled Blank. Under Design, click Different First Page to only show the words Running head on the first page. Type Running head with your title in all caps. Then click Page Number and select Current Position, Plain Number. A number 1 will appear. Press tab until the page number is right aligned. Click in the body of the paper to complete the title page. After typing this information, move the cursor below your last line of text, click Insert, and then Page Break. The second page will include the page number in a header. Click before the page number and add your shortened title in all caps without the “Running head” label. Press tab until the page number is right aligned. This process will ensure that you only have Running head on the first page. 
     
  • To Format the Running head in Google Docs: Click Insert, select Headers and Footers, and then Header. Check the Different First Page box on the right side. Then type Running head with your title in all caps. Click Insert again, select Page Numbers, and click the first option with the page numbers in the right corner. When the page number appears, press tab until it is right aligned. Click in the body of the paper to complete the title page. After typing this information, move the cursor below your last line of text, click Insert, and then Break. The second page will include the page number in a header. Click before the page number and add your shortened title in all caps without the Running head label. Press tab until the page number is right aligned. This process will ensure that you only have Running head on the first page. 

Center the title in the middle of the page. Capitalize all the major words in the title and lowercase propositions and articles. Capitalize the first word of the title regardless of the word type. No bold or underline is needed. Click Enter and include your name centered on the second line. Click Enter again and add your school’s name (Rock Valley College) on the third line. 

This section is optional for student essays, so ask your instructor if you need to include it. 

  • If required, write Author Note centered toward the bottom of the paper. Click Enter and type your name, course department (English, History, etc.), and school name (Rock Valley College). Click Enter again and type your contact information (email address). Include any other information required by your instructor. 

Once you format the cover page, insert a page break and begin writing your essay on a new page. Include your full paper title centered on the first line. Then begin writing paragraphs. Indent the first line of each paragraph one half-inch (press the tab key). No extra spacing is needed between paragraphs. 

For an example of an APA cover page, visit the Writing Center’s Resource Library at https://www.rockvalleycollege.edu/StudentServices/Tutoring/WritingCenter.cfm 

Download the APA 6th Ed Doc Formatting Handout here!