The page header appears within the top margin of every page of the paper.

  • For student papers, the page header consists of the page number only.
  • For professional papers, the page header consists of the page number and running head.

Page numbers

Follow these guidelines to include page numbers in both student and professional APA Style papers:

  • Use the page-numbering function of your word-processing program to insert page numbers.
  • Insert page numbers in the top right corner. The page number should show on all pages.
  • The title page carries page number 1.

Page headers are covered in Section 2.18 of the APA Publication Manual, Seventh Edition

Running head

The running head is an abbreviated version of the title of your paper (or the full title if the title is already short). The running head is not required for student papers unless the instructor or institution requests it. Thus, typically only professional papers include a running head.

Follow these guidelines to include a running head in an APA Style paper:

  • Type the running head in all-capital letters.
  • Ensure the running head is no more than 50 characters, including spaces and punctuation.
  • Avoid using abbreviations in the running head; however, the ampersand symbol (&) may be used rather than “and” if desired.
  • The running head appears in the same format on every page, including the first page.
  • Do not use the label “Running head:” before the running head.
  • Align the running head to the left margin of the page header, across from the right-aligned page number.

View the sample papers to see how the running head and page number appear in APA Style papers.

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.

illustration of fireworks exploding

Running head or no running head?

The new APA Style guidelines have separate instructions for students and professionals.

Last updated: July 2022Date created: September 2019