Running head: WRITING STYLE AND MECHANICS
Typically, the running head is required only for publication. Check with your
instructor regarding the preference for using a running head. Doctoral students
must include the running head. The words Running head only appear on the
title page. Use no more than the first 50 characters of the title.
The title is in upper and lower case
letters, centered between the left and
right margins, and positioned on the
upper half of the page. Use black, 12point Times New Roman font
throughout. Arial and Courier font
types are acceptable. Doctoral
students: See the note below about
formatting the title page for your
The sample paper is written to
help you format your paper. Typically, an academic paper will include information from a variety of sources and should not contain
more than 20% of its information from a single source.
Although this sample paper is offered as a tool to help students with style, it is not a definitive or binding representation of format
accepted by individual instructors. As a result, for all unresolved style and format issues, it is essential that you consult with your
instructor before submitting your paper for a grade. Your instructor is the final authority regarding acceptable format and style for
papers associated with a course, and the instructor's recommendations will prevail over this sample pa per in the event that
differences occur between the two.
Revised: June 2011(new document heading section)
Center for Writing Excellence
© 2009-2010 Apollo Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
WRITING STYLE AND MECHANICS
According to the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association (APA), An
abstract is “a brief, comprehensive summary of the contents of the article; it allows readers
to survey the contents of an article quickly and, like a title, it enables persons interested in
the document to retrieve it from abstracting and indexing databases” (2010, p. 25). The first
line of the abstract is not indented. An abstract may range from 150 to 250 words (APA,
2010). Because an abstract is not always required for student papers, adhere to your
WRITING STYLE AND MECHANICS
Writing Style and Mechanics
Indent the first
line of each
the tab key. The
tab key is
usually set at
five to seven
spaces or onehalf inch.
Do not include Introduction as a level heading.
Instead, begin the text of the paper by
repeating the title from your title page. The title
of the paper is centered but not bolded.
The Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association (APA) began as
a journal article in 1929. That article reported results from a meeting of scholars “to
establish a simple set of procedures, or style rules, that would codify the many components
require a page
of scientific writing to increase the ease of reading comprehension” (APA, 2010, p. xiii).
Today the Publication Manual is in its sixth edition, and the APA style described in it is a
widely recognized standard for scholarly or professional writing in the social sciences.
Although the style guide is designed to prepare manuscripts for publication, many
universities and health care journals have adopted its use as a guide to achieve uniformity
and consistency (Cuddy, 2002). Writing in the style prescribed by the Publication Manual
can be a daunting experience for students. As with any new skill, “practice makes perfect”
Use one space
or two spaces
after a period
at the end of a