How to Use Word 2010 to Build an APA Paper

American Psychological Association (APA) format is a widely accepted format for individuals who are writing papers in the social sciences. Whether for academic or professional purposes, there are some specific elements that characterize an APA-formatted paper. The main elements include a cover page, in-text citations for direct quotes and paraphrasing, double-spacing, page numbers/headers and a reference page. All of these specific elements can easily be formatted using Microsoft Word 2010.

Cover Page

Step 1

Start with a new Word document.

Step 2

Set all the borders to 1 inch by clicking on “Home” and the “Page Layout” tab. Then click “Margins” and choose the “Normal” setting.

Step 3

Type the title of your paper, your name, your teacher’s name and any other required information below the title, each on a separate line.

Step 4

Set the font for the title to be slightly larger than the font for the rest of the paper, choose 16-point font for the title, and 12-point font for the rest of the paper.

In-Text Citations

Step 1

Type out the direct quote (in quotation marks) or the paraphrasing of a quote from a reference.

Step 2

Type the last name of the author, a comma, the year the work was published and the page number where it was found, all in parentheses. For example, (Smith, 2010, p. 100).

Step 3

Type the period for the sentence after the in-text citation.

Double Spacing

Step 1

Select the entire paper (except the coversheet and reference page).

Step 2

Click on “Home” at the top of the screen.

Step 3

Click on the icon with an arrow pointing up and an arrow pointed down with four lines next to it in the “Paragraph” section of the home bar.

Step 4

Choose the “2.0” option from the drop-down menu to make the entire paper double-spaced.

Header and Page Numbers

Step 1

Double-click the mouse in the area above the typing on the first page of the paper; this will open the “Header” box. The “Header and Footer” tab will also open in the top toolbar.

Step 2

Type a header for your paper, usually the header will contain the title of the paper and the author’s last name.

Step 3

Add a page number to the header by clicking on the “Page Number” box in the “Header and Footer” toolbar. The click “Current Position” and choose the simple page number layout.

Step 4

Separate your page number and header by typing “|” between the two.

Step 5

Leave the header editing section by double-clicking anywhere in the body of your paper.

Reference Page

Step 1

Create a reference page after the last page of text in your paper by typing “control” and “enter” to create a page break.

Step 2

Arrange your citations in alphabetical order by the author’s last name.

Step 3

Indent every line of each reference except the first line. The lines can be indented by pressing tab. For help with creating APA-style references, see the references section.