If you’re a student or working in the academic field, you’re probably somewhat familiar with the APA format. However, formatting your paper according to APA guidelines can be daunting, especially if you’re using a tool like Google Docs.
But fear not! In this article, we’ll teach you how to use APA format in Google Docs and access its built-in APA templates to save you time and effort in the long run.
Let’s dive in!
Table of Contents
What Is APA Format?
APA stands for American Psychological Association. From its name, it’s easy to guess that this stylehas become the standard for many disciplines, including psychology, education, and social sciences.
The APA Styleis a standard format used in essays, research, and other forms of academic writing.
Related: How to Do MLA Format on Google Docs [Step-by-Step Guide]
How to Set Up APA Format in Google Docs
Before starting the writing process, it’s essential to customize the appearance of your document. This ensures that every important section in an APA-style paper is present. As of writing, APA is in its seventh edition(APA 7). Therefore, we’ll use this version in the following guide.
Here’s how to do APA format in Google Docs.
Step 1: Configure Margin Settings
By default, a new document in Google Docs has one-inch margins on all sides. If you’ve changed your default settings at some point in the past, you’ll need to modify them for APA.
- Go to “File,” then select“Page setup.”
- Ensure that all margins are set at 1 inch(or in the margin size specified by your instructor).
- Click“OK”when done.
Step 2: Add Page Headers
- In the drop-down menu bar, select “Insert” > “Headers & footers” > “Header.”
- If you’re writing the paper for professional use, type the title in all caps (as a running head). If not, skip step three.
- Highlight the page header and select“Times New Roman,”size 12 as the font.
- Under the Header menu, click on the “Options”drop-down and choose “Page numbers.”
- Ensure that the value in the “Start at”field is 1. Click on the “Apply”button to insert the pagination.
- Place your cursor at the immediate left of the page number. Press the“Tab”key and/or the spacebar on your keyboard to flush the page number to the right.
Step 3: Set up the APA Format for Title Page in Google Docs
- Click on any part of your document.
- Change the font style by clicking on the “Font”drop-down menu and selecting “Times New Roman.”
- Adjust the font size to 12 using the “Font size”option in the Google Docs toolbar.
- Click on the “Line & paragraph spacing”button (denoted by an up-down arrow with three horizontal lines). Select“Double.”
- Press the“Enter” or“Return”key on your keyboard three to four times.
- Click on “Align” > “Center align”in the toolbar to flush the text to the middle of the page.
- Type your paper title and make it bold by pressing“Ctrl” + “B”(or “Cmd” + “B”for Mac) on your keyboard.
- Alternatively, highlight the title and click the“B” (Bold) button on the toolbar at the top.
- Add a new line, then type the name of the author(s) below it.
- Repeat the previous step to add the following information:
- For students: Author’s school, course number and name, name of the instructor, and assignment due date.
- For professionals: Author’s affiliation (where the research was conducted), notes from the author, and ORCiD link.
- To start a new page, select“Insert” > “Break” > “Page break.”
Step 4: Insert an Abstract Page
An abstract pagepresents the overall gist of your paper. It contains both the summary and a list of keywords related to your topic. Note that this is only important for professional papers.
To insert an abstract page, simply follow the steps below.
- On a new page after the title page, type “Abstract”and select“Align” > “Center align”in the toolbar.
- Make it bold by pressing “Ctrl” + “B”(or“Cmd” + “B”for Mac).
- Press “Enter”to start a new line.
- Enable“Left align”and begin typing your abstract.
Step 5: Type the Full Paper Title & Start Writing
Having laid out the basic formatting of your paper, you can now begin writing your content. On the first line of a new page, you’ll have to enter the full title of your work. This should be bolded, centered, and using an APA-style title case.
When it comes to the body of your paper or dissertation, there are a few more elements to remember.
Apply the Correct Paragraph Format
When using the APA style, your paragraphs should be aligned to the left margin. Each paragraph should also start with a 0.5-inch indentation. In Google Docs, pressing the “Tab”key on your keyboard should produce a half-inch indentation by default.
