Basic APA Formatting (Video 1 of 4) 6th edition

By: NurseKillam

Hello. The purpose of this video is to review basic APA formatting and demonstrate the application of it using Microsoft Word 2007. Please note that this video is based on the 6th edition of the APA manual. When you open a new Word document, the default settings include font and paragraph options which will need to be changed. I recommend changing your default settings in order to decrease the number of modifications you will need to remember to make each time you are working on an Essay.

Ensure your essay is written on paper that measures 8 ½ by 11 inches. In the “page layout” tab you can verify the size and orientation of your paper. Even if written assignments are handed in electronically, it is easy to tell if these settings are not correct. You must use size 12 Times New Roman font throughout your essay. It is best to set your font before starting the paper.

If you have already begun the essay you will need to press CTRL + A to select your text prior to changing the font settings. To change the font, go to the “Home” tab. In the font group you can select the desired font style (Times New Roman) and size (12 point) using the drop down menus. You will also want to ensure you are using a black font colour. Note that the font in the header of the document was not changed. Alternatively you can click here or press CTRL + D to bring up font settings. If you wish to change your default settings, choose the desired options and click on “Default…” in the lower right hand corner.

Also in the “page Layout” tab, be sure to set your margins to 1 inch on all sides including the top and bottom. Margins that are less than 1 inch, such as 0.95 of an inch, will be noticed and marks will be deducted. This is one aspect of APA that people using alternate word processors need to be particularly vigilant to check.

Basic APA Formatting (Video 1 of 4) 6th edition

Paragraphs must be indented 1/2 an inch and double spaced in APA format, without an extra space added between paragraphs. Use the tab key to indent paragraphs. On the home tab you can set your spacing using the drop down menu or by clicking here and choosing your settings. You will note that the default settings are not correct. Students often get marks deducted for not changing these settings.

Ensure that there is no space after a paragraph and spacing is set to doubble. Again, I recommend changing your default settings by clicking on “default...” on the lower portion of the box. When writing your essay be sure that paragraphs are at least three sentences in length.

Paragraphs must also be less than a page long. Paragraphs that are this long are generally hard to follow, which may result in stylistic mark deductions. Ensure paragraphs are well organized. It is recommended by professors that paragraphs not exceed ¾ of a page. If you are using another operating system and/or word processor it is your responsibility to ensure that your document appears to the professor with the proper font, margins and paragraph settings. Saving your document in a format that can be opened by the professor is essential. In general, rich text format is recommended. To save your document in rich text format click on the office button and save as.

Select "Rich Text Format" from the drop-down menu. In the next videos I will review how to construct a title page, format the body of an essay and construct the reference list.

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