APA Headings

by Stephen on October 2, 2012 · 2 comments

Headings are section titles in your research paper. In APA, you can have up to 5 levels of headings. Every heading level must contain at least two listings; otherwise, incorporate the material into the heading above that level. In other words, you cannot have just one subheading under “Findings”; you must have at least two.

Level Format
1 Centered, boldface, first letter in Uppercase.
2 Flush left, boldface, first letter in Uppercase.
3 Indented, boldface, begin with first letter in Uppercase and end the title with a period. Text continues on the same line.
4 Indented, boldface, italicized, begin with first letter in Uppercase and end the title with a period. Text continues on the same line.
5 Indented, italicized, begin with first letter in Uppercase and end the title with a period. Text continues on the same line.

Sample APA Headings:

Sample APA Headings: 2 levels (Tip: omit level 2 and you get a paper with one level)

apaheadingstwolevels

Sample APA Headings -- Two Levels

Sample APA Headings: 3 levels

apaheadingsthreelevels

Sample APA Headings -- Three Levels

Sample APA Headings: 4 levels (Tips: level 5 is the same as level 4 but without boldface)

apa headings four levels

Sample APA Headings -- Four Levels

References:

– Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association, 6th Edition
– Saginaw Valley State University, Writing and Research Center handouts



{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Dana Wedeking October 14, 2014 at 10:53 am

Hello,
I like the way you have presented the differences in the levels of headings for APA, especially the clarification of what “paragraph heading” means. The one concern I have is that for Levels 1 and 2, it states “First letter in Uppercase.” Although the examples clarify this, if individuals look only at the Format section, they may interpret this as meaing you would only capitalize the first word of the heading at for Level 1 and 2 headings (which is true of the other levels). In fact, at Levels 1 and 2, use title case and conform to the guidelines for capitalization found in section 4.15 in the APA Manual. You may want to clarify this. Great resource!

2 John Stephens June 3, 2016 at 5:14 am

my question is this, is the cover page comes before the title page? or title page before the cover page?

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