How to Write a report in APA format with Microsoft Office Word 2007

Updated July 12, 2018

Students, researchers and professionals in the social and behavioral sciences use the American Psychological Association’s guide when writing reports, term papers, dissertations and academic articles. The APA guide explains how to format articles and reports as well as formatting in-text and bibliographic citations. Your report will have four sections: Title Page, Abstract, Main Body and References. You cite references in the body of the report and in the bibliography.

Writing Your Report in APA Format

Type your report in Word 2007 double-spaced on an 8 1/2- by 11-inch page size, with 1-inch margins all around, in Times New Roman, font size 12. On the Title Page, include the title, your name as author and your institutional affiliation. Also include a page header as a running head on every page. To do this, insert page numbers flush right and the report’s title flush left. Your running head should look like this on the title page: Running head: REPORT TITLE On subsequent pages, the running head will look like this: REPORT TITLE Then, two inches from the top, center the title, author and institutional affiliation like this:


Author First Name, Middle Initial, Last Name

Name of College, University or Institution

Start a new page and center the word “Abstract” but do not use quotation marks. Summarize your key points in 150 to 250 words, using a single block paragraph, double-spaced. Include information about your topic, your research questions and methods, as well as results and conclusions. List keywords at the end of your abstract, indented and on the next line, like this:
Keywords: formatting, research, report, APA style

Cite the author and publication year, when making in-text citations in the report’s body. Use parentheses to separate the citation from the rest of the sentence, and arrange the publications alphabetically by author, followed by the year of publication. This is a hypothetical example to show how this is done: (Alvarez, 2002; Carrera & Long, 2004; Hermosa, Lee & Martin, 2008; Potter, Smith, Trainor & Yee, 2009). To cite one work by six or more authors, use this format: (Goodman et al, 2000). To cite authors after the first reference, state author’s last name and year of publication. For example: “Carrera and Long (2004) found evidence to the contrary and cited the work that Alvarez (2002) had done as support for their conclusion.”

Cite references in the bibliography alphabetically by last name. For several authors of a work, cite authors alphabetically by last name, then first initial or first and middle initial. Include a one-sentence synopsis of the journal and then type the name of the journal in Italics. Include the journal number and page numbers, also in Italics. This hypothetical example shows how to do this: Alvarez, B.K., (2002). Relationship between exercise and mental well being. Name of Scientific Journal, Number, pages XXX-YYY. Carrera, S., Long, D., (2004). Synopsis of journal article. Name of Journal, journal number, pages XXXX-YYYY.

Using Word 2007

To type your document, click “Start” and then click “Microsoft Office Word 2007.” From the Office button, click “New” and then click “Blank document.” Click “Create.”
Type the title page, abstract, main body, in-text citations and bibliography, following APA guidelines.

To save your document in the format that’s native to Word 2007, (.docx) format, go to the Office button and click “Save”. When the dialog box comes up, click “Save as Type: Word document” and then click “Save.”

To save your document to an earlier version of Word, such as in .doc format, go to the Office button and click “Save As” and then click “Word 97-2003 document.”

To save your document as a PDF, go to the Office button and click “Save As” and then click “Adobe PDF.” To save your document in Open Document Text, go to the Office button and click “Save As” and then click “Open Document Text.” When the dialog box comes up, make sure that “Save As Type: Open Document Text” is selected and then click “Save.”

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  • Double check with your instructor the specifics. The above listed formatting is the general APA format, however, some teachers may prefer some slight variations.

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