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APA Style

Paper setup

The 7th edition of the APA specifies two different ways to set up your paper, one is for students and one for professionals. The elements you should include in your paper differ depending on what type of APA paper you will choose to write.

  • An APA student paper typically includes a title page, the text, and a reference list.
  • An APA professional paper typically includes a title page, an abstract, the text, and a reference list.

Both student and professional papers may also include footnotes, tables, figures, and appendices. Student papers include running head and abstract only if instructors require them.

Here you can find guidelines about how to set up your paper following any of the two templates.

Quick note

The guidelines refer to those using Microsoft Word on a Windows computer. If you are using Word for Mac, an older version of Word, or Google Docs, your paper should still look the same way, but the menu options might be in a different spot.

Many pictures that appear in these guides have been based on the Student paper and the Professional paper provided by the American Psychological Association .