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This is the Title:
It is centered on the page

Put your name here

Put your institution here



This is the abstract. It should contain a short description of the entire paper. People read this first to tell if they want to take the time to read the rest of your article. Therefore, make it interesting and make it short, but also make it a good representation of what the article says.

This is the Title:
It is centered on the page

This is the first paragraph. It should start with an interesting narrative about how people act, think, etc. Please do not start with such things as "Recent research has shown." This paragraph has the "normal" formatting style: it is double spaced and has a 1/2 inch indent on the first line.

A “style” is a set of formatting rules (like double spacing, margins, etc.) that apply to a paragraph. Bring up the ruler (“Show Ruler” under the “Format” menu) to see all the styles in this document. They are available through the pull down menu on the lower left of the ruler. To select a style, put your insertion point in the paragraph you want to format, then use the Ruler’s style menu to select a style. (You might want to try this now with this paragraph.) The Normal style is for most paragraphs in your paper. The Abstract style is for the paragraph(s) that make up your abstract. The heading 1-4 styles define the characteristics of section or level headings (and the title page name and title lines). The Quote style is for any extended quotations (40 or more words). The Reference style is used for your references at the back of the paper. You will see a place set aside for references at the end of this paper.

Using this Document

You should make a copy of this document for yourself. That way, whenever you want to write, you have the styles in this document available. When you want to start a new paper in APA style:

1) Double click on your copy of APA tutor (or of the short version - APA paper.

2) Delete the things you don’t want

3) Replace the title with your title, the name with your name, etc.

4) Save your new document under another name.

You now have a new paper with APA styles in it. One more suggestion, whenever you are formatting an APA style paper, it is good to have the ruler out (“Show Ruler” under the format menu).

Basic APA ground rules

APA style is not made to make your life easier. It is made to make editors’ and typesetters’ lives easier. They want big margins and double spacing to make it easier to write comments. They like a “ragged” right edge because then it is clear how many spaces are between each word. APA style is designed with the old fashioned typewriter in mind - italics and special characters do not exist. We wish this were not so, but it is.

If you ever have any question about what spacing is allowed in a paragraph, the answer is easy: always double space every single paragraph. That’s right. Disregard how it shows up in typeset journals. There is no variation, no exception to the rule; Everything, (text, headings, titles, references, tables), everything is double spaced.

There is a similar rule for emphasis, if you want to emphasize a word, or make a journal title stand out, you always underline (there are a very few exceptions when ALL CAPS are used). Do not use bold, italics, outline, shadow, or any combination. Just underline. If something in a typeset journal is in bold or italics, to transfer it to manuscript style you would underline it. Italics and bold often look nicer, but they are not in APA style.

All margins (top, left, right, and bottom) should be 1.5 inches. These are big margins. They are meant to provide space for people to mark corrections in the margins. They have the added utility of making your paper look longer. The only exception is the short title. It appears on every page (even the title page) and has the page number beneath it. It “floats” in the top margin on the right, closer to the top than 1.5 incles.

All paragraphs should have a “ragged” right edge. This is the formating option provided with the styles in this document. Do not change it. Justifying both the right and left margins does make things look smooth, but is not APA style.

Finally, anything that is in addition to the text (footnotes, tables, figures, references, etc.) always goes at the end of the paper. In fact, the order (with each section beginning on a new page) is: title page, abstract, body of paper, references, appendixes (if any), author notes, footnotes, tables, figure captions, and figures (see page 137-138 in the manual). There are examples of each of these things in this paper.

Headings: the confusing part

The confusing part of APA style is the level headings. It was designed by editors to cause the maximum confusion on the part of writers. The basic rule is: first determine the number of levels (e.g. sections with subsections is 2 levels of headings; sections with subsections with subsubsections is 3 levels of headings). Once you know the number of levels you will have, then you will know how to format your paper's headings. If this explanation is too confusing, try reading the one on pages 66 and 67 of the APA publication manual.

If you have 2 levels of headings, use headings 2 and 4 to give them titles, like this:



Method is a heading 2 heading and Procedure is a heading 4 heading. To see what I mean, click with your cursor somewhere in the word "Procedure." If you have set your menus to "long menus" (which you should always do), you will see the word "heading 4" appear in a small window at the bottom of the screen. You can change the level (and thus the formatting) of the heading by selecting the "Styles..." items from the "Format" menu. A list of styles will appear in a window and you can select one and apply it to the paragraph in which your cursor is located. Thus, to change the "Procedure" to a heading 1 heading, click your cursor in the word "Procedure", then use the Ruler’s style menu to select a style.. You will see that the formatting of the word has changed: it is now all capital letters and is centered on the line. Suffice it to say that you can format any level of heading this way (except for the "level 5" heading - we'll see that one in a minute).

