How to Title a Paper in APA Format

Updated March 23, 2017

Step 1

Use 10- to 12-point Times New Roman font unless otherwise instructed. Make your margins 1-inch all the way around and double-space your entire document.

Step 2

Include "1" at the top-right of your document; this is the page number.

Step 3

Write "Running Head:" at the top-left margin of your page, followed by a condensed version of your title. The running head title cannot exceed 50 characters, including punctuation.

Step 4

Write your full, descriptive title in the upper half of the page. Make sure the text is centered. The descriptive title must not exceed 12 words. Capitalize the title as usual, with no bolding, underlining or italics. For example, a title such as "The Potential Benefits of Caffeine on the Brains of Young Children" would appear just like that.

Step 5

Include your full name with your middle initial immediately underneath the title and the name of the institution underneath your name. Center both lines.

bibliography-icon icon for annotation tool Cite this Article


  • The running head, title and page numbers can be formatted to appear the same way on each page by using the "Header" option on your word processing program.
  • Some instructors may want you to include more information beneath the institution's name, such as the date, instructor name and course name. Check with your instructor before you write the paper.
  • Do not include titles such as "Dr." before your name.
  • These guidelines are as of the 6th edition of the APA style manual.

About the Author

Located in Pittsburgh, Chris Miksen has been writing instructional articles on a wide range of topics for online publications since 2007. He currently owns and operates a vending business. Miksen has written a variety of technical and business articles throughout his writing career. He studied journalism at the Community College of Allegheny County.