General Format - Purdue OWL® - Purdue University (2024)

Please use the example at the bottom of this page to cite the Purdue OWL in APA.

You can also watch our APA vidcast series on the Purdue OWL YouTube Channel.

General APA Guidelines

Your essay should be typed and double-spaced on standard-sized paper (8.5" x 11"), with 1" margins on all sides.Include a page header (also known as the “running head”) at the top of every page. For a professional paper, this includes your paper title and the page number. For a student paper, this only includes the page number. To create a page header/running head, insert page numbers flush right. Then type "TITLE OF YOUR PAPER" in the header flush left using all capital letters. The running head is a shortened version of your paper's title and cannot exceed 50 characters including spacing and punctuation.


The 7th edition of the APA Publication Manual requires that the chosen font be accessible (i.e., legible) to all readers and that it be used consistently throughout the paper. It acknowledges that many font choices are legitimate, and it advises writers to check with their publishers, instructors, or institutions for guidance in cases of uncertainty.

While the APA Manual does not specify a single font or set of fonts for professional writing, it does recommend a few fonts that are widely available. These include sans serif fonts such as 11-point Calibri, 11-point Arial, and 10-point Lucida Sans Unicode as well as serif fonts such as 12-point Times New Roman, 11-point Georgia, 10-point Computer Modern.

Major Paper Sections

Your essay should include four major sections: the Title Page, Abstract, Main Body, and References.

Title Page

Note: APA 7 provides slightly different directions for formatting the title pages of professional papers (e.g., those intended for scholarly publication) and student papers (e.g., those turned in for credit in a high school or college course).

The title page should contain the title of the paper, the author's name, and the institutional affiliation. A professional paper should also include the author note. A student paper should also include the course number and name, instructor name, and assignment due date.

Type your title in upper and lowercase letters centered in the upper half of the page. The title should be centered and written in boldface. APA recommends that your title be focused and succinct and that it should not contain abbreviations or words that serve no purpose. Your title may take up one or two lines. All text on the title page, and throughout your paper, should be double-spaced.

Beneath the title, type the author's name: first name, middle initial(s), and last name. Do not use titles (Dr.) or degrees (PhD).

Beneath the author's name, type the institutional affiliation, which should indicate the location where the author(s) conducted the research.

A professional paper should include the author note beneath the institutional affiliation, in the bottom half of the title page. This should be divided up into several paragraphs, with any paragraphs that are not relevant omitted. The first paragraph should include the author’s name, the symbol for the ORCID iD, and the URL for the ORCID iD. Any authors who do not have an ORCID iD should be omitted. The second paragraph should show any change in affiliation or any deaths of the authors. The third paragraph should include any disclosures or acknowledgements, such as study registration, open practices and data sharing, disclosure of related reports and conflicts of interest, and acknowledgement of financial support and other assistance. The fourth paragraph should include contact information for the corresponding author.

A student paper should not include an author note.

Note again that page headers/page numbers (described above for professional and student papers) also appear at the top of the title page. In other words, a professional paper's title page will include the title of the paper flush left in all capitals and the page number flush right, while a student paper will only contain the page number flush right.

Student APA title page

General Format - Purdue OWL® - Purdue University (1)

Title page for a student paper in APA 7 style.

Professional paper APA title page

General Format - Purdue OWL® - Purdue University (2)

Title page for a professional paper in APA 7 style.


Begin a new page. Your abstract page should already include the page header (described above). On the first line of the abstract page, center and bold the word “Abstract” (no italics, underlining, or quotation marks).

Beginning with the next line, write a concise summary of the key points of your research. (Do not indent.) Your abstract should contain at least your research topic, research questions, participants, methods, results, data analysis, and conclusions. You may also include possible implications of your research and future work you see connected with your findings. Your abstract should be a single paragraph, double-spaced. Your abstract should typically be no more than 250 words.

You may also want to list keywords from your paper in your abstract. To do this, indent as you would if you were starting a new paragraph, type Keywords: (italicized), and then list your keywords. Listing your keywords will help researchers find your work in databases.

Abstracts are common in scholarly journal articles and are not typically required for student papers unless advised by an instructor. If you are unsure whether or not your work requires an abstract, consult your instructor for further guidance.

APA Abstract Page

General Format - Purdue OWL® - Purdue University (3)

Abstract page for a student paper in APA 7 style.

Please see our Sample APA Paper resource to see an example of an APA paper. You may also visit our Additional Resources page for more examples of APA papers.

How to Cite the Purdue OWL in APA

Individual Resources

The page template for the new OWL site does not include contributors' names or the page's last edited date. However, select pagesstill include this information.

In the absence of contributor/edit date information, treat the page as a source with a group author and use the abbreviation "n.d." for "no date":

Purdue Online Writing Lab.(n.d.).Title of resource.Purdue Online Writing Lab. http://Web address for OWL resource

Purdue Online Writing Lab.(n.d.).General Writing FAQs. Purdue Online Writing Lab.

