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APA Citation 7th Ed: Headings

An olds College guide to APA Citation Style, 7th Edition.

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What are Headings?

Headings are used to effectively organize ideas within a study or manuscript.  It can also highlight important items, themes or topics within sections.  By creating concise headings, the reader can anticipate key points and track the development of your argument.  The heading levels establish the hierarchy of each section and are designated by their formatting.

Levels of Headings

Level Format
Heading 1

Center, Bold, Title Case Heading

Text begins as a new paragraph.

Heading 2

Flush Left, Bold, Title Case Heading

Text begins as a new paragraph.

Heading 3

Flush Left, Bold Italic, Title Case Heading

Text begins as a new paragraph.

Heading 4

Indented, Bold, Title Case Heading, Ending With a Period. Text begins on the same line and continues as a regular paragraph.

Heading 5

Intended, Bold Italics, Title Case Heading, End With a Period. Text begins on the same line and continues as a regular paragraph.

Adapted from American Psychological Association. (2009). Format for Five Levels of Heading in APA Journals. Publication manual of the American psychological association (6th ed., p. 62) Washington, D.C.: American Psychological Association.

Formatting

  • If you need to use subsections in any given section, use a least two, otherwise omit their use.
  • Do not label headings with numbers or letters
  • Use of title case: Use of both upper and lower case letters, all major words are capitalized
  • Paragraph headings are immediately followed by text for that subsection, rather than starting on a new line.  The heading sits at the start of the first paragraph for that section.