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On the first page of your essay, usually the cover page, the running head is preceded by the words “Running head” followed by a colon.On subsequent pages, though, the running head is just the title. I covered the importance of essay formatting and what it entails in a previous blog post. If your teachers ask you to use APA essay format, then they simply mean to use the formatting guidelines laid out in this manual.
While the use of a cover page is not unique to APA, the manual does specify a preferred layout, which includes not only the aforementioned running head, but also the following elements: These items are roughly centered on the top half of the page and, like the rest of your essay, are double-spaced.
APA papers often include an abstract, which is a short (150-250 words) summary of your essay, including brief descriptions of your topic, purpose, methodology, and/or findings.
Sometimes, you’ll find a particularly meaty quote that you cannot resist adding to your paper.
Just remember that, if the quotation is more than 40 words in length, you need to create a block quotation.
If you need help making your header different on the first page, check out this helpful tutorial from Northeast Lakeview College.
Pro tip: Make sure that your running head is descriptive enough to give the reader some idea of the content.Your abstract should be double-spaced with the first line justified with the left margin (usually, an abstract is a single paragraph, so there’s no need to indent).While it’s not required, it’s not a bad idea to include keywords beneath your abstract if there’s a chance it will be included in a database as keywords make it easier to locate. “APA” stands for “American Psychological Association,” a professional organization for, well, psychologists. In post, we’re going to drill down into the specifics of APA formatting and how to ensure your essay looks just right.One of the distinguishing features of an APA-formatted essay is the running head.This is a short version of your title—fewer than 50 characters—that appears in the header of your document, justified with the left margin.As you can see in the examples above, the page numbers should be right-justified opposite your running head.Another key element of APA essay format is the cover page.But silliness aside, it an APA requirement, so we’ll comply. Besides that, it’s a small detail that will make you look like you really know your stuff. A level 1 heading is a “main” heading, such as “Literature Review” or “Methodology.” Level 2 headings are subheadings of level 1 headings, and level 3 headings are subheadings of level 2 headings, and so forth.Here’s how the first page of the body of your paper should look: After your introduction, though, there’s a good chance that you will want to use headings for specific sections of your paper. Each heading has its own specific format, as you can see in the table below.