Consistency in the order, structure, and format of a paper allows readers to focus on a paper’s content rather than its presentation.

To format a paper in APA Style, writers can typically use the default settings and automatic formatting tools of their word-processing program or make only minor adjustments. 

The guidelines for paper format apply to both student assignments and manuscripts being submitted for publication to a journal. If you are using APA Style to create another kind of work (e.g., a website, conference poster, or PowerPoint presentation), you may need to format your work differently in order to optimize its presentation, for example, by using different line spacing and font sizes. Follow the guidelines of your institution or publisher to adapt APA Style formatting guidelines as needed.

Photo of APA Publication Manual open to Chapter  2

Paper format is covered in Chapter 2 of APA Publication Manual, Seventh Edition

Additional Resources

Publication Manual 6th Edition

6th Edition Resources

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Dictionary of Psychology

APA Dictionary of Psychology

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