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Welcome to the Purdue OWL

This page is brought to you by the OWL at Purdue University. When printing this page, you must include the entire legal notice.

Copyright ©1995-2018 by The Writing Lab & The OWL at Purdue and Purdue University. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, reproduced, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission. Use of this site constitutes acceptance of our terms and conditions of fair use.

Note:  This page reflects APA 6, which is now out of date. It will remain online until 2021, but will not be updated. The equivalent APA 7 page can be found here .

Please use the example at the bottom of this page to cite the Purdue OWL in APA.

To see a side-by-side comparison of the three most widely used citation styles, including a chart of all APA citation guidelines, see the Citation Style Chart .

You can also watch our APA vidcast series on the Purdue OWL YouTube Channel .

General APA Guidelines

Your essay should be typed and double-spaced on standard-sized paper (8.5" x 11"), with 1" margins on all sides. You should use a clear font that is highly readable. APA recommends using 12 pt. Times New Roman font.

Include a page header (also known as the " running head ") at the top of every page. To create a page header/running head , insert page numbers flush right. Then type "TITLE OF YOUR PAPER" in the header flush left using all capital letters. The running head is a shortened version of your paper's title and cannot exceed 50 characters including spacing and punctuation.

Major Paper Sections

Your essay should include four major sections: the Title Page , Abstract , Main Body , and References .

The title page should contain the title of the paper, the author's name , and the institutional affiliation . Include the page header (described above) flush left with the page number flush right at the top of the page. Please note that on the title page, your page header/running head should look like this:

Pages after the title page should have a running head that looks like this:

After consulting with publication specialists at the APA, OWL staff learned that the APA 6th edition, first printing sample papers have incorrect examples of running heads on pages after the title page. This link will take you to the APA site where you can find a complete list of all the errors in the APA's 6th edition style guide.

Type your title in upper and lowercase letters centered in the upper half of the page. APA recommends that your title be no more than 12 words in length and that it should not contain abbreviations or words that serve no purpose. Your title may take up one or two lines. All text on the title page, and throughout your paper, should be double-spaced.

Beneath the title, type the author's name : first name, middle initial(s), and last name. Do not use titles (Dr.) or degrees (PhD).

Beneath the author's name, type the institutional affiliation , which should indicate the location where the author(s) conducted the research.

This image shows the title page for an APA sixth edition paper.

APA Title Page

Begin a new page. Your abstract page should already include the page header (described above). On the first line of the abstract page, center the word “Abstract” (no bold, formatting, italics, underlining, or quotation marks).

Beginning with the next line, write a concise summary of the key points of your research. (Do not indent.) Your abstract should contain at least your research topic, research questions, participants, methods, results, data analysis, and conclusions. You may also include possible implications of your research and future work you see connected with your findings. Your abstract should be a single paragraph, double-spaced. Your abstract should be between 150 and 250 words.

You may also want to list keywords from your paper in your abstract. To do this, indent as you would if you were starting a new paragraph, type Keywords: (italicized), and then list your keywords. Listing your keywords will help researchers find your work in databases.

This image shows the Abstract page of an APA paper.

APA Abstract Page

Please see our Sample APA Paper resource to see an example of an APA paper. You may also visit our Additional Resources page for more examples of APA papers.

How to Cite the Purdue OWL in APA

Individual Resources

The page template for the new OWL site does not include contributors' names or the page's last edited date. However, select pages, like the Citation Style Chart , still include this information.

In the absence of contributor/edit date information, treat the page as a source with a group author and use the abbreviation "n.d." for "no date":

Purdue Online Writing Lab.  (n.d.) .  Title of resource.   Retrieved from http://Web address for OWL resource

Purdue Online Writing Lab.  (n.d.).   General Writing FAQs . Retrieved from  https://owl.purdue.edu/owl/general_writing/general_writing_faqs.html

The generic APA citation for OWL pages, which includes author/edit date information, is this:

Contributors' names. (Last edited date).  Title of resource . Retrieved from http://Web address for OWL resource

