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Using MS Word for APA Formatting

Using MS Word for APA Formatting

Walden University requires all students to use the formatting standards developed by the American Psychological Association (APA) for academic papers. The tutorials found on this page will show you how to use the tools in MS Word to properly format your paper in APA Style. The Walden Writing Center's website has more information about APA style, why it is used, and how to familiarize yourself with APA standards. 

Incorporating & Viewing Instructor Feedback in a Course Paper Template

Fixing Formatting Errors in the Course Paper Template

APA Formatting for Statistics

Statistical write-ups in APA follow specific guidelines. Please visit our statistics learning resources website with tutorials related to how to write-up various types of statistical analysis in APA formatting for your academic papers and research. 

Paper Spacing

All APA-formatted papers should be double spaced. In APA, the entire paper (including the reference page) is double spaced. Automatically letting Word apply this formatting allows writers to edit papers easily without having to readjust the spacing.

Hanging Indents

APA asks that writers use hanging indents in reference list entries to make this information easier to read. Word gives two options for inserting hanging indents.

Managing Sources

MS Word has a feature that allows you to input, format, and manage your sources. 

Paper Margins

Part of correctly formatting a paper is ensuring that writers use proper margins throughout the paper. General APA-formatted papers should have 1-inch margins on all sides of the page.

Running Heads, Page Numbers, and Headers

APA formatting requirements ask students to use page numbers and headers in their papers, including what is called running heads. This information assists reader as they progress through your paper. To create this running head correctly, follow each section’s directions in order. Note that some types of papers, like dissertations and KAMs, deviate from the normal APA formatting. This formatting is found in the templates for these specific types of papers. 

Paragraph Indentations

APA asks that writers indent each paragraph .5 inches. To ensure that each paragraph is indented the correct amount of space, writers should let Word adjust this formatting automatically. 


For step-by-step instructions to create, label, and cite an APA-compliant table, please visit the Walden Writing Center’s tables and figures resources page.


Using Spell Check

In this tutorial, you will learn how to use the spell check feature in MS Word to find and correct spelling errors in your document.

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