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How to Format a Running Head in APA Style


The 6th edition of the American Psychological Association's publication manual requires the use of a running head -- the title of your paper, or a shortened version of it -- on each page of a manuscript to help clarify which pages belong to the paper if they get separated and to maintain the writer's anonymity, avoiding potential bias, during the review process.

Formatting the Running Head

Open the header for your paper and type your title in all capital letters. Count the number of letters, spaces and punctuation. If that number exceeds 50, provide a shorter version of your title. For instance, "The Breaking Bad Effect: A Study of the Attraction of Illegal Activity to Upstanding Citizens" could be shortened to "THEBREAKING BAD EFFECT" (without the quotation marks) in the running head. Left-justify the title in the header across all pages of the manuscript. The running head on the title page should be preceded by the term "Running head" with no quotation marks, a colon, a space and then the title in all caps, like this example: Running head: THE BREAKING BAD EFFECT On every other page in the manuscript, the title should appear without a preceding "Running head," like so: THE BREAKING BAD EFFECT.

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About the Author

Kristie Sweet has been writing professionally since 1982, most recently publishing for various websites on topics like health and wellness, and education. She holds a Master of Arts in English from the University of Northern Colorado.

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