How to format and insert the APA running head (6th edition)

This article reflects the APA 6th edition guidelines. Click here for APA 7th edition guidelines.

The apa running head (i.e. page header) consists of the title of your paper (maximum 50 characters, left-aligned, all capitals) and the page number (right-aligned). On the title page, your paper title is preceded by the words “Running head:”.

Running head example – title page

Running head apa title page

Running head example – subsequent pages

Running head apa subsequent pagea

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APA formatting checklist

The APA style has guidelines on how to format the running head. We made a checklist so you can easily meet the criteria. The running head examples above show the required formatting for the title page and subsequent pages.

  • 12-pt Times New Roman font
  • Only include “Running head:” on the first page
  • Running head is left-aligned
  • Title is all capitalized
  • Maximum 50 characters including spaces (without the words “running head”)
  • Page number is aligned to the right

Running head in Word and Google Docs

Adding the running head to your Word or Google Docs file is easy — simply follow the steps below.

Important: The words ‘Running head’ should only be shown on the first page. Therefore, you should tick the ‘different first page’ box as shown in the GIF.

Inserting the running head in Word:

  1. Double click at the top of the page to edit the header area.
  2. Check “Different First Page” to only show the words “running head:” on the first page.
  3. Type “Running head:” followed by your research title in capital letters
  4. Insert the page number and align it to the right.
  5. Now go to page 2 and paste only your research title without “Running head:.”
  6. Also insert the page number on page two.
  7. Everything is set! You can now close the header area.

APA Running head Word

Inserting the running head in Google Docs:

  1. Click at the top of the page to edit the header area.
  2. Check “Different First Page” to only show “running head:” on the first page.
  3. Type “Running head:” followed by your title in capital letters.
  4. Insert the page number by clicking on “insert,” “Header and page number.”
  5. Use the ‘tab’ button to right-align the page number.
  6. Go to page 2 and only type your research title without “Running head:.”
  7. Use the ‘tab’ button to right-align the page number
  8. Everything is set! You can now close the header area.

APA Running head Google Docs

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Raimo Streefkerk

Raimo is an expert in explaining plagiarism and citing sources. He has been writing helpful articles since 2017 and is continuously improving Scribbr's Citation Generators.

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1 comment

Raimo Streefkerk
Raimo Streefkerk (Scribbr Team)
November 6, 2020 at 5:56 PM

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