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APA Quick Facts

This guide includes some quick notes about using APA format.

1. Title Page

Your Title Page will vary depending on whether your professor requires the professional paper format or the student paper format.  Check with your professor to see which guidelines you should follow and then follow the directions on the linked page below:

APA Title Page Setup 

The title page should be numbered page 1 of your paper.

2. Abstract

   Your instructor may or may not require you to include an abstract.  In APA, the abstract page is page 2 of your paper.  It should include the page header and the word Abstract centered on the first line of the page.  Do not indent the first line of your paragraph.  An abstract is a brief summary of your research.  Be sure it identifies your research topic and the key points of your study.  Your abstract should be one paragraph, double-spaced, and between 150 and 250 words.  You may want to include keywords at the end of your abstract.  Indent and type the word Keywords (in italics).  Then list your keywords.

Click on the file above to see a sample abstract page written in APA format.

3. Main Body

   The main body of your paper should begin on page 2 or 3 depending on whether or not you have an abstract page.  Continue the page header at the top of the page.  Center the title of your paper on the first line.  Do not bold, italicize, or underline the title.  Begin the first paragraph of your paper by indenting.  The first paragraph should be your introduction.  Finish your paper with a conclusion.

4. References

Basic Rules for APA References:

  • Indent (1/2 inch) the second line of each reference.
  • Authors' names should be written last name first.
  • Alphabetize the reference list by author's last name.
  • Include the full title of the journal.
  • Capitalize all major words of a journal title.
  • Italicize book names and journal titles.
  • Do not italicize or underline article titles.