If you’re citing original text from another source with more than 40 words, you should use a “block quotation.”This means the whole block or paragraph is indented ½ inch to the right (but remains left-aligned).
Related: Easily Insert a Google Sheet Into Google Docs [2023 Guide]
Use In-Text Citations Properly
When getting information from other references, make sure to use in-text citations. You can do this in two ways:
- (Author’s surname, publication year, and page number): This is called a parenthetical citation. You can insert it right after a quote or at the end of a sentence. The page number is important if you’re citing specific lines from another source. But you can remove it if you’re citing the summary of an entire paper.
- [Author] reported that…(Publication year): This is called a narrative citation. Here, the surname of the author is part of the paragraph itself. You only need to enclose the publication year in parentheses.
How to Format References for APA Style
You have to give credit to every source used in your APA research and paper. This allows your instructor or reader to verify whether certain information in your work is true. Therefore, you must have a References page at the end of your document.
Here’s how to set it up.
- On a new page, type the word“References”on the first line.
- Put it in center alignment and make it bold.
- Start a new line and input the correct format for your source type.
- After listing your references, alphabetize them based on thesurnames of the authors.
- Highlight your reference list.
- Go to “Format” > “Align & indent” > “Indentation options.”
- Under “Special indent,”select “Hanging” from the drop-down menu.
- Click on the“Apply” button.
How to Use the APA Google Docs Templates
Here’s how you can set them up for your use.
- Launch your browser and go to the Google Docs homepage.
- Click on “Template Gallery.”
- Under the“Education”category, select “Report”with the words “APA 6th Ed.”or “APA 7th Ed.”below it (depending on what your instructor requires).
You can also access the templates from a blank document you created. To do this, click on “File” > “New” > “From template.”This will redirect you to the same Template Gallery. Select any of the two APA formats to proceed.
Doing the steps above would open an APAformattemplate in Google Docs. All you have to do is insert your content.
It’s important to note that APA formatting for professional and student papers differs slightly. This is noticeable, especially when making the APA cover page in Google Docs. These templates have parentheses that say “for professional papers”and “for student papers.” Select what applies to you and delete the other unnecessary parts of the template.
Get Even More APAFormat Tips and Templates!
By following this guide to using APA format in Google Docs, you’ll ensure that papers meet your educational institution’s formatting requirements (while giving your work a professional and polished look).
Need more assistance with APA? Not to worry: Udemy’s got plenty of APA formatting coursesto give you a leg-up!
Looking for powerful templates to improve your work output? You can find them on our Gumroad page! Check out our huge list of templates and get 50% off by using the code “SSP.”
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Go to Google Docs and instead of clicking to start a Blank document, look above to where it says Template Gallery. Click on Template Gallery, make sure that General is selected, and in the Education section, find the APA Report template.How to do APA Style paper in Google Docs? ›
Go to Google Docs and instead of clicking to start a Blank document, look above to where it says Template Gallery. Click on Template Gallery, make sure that General is selected, and in the Education section, find the APA Report template.How to do an APA Style header in Google Docs? ›
- On your computer, open a document in Google Docs.
- In the top left, click Insert. Header & page number.
- Choose Header or Footer.
- Enter text for the header or footer.
Font Acceptable fonts are Times New Roman, 12 pt. or Courier New, 12 pt. in the upper half of the page. Margins: All margins — top, bottom, left, and right — are set to 1” throughout the paper. Spacing The paper is double spaced throughout, including the title page, all quotations, notes, and the refer- ences page.What is a APA format example? ›
APA in-text citation style uses the author's last name and the year of publication, for example: (Field, 2005). For direct quotations, include the page number as well, for example: (Field, 2005, p. 14). For sources such as websites and e-books that have no page numbers, use a paragraph number.What font and size for APA? ›
APA recommends using either a sans serif font such as 11-point Calibri, 11-point Arial, or 10-point Lucida Sans Unicode, or a serif font such as 12-point Times New Roman, 11-point Georgia, or 10-point Computer Modern. Include a page header (also known as the “running head”) at the top of every page.What header to use for APA? ›
The header should have a running head with a short title on the left and page number on the right. On the title page only, include the words “Running head” followed by a colon and a short title for the paper in ALL CAPS.What header is used in APA format? ›
A running head, also called a page header, is a line at the top of each page of a document that gives the reader important information. For APA format, the running head includes a shortened version (no more than 50 characters) of the title of the document IN CAPITAL LETTERS, as well as the page number.Does Google Docs have a research paper template? ›
Here are two Google Docs templates you can use for APA or MLA formatted papers. The templates are View Only, so you will need to make a copy if you want to use one.How do you make a APA Style Cover Page? ›
- A running head (professional papers only) and page number.
