How To Format Headings And Subheadings In An APA Research Paper?


Are you working on the format for headings in your upcoming research paper? In that case, you may be using the APA standard to outline your document. This set of rules is well documented online, the academic community is active in this regard. This selection is suitable for writers who need to present documents on scientific issues and other academic matters.

As you may already know, the aim of this format is to facilitate the reading comprehension of the audience. Moreover, these conventions serve as a standard for punctuation rules, abbreviations, titles, and subtitles. Research papers require that headings and subheadings are presented in the following format options:

  • Times New Roman font
  • 12 pt
  • double- spaced
  • No extra line space between paragraphs and titles should be included.

APA style format for headings & subheadings

So far, there are many handbooks and revisions for the guidelines in the APA format.

It is important to be updated in the latest recommendations of the standard in order to make good use of the style; you will be able to check these instructions online. The rules of the handbook’s sixth edition, separate the titles into five categories:

  1. First Level
    • Bolded
    • The first letter of each word is capitalized
  2. Second Level
    • Bolded
    • Flushed to the left
    • The first letter of each word is capitalized
  3. Third Level
    • Bolded
    • Indented five spaces from the left margin
    • Tthe first letter is capitalized – so are proper nouns.
  4. Fourth Level
    • Bolded
    • Indented five spaces from the left margin
    • Cursive letter
    • Capitalization of the first letter & proper nouns
  5. Fifth Level
    • Indentation of five spaces from the left margin
    • Heading followed by a period.
    • Capitalization of the first letter & proper nouns

As you can appreciate, the five heading levels have similar format features but are different enough to be distinguished in one quick glance. This outline eases the reading process ; it makes your research paper reader friendly. Personally, I recommend you to set the heading format features as default in your template; this setting option tends to be a simple procedure in most compatible word processing software tools. Moreover, having a scheme of the APA format settings is always handy to maintain the adequate characteristics throughout the creation process.

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