Proper APA Paper Format

When you have completed your research, you will want to put your material in proper APA paper format.

Here are the basic style guidelines for any manuscript written in this style.


Paper quality and size are dictated by the guidelines set out by the American Psychological Association.

All manuscripts, reports or essays should be printed on white, 20 pound bond, 8.5 x 11 inch paper. 

Other paper types result in smearing, fading and running of the ink.

Additionally, using the thicker, white bond makes the black print easier to read for editors and proofreaders or reviewers.

One inch margins are required all around. White space is easier on the eye.

This also gives room for editors to make needed marks and comments.


The font style and size you choose for your paper will affect its readability.

Under these style guidelines, you are required to use a serif font, specifically Times New Roman or Courier.

All type should be 12 point.

Double space everything.

Keep in mind, you don't have to incorporate these elements until you are done writing. So, if it's easier for you to read a san serif font such as Arial in 16 point on your computer screen, go ahead use that while you are writing. 

Once you finish the paper, however, and before you incorporate any graphics, adjust your font and size to meet the paper's requirements.

Page Order

APA writing format requires that the pages* be in the following order:

1. Title page

2. Abstract

3. Body text

4. References

5. Appendices

6. Author note

7. Footnotes/Endnotes

8. Tables

9. Figure captions

10. Figures

*You may not have all of these pages in your paper. Simply put the pages you do have in the order indicated by this list.

Page Numbering

Number all pages, including the title page, except for the figures pages. Use arabic numbers in the top right corner of the page.

Roman numerals are not proper format.


Do not indent the Abstract of your paper. Indent the first line of every paragraph in the body text of your paper, except for block quotes and captions.

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