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How to Do Subtitles in APA Format


Many colleges require students to follow a specific style guide, such as the manual published by the American Psychological Association, when writing papers. APA formatting is commonly used in the social and behavioral sciences. A style guide provides a consistent set of rules that writers must follow regarding formatting, content and citations. The sixth edition of the APA's "Publication Manual" was published in 2010. The manual includes instructions for properly formatting titles and subtitles, which the APA refers to as "headings" and "subheadings."

Style your main heading, called the Level 1 heading, in text that is centered, bold and capitalized in title case. Title case capitalization means using uppercase letters to begin all major words -- including nouns, verbs, adjectives, pronouns and adverbs -- as well as any conjunctions or prepositions that are four letters or more. All headings other than Level 1 are considered subtitles, or subheadings.

Type your second-level heading flush with the left margin, bold and capitalized in title case.

Compose your third-level heading by indenting one-half inch and typing the heading in bold. Capitalize only the first word and any proper nouns within a third-level heading, and place a period at the end of the heading.

Construct your fourth-level heading by indenting one-half inch and typing the heading in bold italics. Capitalize as you do a third-level heading and place a period at the end.

Generate a Level 5 heading the same way you style a Level 4 heading, removing the boldface.

About the Author

Deanne Lachner has been writing and editing fiction and nonfiction for more than 15 years. She has published articles in "Working Women," "Performance Magazine" and the "Direct Selling News." Lachner holds a master's degree in English from Texas Woman's University and is pursuing a second master's degree in instructional design and technology.

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