menu

What Does the Main Body of an APA Format Look Like?


The American Psychological Association, which promotes research in the field of psychology, crafted its APA style in the 1930s. The style is intended to inform clear and concise writing in the field of social sciences. While the sixth edition of the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association provides detailed instructions on how to format a paper and cite myriad references, the main body of an APA-formatted document is quite simple.

The Main Body

The main body of a document that follows APA style will be printed in a clear font on standard 8.5-inch by 11-inch paper with 1-inch margins on all sides. As for the font, APA suggests using 12-point Times New Roman. The document should be double-spaced and will include a page header. The header should include a page number at the far right and a shortened version of the paper's title, in all capital letters, at the far left. The shortened title should not exceed 50 total characters.

Additional Sections

In addition to the body, an APA paper will also include three other distinct sections. The first page of the document, the title page, should include the author's name, as well as the title of the document and the institution the author is associated with. The next page is reserved for the abstract, which offers up a brief summary of the research. Finally, at the conclusion of the paper, you should include a references page. Throughout the body of the paper, you will use in-text citations to refer readers to the references page, which is a blueprint of the research you did.

About the Author

First published in 2005, Kyle Whitney has covered news and sports in the Midwest, Washington, D.C., and Beijing. His articles have appeared in newspapers and magazines in Michigan and China. Whitney is currently a local government reporter at a daily paper.

Photo Credits
  • Digital Vision./Digital Vision/Getty Images