If you are requested by your instructor to write your essay or research paper in the APA style, you need to follow the APA format template and its specific style conventions. As a general rule, the APA format template requires your document to be written by using the double space paragraph format on the entire paper, including the cover page, the abstract page, and the reference list. Your paper must be typed on standard-sized paper (8.5″ x 11″) with 1 inch margins on all sides, and by using 12 point size Times New Roman font. The use of double space, font style, and font size applies to all sections of your paper, including the citations in your reference list.
Your word processor might be already programmed by default to use a particular line spacing, though this may vary depending upon the font style. By using the Times New Roman font as recommended, you can change the settings in the paragraph tab of your word processor in order to maintain consistency in spacing on the entire text.
A page header is also required by the APA format template. This consists of the title of your research paper and the corresponding page numbers, and is located at the top left-hand corner of every page. You can do this by inserting a header on the first page of your document and by typing the pertinent page number, followed by the title of your research paper in capital letters. If you are using Microsoft Word as your word processor, this data can be inserted into a header, which then automatically appears on all the succeeding pages. The page header serves as a shortened version of the title of your essay. The page header cannot exceed 50 characters including its spaces and punctuation marks.
In addition to these style guidelines, the alignment of the entire text of your paper (excluding the title of your work in the abstract page) must be aligned to the left margin. The order of the pages of the APA format template is as follows: the title page, the abstract page, body, and the references or works cited page.