- The title of the paper.
- The name of the author(s)
- The institutional affiliation.
- An author note; optional (professional papers only)
- A student paper should also include course information.
Your specific question: Note that APA style calls it a "Title Page" rather than a "Cover Page". Any manuscript submitted to a journal using APA style requires a title page (i.e., with title, author names, affiliations, author note, etc.).Is there a website that will put my paper in APA format? ›
The best thing you can do now, is head to the APA beta sign up page, and save a spot in line. The new APA style tools will format every part of an essay automatically. Headers, in-text citations, covers, and resource pages will all be included in documents created with Formatically.What should an APA 7 paper look like? ›
- Font & Font Size: Be sure to use the same font throughout your entire paper. ...
- Margins: 1 inch on all sides.
- Paragraphs: All paragraphs (except in the Abstract) should be indented.
- Spacing: All of the text in your paper should be double-spaced (title page included)
In your Word document, click on the References tab in the Ribbon. In the Citations & Bibliography group, click the arrow next to Style. Click the style that you want to use for the citation and source.Is APA formatting double spaced? ›
APA (2020) recommends the use of double spacing for “the entire paper, including the title page, abstract, text, headings, block quotations, reference list, table and figure notes, and appendices” (p. 45).What are two parts of APA Style? ›
APA citation style has two parts. In-text citation - which points to the source from which the writer is drawing, and the full reference list at the end of the paper. This video shows what the APA reference list looks like and will teach you how to format references for an online journal article and a book.Is APA 7 double spaced? ›
Use double line spacing throughout the text, including "the title page, abstract, text, headings, block quotations, reference list, table and figure notes, and appendices" (APA, 2020, p. 45); extra lines should not be inserted before or after section headings or between paragraphs (APA, 2020, p. 45).How do you write APA correctly? ›
- Type on standard-size (8.5-inch by 11-inch) paper.
- Have a 1-inch margin on all sides.
- Have a title page, a reference list, and a byline.
- Use an easy-to-read font such as Calibri or Times New Roman.
- Double-space the whole paper.
- Align text to the left-hand side.
An APA reference page includes the title “References,” bold and centered at the top, and all references written double-spaced. It uses a hanging indent, which means the first line of each entry is not indented, but all lines after the first are.What is the difference between APA format and APA Style? ›
APA format, also known as APA style, is one of the styles used in academic writing. Specifically, it's used in psychology, sociology, anthropology, and the other social sciences. APA style was developed by the American Psychological Association in 1929.
An APA-style paper includes the following sections: title page, abstract, introduction, method, results, discussion, and references. Your paper may also include one or more tables and/or figures. Different types of information about your study are addressed in each of the sections, as described below.What is the biggest font for APA paper? ›
The range for the font sizes is from 8 to 14 points, and the font styles are those that allow for the greatest readability. For the written text, usually the preferred size is from 10 point to 12 point.What is the best font to use for a research paper? ›
The serif font group includes Times New Roman, Garamond, and MS Serif (Lee, 2013). For this reason, most professors choose to have students write their papers in Times New Roman, a rule that has sound APA support.Do you put page numbers in APA? ›
Each page, including the title page, should have a page number (no last name) in the top-right corner and one-inch margins. APA 7 standard for students does not require a running head.Do you title conclusion in APA format? ›
APA-styled papers end with a concluding paragraph(s) followed by the list of reference entries (APA, 2020). The concluding paragraph(s) appear at the end of the body section without the heading of “Conclusion” and includes information about findings or conclusions revealed through the research process.Do I put my name in the header APA? ›
All text on the title page, and throughout your paper, should be double-spaced. The author's name (your name): beneath the title, type the author's name: first name, middle initial(s), and last name. Do not use titles (Dr.) or degrees (Ph. D).What font should APA title page be? ›
