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APA @ Sullivan University: APA Paper Sections

A guide to the use of the American Psychological Association Manual of Style at Sullivan University.

Printable copy of the paper sections (along with variations)

What are the paper sections?

The title page is the first page of your paper.

The title page will have a running head at the top left of the page and the page number 1 at the top right side of the page.

Papers submitted for Sullivan University classes will have a title page that is a modified version of what is indicated in the 6th edition of thePublication Manual of the American Psychological Association.

Scroll down to about 1/3 of the page to enter the title page components.

The title page should be centered, double-spaced, and in Times New Roman, 12-font.

The title page will consist of:

  • The title of the paper.
    • The title should be no more than 12 words in length.
    • NOTE: Be sure to capitalize the first letter of any proper nouns and words with 4 or more letters. The first letter of the beginning of the title and the first letter of the first word of a subtitle must always be capitalized. Example- The Value of Travel Information: A Search-Theoretic Approach.
  • The author(s) of the paper.
  • The institutional affiliation (Sullivan University).
  • The course number and course name (for example: ENG 101: Composition I).
  • The date of submission of the paper - the due date (for example: December 12, 2012).
    • NOTE: Be careful when entering the date of submission. Microsoft Word has an autofunction feature which will change a date to the current day's date.

 You can view an example of the Title Page by clicking the SAMPLE PAPER tab.

The abstract is a short summary of your paper.

An abstract should express both the main idea (subject) of the paper and what the research on the subject reveals.

An abstract with keywords is a requirement for the majority of papers submitted for Sullivan University classes. There are a few exceptions.

The exceptions are:

  • Smaller essays (3 pages or less)
  • Informal writings (in almost all instances, the paper will be 3 pages or less).
  • Papers over 3 pages in length that are formatted in APA style but do not contain a citation or reference.

The abstract will begin on page two of your paper, and will immediately follow the title page.

The abstract and the remainder of your paper will have a running head, which is different than the title page's running head (do not include the wording Running head:), and page numbers.

To type the abstract:

  • Center the word Abstract at the top of the page (after the running head and page number).
  • Align the abstract to the left of the page.
  • Do not indent the abstract.
  • Double-space the abstract.

The abstract is a single paragraph and should be no more than 1/2 (half) a page in length. You need only to provide the most relevant information.

Keywords should be included with an abstract. Keywords, especially if the paper is in an electronic format, can help the reader retreive a paper. Keywords also indicate the most important aspects of your paper.

To list keywords:

  • Double-space after the abstract paragraph. (You may need to click the small arrow on the right side of the Paragraph group and make sure that the "Don't add space between paragraphs of the same style" is clicked to avoid a small extra space between the abstract paragraph and the keywords).
  • Click the HOME tab. Click the Center icon, located in the Paragraph Group.
  • Italicize and type the following:    Keywords:
  • After typing Keywords:, without italicizing or capitalizing (except proper nouns), type up to five keywords. Keywords are one word or two-word or short phrases that describe your paper.

It is a good idea to write the abstract after you have completed the essay.

 

You can view an example of the Abstract by clicking the SAMPLE PAPER tab. 

The main body is the heart of your paper. It starts on page 3. If there is not an abstract, the main body will start on page 2. 

NOTE: What is included in the main body of your paper will depend on what type of paper you are writing. Be sure that you understand what is expected (i.e., the type of paper, the number of pages, the number of references, etc.).

When writing the paper, you will need to document your sources within the body of the paper with in-text citations.

Center the paper's complete title at the top of the page (under the running head and page number). Capitalize proper nouns and the first letter of the words with more than 4 letters. The first letter of the first word of the title and subtitle (if any) must be capitalized. 

The rest of the paper is left-aligned and double-spaced with 1" margins. The paragraphs are indented. (NOTE: There are some exceptions, including block quotations of 40 or more words).

Here are step-by-step instructions on formatting the main body of the paper:

  1. Click the Home tab.
  2. Click the Center icon, located in the Paragraph Group.
  3. Type the paper's full title using both uppercase and lowercase letters. Do not place the title on other pages of the main body of the paper.
  4. Press the Enter key on your keyboard.
  5. Click the Align Text Left icon, located in the Paragraph Group.
  6. Click the small arrow located to the right of the Paragraph group name.   
  7. The Paragraph box will open.
    1. Under Special, change the box to First Line by 0.5".
    2. Using Spacing, leave (or change) the box to Double.
    3. Click the box next to Don't add space between paragraphs of the same style.
    4. Click OK.
  8. Start to type your paper. If all the settings are correct, your paragraphs will be indented and double-spaced.

 

 

You can view an example of the Main Body of the Paper by clicking the SAMPLE PAPER tab. 

NOTE: Some graduate school (and a few undergraduate) classes require headings in the main body. If you have any questions about whether headings are needed in your paper, please check with your instructor. If headings are needed, please consult pages 62-63 in the APA 6 manual on how to organize and format a "manuscript with headings." The APA 6 Blog also provides information on How to Use Five Levels of Heading in an APA Style Paper as well as how to format each level of heading.

The reference page provides identifying information about the resources that were used in your paper.

The reference page follows the main body of the paper.

Center the word References at the top of the page (under the running head and page number). Do not bold, underline, italicize the word References or add quotation marks.

The reference entries will be placed on the page in alphabetical order. The entries are left-aligned and double-spaced with a hanging indent. With a hanging indent, the first line of each entry begins at the left margin; any additional lines for the same entry are tabbed or indented 5 spaces from the left margin to create a hanging indentation.

There are different ways of formatting your sources, depending on the type of source (i.e., book, periodical, etc.). Go to the References section for detailed information.  NOTE: Sullivan University has a variation in the formatting of periodical article entries. This concerns the use of a Digital Object Identifier (DOI), the electronic database name, or a website.

Here are step-by-step instructions on formatting the reference page of the paper:

 

  • Click the Home tab.
  • Click the Center icon, located in the Paragraph Group.
  • Type the word References.
  • Press the Enter key on your keyboard.
  • Click the Align Text Left icon, located in the Paragraph Group.
  • Click the small arrow located to the right of the Paragraph group name.
  • The Paragraph box will open.
  • Set your references' indentation and spacing.
    • Under Special, change the box to Hanging by 0.5".
    • Under Spacing, leave (or change) the box to Double.
    • Click OK.
  • Start to type your references. If all the settings are correct, your reference entries will have a hanging indent and be double-spaced. Remember that your reference entries need to be in alphabetical order.

 

You can view an example of the Reference page by clicking the SAMPLE PAPER tab.

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