APA Headings and Subheadings

An APA paper is typically divided into chapters and sections; each of these chapters and sections is expected to have their own unique headings. Headings are provided to give structure to papers. APA has guidelines for several areas of an APA paper with the inclusion of headings and subheadings.

The APA style has a unique heading system that is used to classify and separate the sections. Headings and subheadings are required to help guide readers through the paper. They give readers the general idea of what to expect while reading the paper as well as leading the flow of discussion

pointing hand Guidelines for Formatting Headings and Subheadings in APA Format

There are five heading levels in the APA style. There are several guidelines for formatting headings in APA style to ensure the paper is easy to read. Each level of headings should be written in Times New Roman and with a 12pts font size. The unique guideline for each heading is as follows:

Heading 1 – This heading should be centered, bold, and written in title case. Texts start in a new paragraph and indented five spaces to the right

Heading 2 – This heading should be aligned to the left, written in title case, and bold. Texts start in a new paragraph and indented five spaces to the right

Heading 3 – This heading should be indented five spaces to the right, written in sentence case and bold. A period should be kept after the heading, and the text should follow immediately after.

Heading 4 – This heading should be indented five spaces to the right, written in sentence case, italics, and bold. A period should be kept after the heading, and the text should follow immediately after.

Heading 5 – This heading should be indented five spaces to the right, written in sentence case and italics. A period should be kept after the heading, and the text should follow immediately after.

Example

Methodology – heading 1

Methods – heading 2

            Sampling procedure.  The participants were inducted on the……… – heading 3

Sampling techniques. the sampling technique required for this………. –  heading 4

            Sample size. To determine the sample size to be used for this………. –  heading 5

Section Labels

In APA, there are special headings that are called section labels. Section labels are used for specific sections of the paper, and they always start on a new page following the guideline for heading 1. These section labels include

  • Abstract
  • Paper title
  • References
  • Footnotes
  • Appendix

pointing handWhen to Use the Different Heading Levels

It is important to use the right heading levels as it helps the readers to navigate the paper as well as in generating an automatic table of content using Microsoft Word. Therefore, you are to use:

  • Heading 1, when the heading is one of the main elements of the paper. For example, literature review, method, result, conclusion, and discussion
  • Heading 2 for the subsections or headings that are directly under the heading 1
  • Heading 3 for the subsections or headings that are directly under the heading 2
  • Heading 4 for the subsections or headings that are directly under the heading 3
  • Heading 5 for the subsections or headings that are directly under the heading 4

pointing hand Tips For Using Headings In APA Format

  • The headings should not be labeled with letters or numbers
  • There should be more than one subsection within a section
  • The heading should also use double line spacing
  • There should be no blank line below or above the headings
  • Make your headings concise and descriptive
  • The introductory part of the paper does not require any heading as it is widely known as the introductory part
  • To ensure your paper have an organized structure, use as many levels of headings as you require

(Also learn about MLA headings and subheadings)

scientific proofreader

Leave a Comment

Related Posts

numbers in APA format

Numbers in APA Format

Introduction When you are writing an academic paper or essay, there is a very high probability that you would need to use numbers in your text. For example, having to report numerical information about the demographics of participants or the results of the statistical analysis carried out in the course of the research. Furthermore, writing…
APA running head

APA Running Head – A Clear Guide

A running head, especially in APA style, refers to the short title that usually appears at the top of every page of your paper or essay. Also, the running head helps in identifying the pages in case the pages of your paper or essay get separated. Plus, in the case of publication submission, it helps…
Tables and Figures in APA Format

Tables and Figures in APA Format

Visual materials like tables and figures are needed in a paper to quickly and efficiently present a large amount of information to readers. It is used to assist communication and not a means of using up space or hiding significant results amidst a pile of complicated data. However, there exist some specific guidelines for formatting…
APA format for academic papers and essays

APA Format for Academic Papers and Essays

Introduction If you are not familiar with the APA Format, the formatting rules and guidelines may seem a little daunting at first. Being used to other writing styles like Chicago and MLA, it might take some time for you to getting the hang of writing an APA style paper. Apart from the guidelines for citation…
key differences between MLA and APA

The Key Differences between MLA and APA

Introduction As a student, you would understand that there are different formatting styles; each formatting style has proved its value in various fields. Various academic subjects seldom require different approach and techniques to researching, hence developing works are done in different ways. This is why, as a researcher or a student, it is essential to…