The American Psychological Association format is standard for social sciences written works and research projects. In APA style, headings and subheadings give the reader a general idea of the content and what to expect from the paper. That is why it is essential to separate the document and define each section correctly. The seventh edition of the APA Publication Manual revises and simplifies the previous heading formatting principles. You can easily find them in Sections 2.26 and 2.27 of the American Psychological Association Manual or on the official website. The following article will provide a concise overview of APA headings styling guidelines. In case you require additional information and examples on how to use the correct formatting for APA headings in this style paper, read more on wr1ter.com.
General Information on APA Headings
The author uses headings to identify the section content for the reader. All titles must be definitive and laconic, clearly worded, and well-formatted. There exist five levels of APA headings.
Levels of APA Headings
The first level is the main or the highest heading level. The second degree is a subheading of level one. Respectively, the third level is the subheading of the second, and so on for grades four and five. The quantity of headings depends on the complexity and length of the paper.
In case you need only one heading:
- Use Level 1.
- If you have two of them, use Level 2 (and consequently for three, four, and five titles).
- Keep in mind that short student papers may not require any headings at all.
Try to use only the quantity of headings needed to differentiate specific sections of your work.
Common Errors Related to APA Headings
- Unlike in an outline, evade from having only one heading per section.
- Never label the APA headings and subheadings with any letters or numbers.
- Use double-spacing; never switch to single spacing.
- Never leave an empty line before or after the title. This tule also applies even if it falls at the end of the page.
Correct Format of APA Headings
The proper way to format APA headings is the following:
- Level 1 heading must be bold, centered, Title Case Heading. The text should begin as a new paragraph.
- Level 2 heading must be bold, flush left, Title Case Heading. The text should begin as a new paragraph.
- Level 3 heading must be bold and italic, flush left, Title Case Heading. The text should begin as a new paragraph.
- Level 4 heading must be bold, indented, and ending with a period, Title Case Heading. The text should begin on the same line and continue as a regular paragraph.
- Level 5 heading must be bold and italic, indented, and ending with a period, Title Case Heading. The text should begin on the same line and continue as a regular paragraph.
APA Heading Formatting Helpful Tips
You can create APA headings with the help of different word-processing programs, like:
- Academic Writer (the heading menu of the Writing Center);
- Microsoft Word (see styles menu).