How Do You Format a Running Head According to APA Guidelines?


Quick Answer

APA page headers use a short version of the paper title in all capital letters at the left of the page and the page number at the right side of the page. The title page adds the words ?Running head:? before the title at the left.

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Full Answer

The short paper title should be about 50 characters long, but keep the title meaningful and do not use partial words. The page number is only the number with no special formatting; the title page is numbered as page 1. The header should use 12 point type to match the paper itself; place the header within the upper 1-inch margin of the page. Since ?Running head:? only appears on the title page, you must set up a different first page header in a word processor.

The different title page is the most difficult part of the task. APAStyle.org has instructions available for how to create the page in Microsoft Word, plus several blog posts explaining the headers in more details linked in the ?Learning APA Style? page. Other word processors may require a style sheet to allow the different first page header, but may have reliable templates available to help with this task. Once you have the page headers set up correctly, save the document as a template to follow for the next paper.

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