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APA Guide

APA 6th Edition Formatting Videos using Word 2010 and Word 2013

What is a hanging indent?

A hanging indent is an APA guideline for formatting your reference page. What does a hanging indent look like? The first line of your reference will line up with the left margin and each line after will be indented one-half inch from the left margin. It basically is opposite of a normal paragraph where you indent the first line. Here is an example:

How do I create a hanging indent using Microsoft Word? 

Microsoft Word has a feature that can be activated to create a "hanging indent."  This feature is particularly useful when creating references page citations. 

1. Highlight the text that you wish to reformat to have a hanging indent (ie, a reference page citation).

2. Locate the "Paragraph" section of the ribbon at the top of the page and click on the arrow in the lower right corner.

3. Locate "Special" in the center of the window that appears.

4. Click on the down arrow and select "Hanging."

5. Click "OK" at the bottom of the window.

6. The window will disappear and your highlighted text will have a hanging indent.


Using Headings to Organize Content

One of the goals of the APA Style is to present information in a clear, concise, and logical manner.  One way to achieve this is by organizing content through the use of Headings.  APA utilized five levels of headings within the text of the paper*:

Level of Heading Format
1. Centered and Bolded, Title Capitalization
2. Bolded and Aligned Left, Title Capitalization
3.          Indented and bolded, sentence capitalization, end with period.
4.          Indented and bolded, italicized, sentence capitalization, end with period.
5.          Indented, italicized, sentence capitalization, end with period.

* The title of the paper is not considered a heading.  According to APA style rules, the title appears at the beginning of the paper, is centered and uses title capitalization.

Example of level 1 and level 2 headings in an APA paper (taken from the APA Sample Paper):

APA Sample Paper - Scroll Right or Click to Download