APA 7.0 General Paper Formatting

Southern States University

Paper Structure

Papers will have several sections to them. They should be organized in this order…

Title page

Main text of paper


Tables (if not included within the paper)

Figures (if not included within the paper)


Setting up your paper in APA

Use 8 ½ by 11” white paper, with margins of 1” all the way around.

Page numbers in the header in the right-hand corner.

Standard line spacing should be double spaced, with no extra between paragraphs.

Font should be Times Roman 12-point.

First line of a new paragraph should have a 0.5" indent.

Text alignment should be left aligned – text lines up on the left margin and is ragged/uneven on the right margin

Sample Paragraph

Title Page

The first page is the title page. It has

A header with the page number top right

3-4 lines down from the top

The title of your paper – IN BOLD

A blank line

Your name

Southern States University

Course number and course name

The professor's name

The assignment due date

Headings Throughout Paper

APA allows for 5 levels of headings to organize your paper. 

Level1​ Centered, Boldface, Title Case Heading​   Text begins as a new paragraph using the normal 1st line indent and left aligned text.
Level2 Flush left, Boldface, Title Case Heading​     Text begins as a new paragraph using the normal 1st line indent and left aligned text.​
Level3​ Flush Left, Boldface Italic, Title Case Heading​     Text begins as a new paragraph. using the normal 1st line indent and left aligned text​
Level4          Indented, Boldface Title Case Heading Ending With a Period. Paragraph text continues on the same line and continues as a regular paragraph. ​
Level5         Indented, Boldface Italic, Title Case Heading Ending With a Period. Paragraph text continues on the same line and continues as a regular paragraph. ​

Figures and Tables

A figure is an image / graph / screenshot / photograph. A table is a dataset. Figures and Tables are formatted the same in APA 7.0.


At the top of a page within the paper and a blank line after it

At the bottom of a page within the paper and a blank line before it 

OR each on its own page located after the References section

In all cases, the item should be placed AFTER it is mentioned in the paper.

Order of items

Number (in bold) — Figure 1, Table 1

Title (in italics and title case) – This is a Title for a Figure or a Table

The figure or table itself

Optional note describing what is in the item – Note. Here we see two examples of these items. Notice that the word note is in italics.

In-Text Citations

Southern States University

APA Style In-Text Citations

Any works that are mentioned in the body of your paper must be cited. 

There are two ways of citing the work of other authors 

by paraphrasing

by quoting directly

What Is Paraphrasing?

What was actually said:

We surveyed all of our MBA students last semester and 30.3 percent were engineers.

How it may look paraphrased:

Scott (2005) identified that about 30 percent of MBA students come from engineering backgrounds.

Several researchers (Richardson, 2012; Jacobs, 2012; Polk et al., 2011) reported that MBA programs of U.S. leading universities recruited more foreign students in 2011 than in 2010. 

Paraphrasing is when you summarize, reword, or give the highlights of something you read or heard.

Paraphrased Citations with Multiple Authors

For items with 1 Author

Part of the sentence: Jacobson (2021) believed…

Indirect: (Jacobson, 2021)

For items with 2 Authors

Part of the sentence: Karlen and Perti (2012) found…

Indirect: (Karlen & Perti, 2012)

For items with 3 or more Authors

Part of the sentence: Torgen et al. (2012) studied…

Indirect: (Torgen et al., 2012)

In-text Citations – Quoting directly

In addition to putting the author’s last name(s) and date, also include a page number when available or a paragraph number / section heading if there are no page numbers.

The period is placed at the end of the sentence after the citation.


“… the research findings indicate support for the hypotheses” (Douglass, 1986, p. 55).

Douglass (1986) said, "Users are more likely to click on a clearly indicated link" (p. 55).

“… the research findings indicate support for the hypotheses” (Douglass, 1986, para. 5).

“… the research findings indicate support for the hypotheses” (Douglass, 1986, User Results section).

Block Quotes

Any quote that you use that is 40 words or longer are called a BLOCK QUOTE. Block quotes have a special format to them.

They do not use “ ” but are indented from the left margin by .05”.

The . comes before the ( ).


After completing his comparison of multiple factors, he was able to affirm a hypothesis:     This is a block quote. I have more than 40 words. I     am indented to offset the text as not my original     idea. This is a block quote. I have more than 40     words. I am indented to offset the text as not my     original idea. (Douglass, 2019, p. 45)

References List

Southern States University

How to cite a single-authored BOOK

Ellet, W. (2007). The case study handbook: How to read, discuss, and write persuasively about cases. Boston, MA: Harvard Business School Press.


How to cite a dual-authored BOOK

Baran, S. J., & Davis, D. K. (1995). Mass communication theory. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth. http://doi.org/10:1002/piq.20033

*Note: when listing authors, use an ampersand (&) in the reference list, not “and.”

How to cite an ARTICLE

Kubasek, N.K. (2011). Effects of negative political advertising. Journal of Broadcasting & Electronic Media, 29, 149-159. http://doi.org/10:110/iq.23

*Note: The first letter of each word in the title of the PERIODICAL is capitalized.

Items with Several Authors

1-20 authors are formatted all the same with a & before the last author

Carrian, F., Karanhl, S., & Groqua, T. (2001). Testing for conceptual equivalence across cultures. Communication Monographs, 61, 256-279.

More than 20 authors is different. Only the first 19 are listed and then a … and then the last author.

Carrian, F., Karanhl, S., Groqua, T., Author4, Author5, Author6, Author7, Author8, Author9, Author10, Author11, Author12, Author13, Author14, Author15, Author16, Author17, Author18, O’Mear, J. … Erant, U. (2001). Testing for conceptual equivalence across cultures. Communication Monographs, 61, 256-279.

SOURCE Retrieval Information

Johnson, T. E. & Lee, G. (2009). Task performance in an online team-based learning environment. Performance Improvement Quarterly, 21(3), 97-112. http://doi.org/10:1002/piq.20033



Because online materials can potentially change URLs, APA recommends providing a Digital Object Identifier (DOI), when it is available, as opposed to the URL. DOIs are unique to their documents and consist of a long alphanumeric code. Regardless of how the doi is presented in the source you use, it will be put into this format in your paper:


If the item is online, look for the doi. It is not ok to leave it off if one exists.

SOURCES with no DOI listed

If an item from a research database (most things in LIRN) and is missing a DOI, do not include anything for the locator.

This does not include Statista! It counts as data sets and reports, not in this category.

All other online resources should list the URL after the final period for the rest of the citation.

U.S. Census Bureau. (2009). Bangor city, Maine: Selected social characteristics in the United States: 2005‐2007. In 2005‐2007 American Community Survey. http://factfinder.census.gov/servlet/ADPTable?_bm=y&‐geo_id=16000US2302795&‐context=adp&‐ds_name=ACS_2007_3YR_G00_&‐tree_id=3307&‐_lang=en&‐_caller=geoselect&‐format=

Rules to follow when writing your references page:

Start the reference section on a new page.

The word “References” should be centered at the top of the page in bold but should not be underlined or capitalized.

List citations alphabetically by the author’s last name. If you have more than one citation for the same author, order them from oldest to most recent.

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