Instructions to format an APA paper in Word 2016:

  • APA format requires certain font formatting. To begin, open a new document in Word and make sure the Home tab is selected. In the Font Group, set your font to Times New Roman, size 12 pt.

Font format and size in Word

  • Next, while in the Home tab, look for the Paragraph group, and click on the bottom right hand arrow. When the Paragraph dialog box appears, change the settings to Double line spacing and be sure to set the before and after spacing to 0pt. Close the window.

Line spacing for paragraph settings in Word

  • To start setting up your title page, choose the Center paragraph alignment located in the Paragraph group in the Home tab.                                                                                                     

Center paragraph alignment in Word

  • Now type the title of your paper,and hit Enter on the keyboard to move to the next line. Next, type your name, hit Enter on the keyboard again, and type “NWTC" (or "Northeast Wisconsin Technical College") all entries should be on separate lines.
  • The title page information should be farther down the page. Position the insertion point/cursor before the beginning of the title. Press Enter a few times to position the text in the top third of the page. It should not be any lower than halfway down the page.         

                Title page

  • To start the second page, position the insertion point/cursor at the end of the word “College” (or after "NWTC"). Click on the Insert tab and find the Pages group, then Page Break. Click on the Page Break button to move to the first line of page 2. Then, type the title of your essay and press Enter.             

Insert Page Break in Word

  • To set up the first sentence of your essay, go back to the Paragraph group on the Home tab, and set the text to left-align.                                                                                                 

      Left alignment for paragraph settings in Word

  • Press Tab once (on the keyboard) to indent the first paragraph, and begin typing.                                                                         

    Title of paper positioning and beginning of the body of paper

  • You are now ready to set up the header. Scroll back up to the top of the document, and double-click anywhere in the blank area at the top of the page. This will open the header. It also selects the Design tab for you. Look to the Options group, then  check the “Different First Page” box. Do this before you type anything in the header.                                                                 

  Header/Footer Design tab (check different first page box)

  • To add your page numbers, click on the Design tab             

.Design tab in Word

  • Then select the Page Number option, choose “Top of Page”, and then choose “Plain Number 1”(If you simply type a number, that number will be on each page.)               

 Page numbers options, choose top of page, plain number 1

  • Now, type the text “Running head:” and the title of your essay. Be sure to put the title of the essay in ALL CAPS, and do not capitalize “head".           


     Running head for APA style format in Word

  • Press the Tab key twice to move the page number over to the right margin. (HINT: In headers and footers, the tab key moves to three position, left justified, center justified, and right justified)

Page numbers for APA style formatting in Word

  • Now, scroll down until you see the header space for page 2. Insert the page number using the exact same process as in steps 9, 10, and 11 above. The only difference is that this page will not require the words “Running head.” Just type the title of your essay in ALL CAPS.           

   Page number in Word 

  • You have now finished setting up your document in APA format. Double-click anywhere in the main body of your document to close the header view (or click the Close Header and Footer button). Go to page 2 to continue typing your essay. We highly recommend that at this point you "Save As" your paper to preserve all the formatting just done. 
  • Once you've completed your paper, you will need to include a separate page at the end for your References
  • Follow this link to view our APA guide on how to set up your reference page: APA Guide

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