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APA 7: Formatting a Paper

Learn how to format your papers and cite sources in APA 7th edition.

Guidance from APA Style, Purdue OWL, & Excelsior OWL

Paper format is covered in Chapter 2 of the APA Publication Manual

Microsoft 365 Access

All Merced College students have access to Microsoft 365 (formerly branded as Office 365), which includes Word, through student email.

Basic Formatting Guidelines

  • Use a legible typeface, such as:
    • 11-point Calibri
    • 11-point Arial
    • 10-point Lucida Sans Unicode
    • 12-point Times New Roman
    • 11-point Georgia
    • normal (10-point) Computer Modern (the default font for LaTeX)
  • Double-space the entire paper
  • Use 1 inch margins
  • Use one space after periods and other punctuation marks
  • Indent paragraphs with the tab key on your computer keyboard
  • Student papers no longer need:
    • running head
    • abstract
    • author note
  • Every page, including the title page, should have a page number in the top-right corner
  • The title page should include:
    • Title in bold & centered
    • First and last name
    • Name of department & college
    • Course title
    • Professor first & last name
    • Date (Month Day, Year)
  • Use the new guidelines for headings
  • Use bias-free language
    • Use singular "they" or "their" when gender is unknown or not relevant.
    • Gendered pronouns (he/she, him/her) are only appropriate when referring to a specific individual who identifies with that pronoun​

Sample Student Papers

Format an Office 365 Word Document in APA 7

Office 365 was rebranded to Microsoft 365 in 2020. "This video walks you step-by-step through setting up an Office 365 Word document in APA 7th edition format" (lsccyfairlibrary, 4:25). 

Format APA 7th edition in Google Drive

"APA format is easy in Google Drive! This video is based on the student guidelines for APA 7th edition, which came out near the end of 2019" (Amy Whitson, 3:32).