In general, double-space all parts of an APA Style paper, including the abstract; text; block quotations; table and figure numbers, titles, and notes; and reference list (including between and within entries). Do not add extra space before or after paragraphs.

Exceptions to double line spacing are as follows:

  • title page: Insert a double-spaced blank line between the title and the byline on the title page. For professional papers, also include at least one double-spaced blank line above the author note (student papers do not include author notes). Double-space the rest of the title page.
  • tables: The table body (cells) may be single-spaced, one-and-a-half-spaced, or double-spaced, depending on which is the most effective layout for the information. Double-space the table number, title, and notes.
  • figures: Words within the image part of a figure may be single-spaced, one-and-a-half-spaced, or double-spaced, depending on which is the most effective layout for the information. Double-space the figure number, title, and notes.
  • footnotes: When inserting footnotes with the footnotes function of your word-processing program, use the default font settings (usually single-spaced and a slightly smaller font than the text).
  • displayed equations: It is permissible to apply triple- or quadruple-spacing in special circumstances, such as before and after a displayed equation.

These guidelines apply to APA Style student papers and to manuscripts being submitted for publication. If you are using APA Style in another context (e.g., on a website or in a formal publication), different line spacing and other formatting specifications may be appropriate.

Line spacing is covered in Section 2.21 of the APA Publication Manual, Seventh Edition

From the APA Style blog

APA Style student papers webinar

A new APA Style webinar, “A Step-by-Step Guide for APA Style Student Papers,” taking place on September 10, 2020, will provide detailed guidance on creating, formatting, and organizing APA Style student papers.

Last updated: July 2022Date created: September 2019