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Create APA™ Format Document Using Microsoft Word

The purpose of this tutorial is to show you how to set up your APA™ format document using Word 2013. Whether you want to just download the template and go or if you want to follow step-by-step directions I got you covered! This can be done with any of the 3 methods covered below:

Method 1: Just download template pre-configured:
  1. Download APA™ format template (.docx)
  2. Open the document with Word 2013 and begin writing your essay.

 

Method 2: Use Word’s built-in template:
  1. Open Word 2013

 Type “apa” into the search box. This will display a template that is provided by Microsoft for you to use freely.

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3. Click on the first template named “APA™ style report (6th edition)”.

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4. Make sure to File –> “Save As” to save the document to your computer.

5. Begin writing your essay. Most of the pages on this document are useless for most students so please consult your instructor about what he/she requires of you. For example, I was only required to use the Title page, essay body, and references page. Others want an “Abstract” page. Know what is required ahead of time so you set yourself for success!

 

Method 3: Slow and inconvenient way.

1. Open Word 2013 to a blank document.

2. Type the essay title, your name, name of the class, essay due date, and instructor’s name. 

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3. Select all text in your document with the mouse or by pressing Ctrl+A. Now that the text is selected we need to set the proper font settings. Change the font to “Times New Roman” and the font size needs to be “12”.

4. With the text still selected, open the paragraph settings (see screenshot where to click).

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5. Set “After” to 0 and change the “Line Spacing” to Double. Click the “OK” button to close the dialog.

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6. Now that we have the proper settings configured let’s make sure the rest of the document uses these settings for the whole document. While the text is still selected, right-click the Normal style and choose “Update Normal to Match Selection”.

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7. Center your text!

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8. Position the text cursor (blinking bar) before the beginning of the essay title. Press “Enter” 9 times to position the text center page. Be sure to re-adjust for team essay papers because a group of student names can take a few lines. Just make your best judgment on centering the text vertically.

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9. The title page is now complete! Let’s work on the rest of the document. To add a second-page click at the end of your instructor’s name. Click on “INSERT” –> “Page Break” or Ctrl+Enter.

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10. On the first line of page 2 type “Abstract” and center text.

11. Set the second line text to the left-align. Begin writing. The abstract summarizes the problem, participants, hypotheses, methods used, results, and conclusions. Not all instructors require this page.

12. When you are finished, click on “INSERT” –> Page Break or Ctrl+Enter to create page 3.

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13. On the first line of page 3 type in your essay title and center it.

14. Set the second line text to left-align and press Tab (from your keyboard) to indent the first paragraph of your essay. Begin writing your essay.

15. When you finished, click on “INSERT” –> Page Break or Ctrl+Enter to create page 4.

16. On the first line of page 4 type in “References” and have it centered.

17. Set the second line text to left-align and paste your references here. Be sure to italicize the title of your sources, and alphabetize your reference list. Also left-align the first line of your reference. If the reference goes onto 2 or more lines make sure to indent them. See screenshot for example.

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18. The final step we need in our APA™ format document is a header. Scroll to the top of your document (page 1). Double click anywhere on the top of the page. This will open the header. Check the “Different First Page” box (shown in the picture).

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19. To insert the page number click on the “Page Number” button located top left of the screen. This will show a popup menu, click “Top of Page” –> “Plain Number 1”.

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20. Type “Running head:” followed by the name of your essay in all capitalized letters. See screenshot for reference.

21. To move the number to the right side, hit Tab twice.

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22. Scroll down until you see the header for page 2. Insert the page number using the same method in step 18. Type your essay title in all capitalized letters and hit Tab twice to position the number to the right.

23. Exit out of header mode by double-clicking the body of the page. We are now done setting up the APA™ format document! Now go back to page 3 and finish writing your essay.

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American Psychological Association (APA), are registered trademarks of the American Psychological Association.