B. The title page is page one (1), placed in the top right corner in 12-point font.
One of the many benefits to using Google Docs to write a thesis is that you don't have to constantly move between windows to get things done. Most of your research is done in-browser, and your writing belongs right next to it. But with great power comes great responsibility.How do I organize my Google Docs templates? ›
On the Settings for Sites page, click Templates - classic Sites. In the Categories section, type a category name in the field and click Save. Your category is now listed above the field. (Optional) Enter more names to add as many categories as you want.What should an APA 7 cover page look like? ›
The title page includes the following elements: Page number, Paper title, Author, Author Affiliation, Course, Instructor, and Due Date. Remember, your instructor can include other requirements for your assignment. Refer to their instructions carefully. Your title page and paper is double-spaced.
Indent the first line of each paragraph of text 0.5 in. from the left margin. Use the tab key or the automatic paragraph-formatting function of your word-processing program to achieve the indentation (the default setting is likely already 0.5 in.). Do not use the space bar to create indentation.How do you start a paragraph in APA format? ›
Your paragraph text begins a double-spaced line below the heading, with a ½-inch indentation at the start of each paragraph. Indented, bold, lowercase, and ending with a period. Your paragraph text begins two spaces after the period at the end of the heading.How long is a paragraph in APA 7? ›
Aim for three to five or more sentences per paragraph. Include on each page about two handwritten or three typed paragraphs. Make your paragraphs proportional to your paper.What not to say in an APA paper? ›
APA writing style needs to be formal. Avoid using slang words and avoid contractions, such as 'don't', 'won't', couldn't. ' Whilst APA is trying to move towards a more personal style, that does not mean informality, as if you were writing a friendly e-mail.What app helps with APA format? ›
Grammarly makes it easy to build APA-format citations and helps ensure your entire paper is polished.Can I use the word I in an APA paper? ›
Yes, APA language guidelines encourage you to use the first-person pronouns “I” or “we” when referring to yourself or a group including yourself in your writing. In APA Style, you should not refer to yourself in the third person.Do APA papers need headings? ›
Most college papers do not need headings, especially if you are only producing two to five pages. However, if your professor requests you use headings or your are writing an especially long or detailed paper, then use headings to help readers navigate your text.What makes a good APA paper? ›
Your APA paper should include five major sections: the Title Page, Abstract, Main Paper, Paper Format and References And Citations. See the timeline handout for important due dates.Do you indent paragraphs in APA 7? ›
Indent the first line of each paragraph of text 0.5 in. from the left margin. Use the tab key or the automatic paragraph-formatting function of your word-processing program to achieve the indentation (the default setting is likely already 0.5 in.).Can you get APA 7th edition on word? ›
Try Mendeley referencing software. It is free and has the option of referencing in APA 7th edition style. It can also be added as a plugin to word.
- Title page (also known as a cover page).
- Font options: sans serif fonts such as 11-point Calibri, 11-point Arial, or 10-point Lucida Sans Unicode. ...
- Double-spaced. ...
- References page always starts on a new page.
- Page numbers. ...
- Margins. ...
- Citations and reference list.
Open a document in Google Docs and click Tools. Citations. In the sidebar, select your formatting style from MLA, APA, or Chicago Author-Date.What is the difference between APA and APA 7th edition? ›
The seventh edition changes only level three, four, and five headings. All headings are now written in title case (important words capitalized) and boldface. Headings are distinguished only by the use of italics, indentation, and periods. Text starts a new paragraph.What font do you use for APA 7th edition? ›
APA recommends using either a sans serif font such as 11-point Calibri, 11-point Arial, or 10-point Lucida Sans Unicode, or a serif font such as 12-point Times New Roman, 11-point Georgia, or 10-point Computer Modern. Include a page header (also known as the “running head”) at the top of every page.