Headings and lists according to the APA Style
In addition to guidelines for citations and references, the APA also has rules related to formatting documents. This includes five levels of heading styles and specific requirements for lists.
A dissertation is usually divided into chapters (level 1), which are then further divided into sections (level 2) and subsections (levels 3 through 5). The correct heading style should be used for each of these levels, in the following order:
|1||Centered, bold, title case capitalization*|
|2||Left-aligned, bold, title case capitalization*|
|3||Indented, bold, sentence case capitalization,** a final period. The body text begins immediately after the period.|
|4||Indented, bold, italics, sentence case capitalization,** a final period. The body text begins immediately after the period.|
|5||Indented, italics, sentence case capitalization,** a final period. The body text begins immediately after the point.|
* Capitalize the first word of the title and all major words (including anything that has four letters or more). An example: The Effects of Autism on Listening Skills.
** Capitalize the first word of the title and any proper nouns (just like you would capitalize a sentence). An example: Teenagers with autism in the Netherlands.
The headlines in your paper will then look like this:
Using Word’s “Styles” feature will allow you to specify what level applies to each heading, which makes it easy to then automatically create a table of contents.
The APA allows authors to use bullets to organize information and present key ideas in the main body of their document. Sometimes it’s important to number a list – for instance, when a particular hierarchy or sequence needs to be conveyed. The following is an example of a numbered list.
In other circumstances, you can just use bullet points. The following is an example of a bulleted list.
It is also okay to include citations for different bullet points, as shown below.
If you include a list as part of the running text, you can use lower case. For example:
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Formatting the reference list
When compiling a reference list, it’s important to take the specific requirements for each type of source into account. The list should be compiled alphabetically by author name.