The generic APA citation for OWL pages, which includes author/edit date information, is this:

Contributors' names. (Last edited date).Title of resource. Site Name. http://Web address for OWL resource

Note:This page reflects the latest version of the APA Publication Manual (i.e., APA 7), which released in October 2019. The equivalent resource for the older APA 6 stylecan be found here.

General Format - 
			 Purdue OWL® -  Purdue University (2024)


How do you format the title Owl Purdue? ›

Type your title in upper and lowercase letters centered in the upper half of the page. The title should be centered and written in boldface. APA recommends that your title be focused and succinct and that it should not contain abbreviations or words that serve no purpose. Your title may take up one or two lines.

What is the basic book format owl Purdue? ›

Basic Book Format

Last Name, First Name. Title of Book. City of Publication, Publisher, Publication Date. *Note: the City of Publication should only be used if the book was published before 1900, if the publisher has offices in more than one country, or if the publisher is unknown in North America.

Can you use bullet points in APA Purdue Owl? ›

If your bulleted list is part of the sentence and is not preceded by a colon, treat the bullets like a part of the sentence, adhering to standard capitalization and punctuation.

How do you format dialogue in Purdue owl? ›

Writing Dialogue

Write each person's spoken words, however brief, as a separate paragraph. Use commas to set off dialogue tags such as "she said" or "he explained." If one person's speech goes on for more than one paragraph, use quotation marks to open the dialogue at the beginning of each paragraph.

How do you format titles correctly? ›

When copying a title or subtitle, capitalize the first word, last word, and all principal words. This includes nouns, pronouns, verbs, adjectives, adverbs, and subordinating conjunctions. Subordinating conjunctions are words like after, if, until. Most titles should be italicized or enclosed in quotation marks.

What is the standard APA format? ›

General APA Guidelines

Your essay should be typed and double-spaced on standard-sized paper (8.5" x 11"), with 1" margins on all sides. You should use a clear font that is highly readable. APA recommends using 12 pt. Times New Roman font.

What is an F at Purdue? ›

A: A grade of F (Failing) is awarded to students who complete the course and participate in activities through the end of the term but fail to achieve the course objectives.

How many essays are required for Purdue? ›

Purdue application essay requirements

There are two Purdue essay prompts required of all applicants.

What is Purdue's acceptance rate? ›

What is an example of APA format? ›

Basic Format: Author, A. A., & Author, B. B. (Year). Title of article. Title of Journal, volume number(issue number), page range.

Should n be italicized? ›

Use standard typeface (no bolding or italicization) when writing Greek letters, subscripts that function as identifiers, and abbreviations that are not variables. Use an italicized, uppercase N to refer to a total population. Use an italicized, lowercase n to refer to a sample of the population.

How do I format a list? ›

Rules for stand-alone lists:
  1. Use a heading, not a lead-in.
  2. Start each list item with a capital letter.
  3. Don't add full stops to the end of any of the list items (even the last item).
  4. Indent each list item if it helps people scan the content.

What size font is Purdue Owl MLA format? ›

The font size should be 12 pt. Leave only one space after periods or other punctuation marks (unless otherwise prompted by your instructor). Set the margins of your document to 1 inch on all sides. Indent the first line of each paragraph one half-inch from the left margin.

What is the spacing for Purdue Owl memos? ›

Welcome to the Purdue OWL

The format of a memo follows the general guidelines of business writing. A memo is usually a page or two long, single spaced and left justified. Instead of using indentations to show new paragraphs, skip a line between sentences.

What is the correct format for dialogue? ›

For American writing, you will use a set of quotation marks (” “). These are placed directly before and after the dialogue spoken by your character. Furthermore, the quotation marks are placed around any punctuation, such as a comma, question mark, or exclamation mark.

How do you write the title in APA format? ›

Basics of formatting an APA title page in Word
  1. Title of the paper​: All major words capitalized. Bolded. Positioned in the upper-middle of the page (hit Enter 3-4 times) ...
  2. Author name​ (your name)
  3. Affiliation, or name of the college ​
  4. Course number: Course Name​
  5. Name of the instructor​
  6. Date the paper is due​

Are book titles italicized in APA Purdue owl? ›

Titles of books and reports are italicized; titles of articles, chapters, and web pages are in quotation marks.” For example, a parenthetical citation for an edition of a dictionary would be: (Merriam-Webster's 1993)." The bibliographical citation is as follows: Merriam-Webster's collegiate dictionary (10th ed.).

How do you format a citation title? ›

Basic book citation format

The book title is written in sentence case (only capitalize the first word and any proper nouns). Include any other contributors (e.g. editors and translators) and the edition if specified (e.g. “2nd ed.”). Last name, Initials. (Year).

How do you MLA format a title? ›

The title should be centered and should not be underlined, bolded, italicized, or in any new font style. The title should be in Title Case (using capital letters for principal words but not conjunctions, prepositions, or articles). The header and title should both be double-spaced, just like the rest of the text.

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