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What are headings in apa

What are headings in apa
What are headings in apa 

What are the headers in the APA format?

Each academic paper calls for proper formatting according to the style guide. There are writing sites that indicate that the discrepancy between the standard and the arrangement of the text performed by the student will decrease. If you don’t want to lose points for your work due to poor formatting, learn how to write in APA format.

Headlines help the reader navigate through your articles. They serve as pointers that tell you where to go and what’s ahead. The American Psychological Association (APA) presents its style guide and has specific rules on how headlines should be formatted. APA divides headings into levels, where the first level is the main heading, the second level includes the main headings of the paper department and so on, up to the fifth level.

The headings define the content of the sections of the article.

APA format for headers

Section headings for writing an APA essay

The title page of your APA document is the first page. The purpose of the title page is to convey the title, as the title implies. Without being too verbose, here you can inform and engage your reader.

The title page should contain the following elements:

Title of the article

All names of authors

Links with academic institutions

Note from the author and the running head (only for professional works)

The number and name of the course.

Make the headings descriptive and concise. Headlines that are well formatted and clearly worded help both visual and non-visual readers of all abilities.

The number of apa headings in paper used in the article depends on the duration and complexity of the work.

  • If only one header level is required, use Level 1.
  • If two header levels are required, use levels 1 and 2.
  • If three header levels are required, use levels 1, 2 and 3 (and so on).

Use only the number of headings needed to distinguish the individual sections in your paper; short student papers may not require any headings. Also, avoid these common header-related errors:

* Avoid having only one subsection heading in a section, as in a contour.

* Do not label headings with numbers or letters.

* Headings with double space; do not switch to single spacing inside the headings.

* Do not add empty lines above or below the headings, even if the title is at the end of the page.

Header Levels

There are five APA-style header levels. Level 1 is the highest or main level of the title, level 2 is the subtitle of level 1, and level 3 is the subtitle of level 2, and so on up to levels 4 and 5.

In addition, you can start with the headings of the first level, and use the rest for subheadings:

First level heading (bold, centered)

Second level heading (bold, left)

Third level heading (bold italics, left alignment)

Fourth level heading (bold, indented, ends with a dot)

The title of the fifth level (bold italics, indentation, end with a dot)

So from the above, as you can see, you don’t need to use some complicated numbering system to organize your ideas. Formatting the header does its job.

Finally, do not add a subtitle (for example, an Introduction) between the essay title and the first paragraph.

Also, don’t forget to use important words in each header with a capital letter (the so-called header case).

Examples of titles in the APA format




Centered, bold, heading

The text begins with a new paragraph.


Flush Left, Bold, Title Case Title

The text begins with a new paragraph. 


Flush Left, Bold Italic, Title Case Title

The text begins with a new paragraph. 


Indented title, bold, capital, ending with a dot.

The text starts from the same line and continues as a regular paragraph. 


Indent, bold italics, title heading ending with a dot.

The text starts from the same line and continues as a regular paragraph. 

Authors using the APA style can use the automatic headings feature of their word processing program to create headings. This not only simplifies the task of formatting headings, but also ensures that the headings will be appropriately encoded in any electronic version of the article. This helps readers using navigation tools and assistive technologies such as screen readers.

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