If you have 3 levels of headings use headings 2, 4, and 5 to format the headings, like this:



Pretraining period. The pretraining period was long and boring.
You will notice that the "Pretraining period" heading is part of the paragraph that it describes. To format it correctly as a heading 5 heading, select the two words "Pretraining" and "period" (by dragging over them with the mouse while holding the button down). Then select the "Underline" item from the "Format" menu. The text of the paragraph follows a heading 5 heading on the same line, but is not underlined.

If you have 4 levels of headings in your paper, use headings 2,3,4, and 5 to format your headings, like this:

Experiment 2



Auditory Stimuli. The auditory stimuli were loud.
If you have 5 levels of headings (God forbid), then use all 5 headings in order, like this:

Experiments on perception

Experiment 1



Auditory Stimuli. The auditory stimuli were loud.
I sincerely hope you will never need to use 5 levels. It will strain the comprehension of the reader.

Citing the Literature

While writing your paper, you will want to refer to the literature. APA style makes this simple while still allowing a lot of flexibility. You can use the author's name in a sentence such as: Abelson (1974) thinks we think too much about how people think. Or you could phrase the sentence as: Some psychologists (Abelson, 1974; Bargh, 1983) have criticized the tendency to look for schemas in every action. The first time you refer to an article with 3 or more authors, like Abramson, Seligman, and Teasdale (1978), you should cite all the authors. Afterwards, you can refer to the article as Abramson, et al. (1978). There are lots of other silly rules to follow in citing papers, and you should look at the APA Publication Manual if you have a question. The manual is usually painfully explicit. The section on references begins on page 107.

When you cite a paper or book in the text, you should include it in the references section. I have included a few references in this paper as a model. The references go at the end of the text of your paper, followed by the author notes (if you want to give your address or thank someone), followed by footnotes (MS Word calls APA style footnotes "endnotes"), followed by the tables and figures.

Doing footnotes

Sometimes you will want to make a point that is important, but that might inturrupt the flow of your text. Some people use footnotes to do this. However, you might first consider rearranging the logic of your outline so that you can include the footnote in your text directly. Footnotes are a bother to read in APA style, and those who abstain from them are thanked by their readers. If you must use a footnote, place the insertion point where you would like the reference to occur and select “Footnote...” from the Document menu1. You will get a dialogue window asking what kind of footnote reference you want, Just click “OK” here since the default is correct APA style. A window will appear in the bottom of your document2. Type the text of your footnote here. To get rid of this window, drag the thick bar next to it on the right down past the bottom of the document. The window will dissappear (though the footnote will still be there). To get the footnote window back, hold down the shift key and drag the black bar at the top right down to the middle of the window. The footnote window will reappear.

You will notice in this paper that just before the “tables” page and just after the “Footnotes” title is a double line going all the way across the page. This creates a new “section” in the document. The only purpose for this is so that the footnotes will all be dumped at this point. If you have no footnotes, feel free to delete the “Footnotes” title and the section division along with it.

Doing Statistics

If you are writing an empirical paper, you will want to include statistical stuff in it. Here are some suggestions.

Chi Square:

Use a lowercase “c” to represent the “Chi” symbol and format it in symbol font. Next to it, type a “2” and select it. Then choose “Character...” from the “Format” menu and make the “2” a 3 point superscript. When reporting the statistic, include degrees of freedom, the total N, and the significance level (remember to underline the “p”). For instance, 2 (4, N = 90) = 10.51, p< .05.

T tests:

List the means for the two conditions and then the T test with the degrees of freedom and the significance (underline t and p). For instance, As predicted, the first grade girls reported a greater liking for school (M = 4.63) than did the first grade boys (M = 1.38), t(22) = 2.62, p<.01.

F tests:

List the means or refer to a table or figure. If the F is for an interaction, explain the pattern of results in words. Then list the F score, the numerator and denominator degrees of freedom, and the significance level. For instance, As can be seen in Figure 1, high self monitors were more anxious in public than were low self monitors, but in private, the reverse occured (F (1,34) = 123.07, p < .001).


If you have more than two correlations to report, it is best to arrange them in a triangular table (see Table 1). When you want to refer to one correlation, report the correlation, the degrees of freedom, and the significance level. For instance, For this group of students, self monitoring was correlated with self esteem (r (39) = .45, p < .05).

Insert Table 1 about here

Doing the short title

The short title appears at the top of every page, on the right. It is different from the “running head.” You specify what you would like the running head of the final, typeset paper to be by listing it on the title page. The short title is different. It is meant to allow the editor to reassemble your manuscript if he or she drops it on the floor and scatters it among the other 300 pages of manuscripts for review that are also fumbled on the floor. Again, remember that APA style is to make editors’ lives easier, not yours.

