Table Of Contents For An Apa Stylr Format Research Paper

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American Psychological Association (APA) style is a commonly used document format for academic and research papers. Students should know the standard formatting in APA. Without a consistent and correct format, your paper will appear careless and your grade can suffer. The Table of Contents which introduces the chapters and subheadings to readers looks similar in all APA-style documents.

1. Set up your font and type size, using the appropriate buttons or drop-down boxes in your word processing program. APA papers use a common serif type such as Times New Roman for the body text, and sans-serif fonts for labels or caption. Both should be in 12-point type. The entire manuscript, including front matter, body text, and reference notes, must be double-spaced. Set margins at one inch on all sides of the page.

2. Set up the single-line heading "Table of Contents" in capital letters. Center it at the top of the contents page. Underneath, after two blank lines, list the front matter headings, which might include Abstract, Acknowledgments, Preface, List of Tables and/or List of Figures. These should be in capital letters and flush left. Set a dot leader and give the page indication in lower-case Roman numerals flush to the right margin.

3. Set the chapter headings, known as level five headings in APA parlance. These will appear in all caps and flush to the left margin. Dot leaders are used between the headings and the page number, which is set in Arabic numerals and flush right. Subheadings are indented, with a new indentation for each progressive lower-level headings. APA style indicates the subheadings as levels one through four.

4. Set the back matter sections, which might include epilogue, references, appendices, tables, figures and index. These are numbered consecutively in Arabic numbers and in sequence with the main text.

Things Needed

  • Word processing program
  • American Psychological Association Publication Manual

Tips

  • A table of contents is not a common requirement for APA papers. However, if a professor or editor requests one, or if the paper has multiple subject categories or divisions, the writer should supply it.
  • The best source of general editorial guidelines for points not covered in the APA manual is the Chicago Manual of Style.

Warning

  • The APA regularly updates its formatting requirements in its APA Publication Manual. As of 2012, the APA manual was in its the sixth edition. The formatting is also known as APA 6. Using earlier formatting styles might cause a rejection of your paper.

About the Author

Founder/president of the innovative reference publisher The Archive LLC, Tom Streissguth has been a self-employed business owner, independent bookseller and freelance author in the school/library market. Holding a bachelor's degree from Yale, Streissguth has published more than 100 works of history, biography, current affairs and geography for young readers.

Photo Credits

  • George Doyle/Stockbyte/Getty Images

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MLA Style Table of Contents

If the paper is long enough, an MLA style paper can have a table of contents. There is also no method for breaking up text in the MLA format, so this is left to your discretion and would depend on the content. Suggested sections include Acknowledgments, Foreword, Introduction, Body (Parts I, II, III), Summary or Conclusion, Afterward, Explanatory Notes, Appendices, Contact Organizations, Glossary, Endnotes (if not using Footnotes or Parenthetical citations), Bibliography, and Index.

A title page should also be included, but will not be numbered, unless it is on the same page as the main page of text. Remember also that an MLA style paper requires a list of illustrations and tables. This is similar to the table of contents, but you still need to include this page on your table of contents. A title page in MLA Style might look like this:

Contents

Introduction..............................................................2

Arts.........................................................................5

Government..............................................................8

Works Cited............................................................10

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