Paiz, J., Angeli, E., Wagner, J., Lawrick, E., Moore, K., Anderson, M.,…Keck, R. (2010, May 5).  General format . Retrieved from  http://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/560/01/

Purdue University

  • Ask a Librarian

Master of Science Engineering Technology (MSET)

  • Manage Your Research
  • Copyright and Plagiarism
  • Common APA Citation Questions
  • MET 52700 This link opens in a new window

Purdue OWL: APA

  • APA Guidlines
  • Videos on the Basics of APA
  • General Format
  • In-Text Citations: The Basics
  • Reference List: The Basics
  • Types of APA Papers
  • APA Changes 6th Edition
  • General APA Facts
  • APA Sample Paper
  • APA Formatting - The Basics
  • APA Formatting: Reference List Basics
  • APA References List: Complex Authors
  • APA References: Periodicals
  • APA References Entries for Books

Purdue OWL: Writing Tips

Choosing a Topic

Where Do I Begin?

Developing Strong Thesis Statements

Writing a Research Paper

Citation Management

  • Citation Management Tools
  • Quick Reference Generators

Citation management tools help you track and organize the articles you are gathering for your research.  Citation management tools also generate in-text citations, import records from databases, and reference pages.   NOTE : Errors do occasionally occur with citation managers, so always check your citations and references.

  • Zotero by Michael Witt
  • Endnote Desktop by Robert Freeman
  • Endnote Basic by Jerilyn Tinio
  • Endnote Web vs. Zotero
  • Citation Machine
  • NoodleToole Express (my favorite for difficult references)
  • << Previous: Manage Your Research
  • Next: Copyright and Plagiarism >>
  • Last Edited: Sep 25, 2023 4:38 PM
  • URL: https://guides.lib.purdue.edu/mset


  1. The Purdue OWL: Sample Outlines

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  2. Purdue Owl Research Paper

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  3. APA Sample Paper Purdue OWL

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  4. Purdue Owl Apa Outline Template : APA Sample Paper Purdue OWL

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  5. the Purdue OWL Four Main Components for Effective Outlines

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  1. The Purdue OWL: Sample Outlines

    Greenhouse gas emissions are widely identified by the scientific community to be harmful. The burning of coal and fossil fuels are the primary releasers of hazardous greenhouse gases. Full sentence outlines are often accompanied with an APA reference list on a separate page.

  2. How to Outline

    Below are the primary reasons for creating an outline. Aids in the process of writing. Helps you organize your ideas. Presents your material in a logical form. Shows the relationships among ideas in your writing. Constructs an ordered overview of your writing. Defines boundaries and groups.

  3. APA Style (7th Edition)

    APA Headings and Seriation; APA PowerPoint Slide Presentation; APA Sample Paper; Tables and Figures; Abbreviations APA Classroom Poster; Changes in the 7th Edition; General APA FAQs; APA Formatting and Style Guide (7th Edition) Suggested Resources Style Guide Overview MLA Guide APA Guide Chicago Guide OWL Exercises. Purdue OWL; Research and ...

  4. Outline Components

    Four Main Components for Effective Outlines. Ideally, you should follow the four suggestions presented here to create an effective outline. When creating a topic outline, follow these two rules for capitalization: For first-level heads, present the information using all upper-case letters; and for secondary and tertiary items, use upper and ...

  5. APA Style Guide

    ISBN: 9781433832161. Publication Date: 2019-10-01. The Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association, Seventh Edition is the official source for APA Style. Purdue's OWL (Online Writing Lab) provides instruction on how to use APA 7th. Below are a few topics covered by the OWL.

  6. General Format

    General APA Guidelines. Your essay should be typed and double-spaced on standard-sized paper (8.5" x 11"), with 1" margins on all sides. You should use a clear font that is highly readable. APA recommends using 12 pt. Times New Roman font. Include a page header (also known as the " running head ") at the top of every page.

  7. APA

    Citation Management. Citation Management Tools. Quick Reference Generators. Citation management tools help you track and organize the articles you are gathering for your research. Citation management tools also generate in-text citations, import records from databases, and reference pages.