How to Set Up a Running Head in an APA Paper Using Microsoft Word

by Rocco Pendola, Demand Media

Psychologists, anthropologists and business leaders developed APA style in 1929 as an attempt to make scientific literature easier to read and comprehend. As of May 2010, students, professors and other writers across academic disciplines, particularly in the social and behavioral sciences, use the American Psychological Association (APA) format to structure various aspects of research papers. One APA mandate calls for papers to include a running head, displaying the work's title, on every page of the essay.

Step 1

Click on the "Insert" tab in Microsoft Word 2007. Choose "Header" in the "Header and Footer" group.

Step 2

Double click on the header area on the first page of your Word document. In the "Options" group, check the "Different First Page" box in the "Design" tab, located under "Header and Footer Tools." APA style requires a slightly different header on page one--the title page--of your document than it does for the subsequent pages.

Step 3

Create your header on the first page. Refer to the following example to see what APA style requires. Capitalize all of the words in your paper's title. Running head: YOUR PAPER'S TITLE

Step 4

Go to the second page of your document. Click in the header area. Create the header that will appear on the second and all proceeding pages. Your paper's title should appear flush left on all pages. The page number appears flush right on all pages after the title page, according to APA style. YOUR PAPER'S TITLE (on the far left) 1 (on the far right)

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About the Author

As a writer since 2002, Rocco Pendola has published numerous academic and popular articles in addition to working as a freelance grant writer and researcher. His work has appeared on SFGate and Planetizen and in the journals "Environment & Behavior" and "Health and Place." Pendola has a Bachelor of Arts in urban studies from San Francisco State University.

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