Wednesday, March 6, 2013

How to Create an APA Title Page Using Microsoft Word 2010

 Why Do I Need a Title Page?

The Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association states that "The title page includes five elements: title, running head, author byline, institutional affiliation, and author note" (pg. 229).  The title page should include the page number "1" (pg. 229).  Generally, however, an author note is not required if the paper is part of a college course, and the paper is not meant for publication.

In general, a title page is a greeting to the reader. It quickly offers the reader pertinent information about the paper: its topic and tone, the identity of the writer, and the writer's organization. In professional writing, an APA title page even offers the reader a brief biography of the writer. Just as shaking someone's hand gives a speaker an opportunity to prepare to speak to a listener, a title page gives the writer an opportunity to prepare to communicate with a reader.

What Does a Title Page Look Like?

A title page is a neat and tidy, very specifically formatted, first page of the paper. It includes the running head at the top of the page and the title block in the upper half of the page.  The title block is centered, and it can be three or four lines long. It includes the title of the paper, the writer's name, and the writer's organization. 

Just like a suit and tie can impress a potential employer, a dressed-up title page can impress a reader.

How Do I Create a Title Page in MS Word 2010?

Creating a 6th Edition APA title page can be completed properly in Microsoft Word 2010 pretty simply.

  1. Take a look at your whole page by using the "Print Layout" view accessible from the "View" tab.
  2. From the "Home" tab, choose to show the hidden formatting marks by clicking on the symbol that looks like a widened backward-facing "P." This is called the pilcrow symbol. You'll now see your hidden formatting marks. They will not print on your final copy.
  3. Double-click in the header area of the page. That opens the "Header and Footer" "Design Tools" menu, and that will allow you to create your running head.
  4. After you create your running head, double-click back into the center area of the page to leave the header area. The header will display as light grey, but it will print the same as the rest of your text.
  5. Now, type CTRL and A on the keyboard at the same time. That's how you select everything in a document. You'll get a light blue box. Without clicking anywhere else on the screen, from the "Home" tab, change your font to Times New Roman 12.
  6. If the light blue box disappears, select all, again. Without clicking anywhere else on the screen, from the "Home" tab, now change your "Paragraph" settings by clicking on the square box next to the word "Paragraph."
  7. In the popup menu, set your "Before" and "After" spacing to 0, and set your "Line Spacing" to "double." Check "Don't add space between paragraphs of same style."
  8. Click "OK." Your font and line spacing is now properly set for your entire paper.
  9. Type enter four times. You'll see four double-spaced pilcrow symbols appear.
  10. Under the "Home" tab and "Paragraph" menu, click the option to center your text.
  11. Type your title in proper title case. If your title is quite long or has a subtitle, you may use two lines for your title.
  12. On the next double-spaced line, type your name.
  13. On the next double-spaced line, type your organizational affiliation. For example, if you're writing content to deliver to your 4-H club, the name of your club might appear here. If you're writing a paper for school, use the name of your school or class, depending on the preference of your professor.
  14. If required, skip a space and complete your short author's biography. This is generally only required for peer-reviewed publication submissions.
  15. After typing the final line of your title block, insert a page break from the"Insert" tab and the "Pages" menu. Your cursor will now appear at the very top of the next page.

Want to learn more about APA formatting?  Try

Copyright Amy Lynn Hess.  Contact the author for permission to republish.


  1. Thank you so much. This is the first research paper I've written for over 13 years! Lots of changes in technology. You saved me from lots of stress!

    1. You are very welcome! There are a lot of tips and tricks when it comes to using Word to format a research paper, but knowing how to set the format manually can be a lifesaver. : )

  2. Thank you, Amy! I too, after ten years, am writing a research paper in APA format. I have Microsoft Word 2013 so hope the same rules apply.

    1. Indeed! I can't wait to see a version of the new Word 2013 so I can make sure these rules do apply. Please, if they do not, let me know so I can "warn" other readers. : )

  3. hi Amy. We are doing a group paper and you mentioned that "the title block can be three or four lines long." Or group consists of 5 members. How do I go about making the title block with the 5 names? Please help :(

    1. Hi there! Thank you for your question!

      If this is for a school project, you should ask your professor how he or she would prefer the names listed. If this is for publication, ask the publisher for specific guidelines. If I were teaching a course and asked students to submit a common paper, I would probably ask the students to list all of the group members' names, one per line, in the title block. The APA Style Web site states, "The title page includes five elements: title, running head, author, byline, institutional affiliation, and author note (which includes grant/funding information and a full correspondence address). The title page is numbered page 1. Instructors who require other information on the title page should supply students with examples of their preferred format."

      Good luck on your paper!