To get to the short title of this paper, select “Open Header...” from the “Document” menu. A window will appear with the header in it. The automatic page numbering is done with the page number icon (in the upper left of the window). The page number is already inserted for this document, so you should not have to change it. If you need to, look on page 224 in the Microsoft Word Reference Manual.

Doing tables and figures

When you refer to a table or figure (like this paper did for the interaction), you need to tell the typesetters about where to put the table. You do this by placing the “Insert table” marker in the manuscript like this:

Insert Table 2 about here

This is a marker for the typesetter. You will include the actual table later in the paper. You follow the same directions for a figure. The “Insert Figure” marker looks like:

Insert Figure 1 about here

I have included two sample tables at the end of this paper. Both of them use special formatting “tricks” to make the table look nice. For instance, there are custom tab stops in each paragraph. Take the ACC advanced WORD workshop or ask a friend (or -gasp- read the manual) to best understand these tab settings. There are at least three kinds of tabs used: left align, center, and decimal tabs. The underlining is done using two methods. The lines that go all the way across the page come from the “Borders...” button in the format paragraph dialogue box (to get this dialogue box, select “Paragraph...” from the “Format” window). The shorter lines are done using the regular “Underline” command from the “Format” menu. The underlines that have no letters over them (for instance, on either side of the word “Intention” in Table 1) are underlines of option-spacebar spaces. If you hold down the option key and hit the spacebar, you get option-spaces. These have two nice properties: they can be underlined and words separated by option-spaces will be kept on the same line.
If your tables are simple, you may not need these fancy things, but a student consultant can help you if you do.

When you are including a figure, you will probably do it by hand or with a drawing program (like SuperPaint). Since figures are the very last things in APA style papers, you will not need to paste them into your paper. You can just print them and then put them at the end of your printed paper.


Abelson, R. P. (1974). Social psychology's rational man. unpublished manuscript.

Abramson, L. Y., Seligman, M. E. P., & Teasdale, J. D. (1978). Learned helplessness in humans: Critique and reformulation. Journal of abnormal psychology, 87, 49 - 74.

Bargh, J. A. (1983). Automatic and conscious processing of social information. In R. S. Wyer, & T. K. Srull (Eds.) The handbook of social cognition. Hillsdale, NJ: Erlbaum.

Barnes, B. (1982). T. S. Kuhn and social science. New York: Columbia University Press.

Author Notes
This contains thanks to various and sundry folks and institutions. The next page contains the footnotes title. Eliminate it if there are no footnotes. The dotted lines in the paper are indications of where page breaks will occur.


Table 1
Overall correlations and correlations split by shift work status.

Organizational Informed Computer Telephone


How Informed

do you feel? .427***

Communication .182*** .135**

Communication .088 .018 .158**

Communication .032 .063 .114* .385***

Correlations Split by Shift Work

Shift Workers (N = 76) Non-Shift Workers (N = 296)

_________________________ _________________________

Commit 2 3 4 Commit 2 3 4

2) Informed .330** .432***

3) Computer .335** .070 .163** .164**

4) Telephone -.025 -.080 .125 .104 .031 .178**

5) Paper -.032 -.096 -.147 .431*** -.012 .066 .126* .360***

*p < .05. **p < .01. ***p < .001.

Table 2

Mean judgments of subjects when judging all stories. This table title is underlined and flush left.

 Intentional   Negligent    Accidental 

Damage High Low High Low High Low

Experiment 1:

Foreseeability: 8.90 8.93 8.53 8.55 1.40 1.63

Intent: 8.95 9.00 2.80 2.75 1.20 1.40

Damage: 8.55 4.68 7.98 3.73 7.75 3.63

Punishment: 6.70 3.65 1.97 1.37 1.08 1.08

Experiment 2:

Foreseeability: 7.50 7.40 3.67 4.06 1.28 1.17

Intent: 8.67 8.22 2.61 2.06 1.17 1.22

Damage: 8.50 4.72 8.28 3.72 8.33 3.06

Punishment: 8.39 8.11 6.00 4.78 2.44 2.00

Figure Captions

Figure 1: This is a clear, short caption for the first figure. If it continues to the next line, it should be flush left.

Figure 2: This is a clear, short caption for the second figure. If it continues to the next line, it should be flush left.

1This is a sample footnote for this paper. I hope your footnotes are more helpful than this one.

2The explanation of doing footnotes assumes that you are not in “page view.” If you prefer to use page view, ask a consultant how footnotes work there.

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