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Answered By: Jeneen LaSee-Willemssen
Last Updated: Mar 29, 2016     Views: 743

First level headings are bolded, centered, and use both upper and lower case. Example first level headings might include Method, Results, and Discussion.

Second level headings are flush left, bolded, and both upper and lower case. Second level headings should be subsections within first level headings. Examples might include Data Collection, Sampling, and Assessments within a Methods section.

Third level headings are indented one tab, bolded, both uppoer and lower case, followed by a period, and followed by text.

Fourth level headings are like third level headings third level headings, but they are italicized.

Fifth level headings arelike fourth level headings, but are not bolded.


Example below is not spaced correctly (html would not let us do consistent double spacing). Method is level one. Data Collection is level 2, Students and Staff are level 3. Instructors and Support Staff are level 4.

Method

Data Collection

Blah blah blah blah blah. Blah blah blah blah blah blah blah. Blah blah blah blah blah. Blah

blah. Blah blah blah blah blah blah blah. Blah blah blah blah blah. Blah blah blah blah blah. Blah blah

blah blah blah blah blah. Blah blah blah blah blah.

Students.  Blah. Blah blah blah blah blah. Blah blah blah blah blah blah blah. Blah blah blah

blah blah. Blah blah blah blah blah. Blah blah blah blah blah blah blah. Blah blah blah blah blah.

Blah blah blah blah blah.Blah blah blah blah blah blah blah. Blah blah blah blah blah.

Staff. Blah blah blah blah blah. Blah blah blah blah blah blah blah. Blah blah blah blah

blah. Blah blah blah blah blah. Blah blah blah blah blah blah blah. Blah blah blah blah blah.

Instructors. Blah blah blah blah blah. Blah blah blah blah blah blah blah. Blah blah blah

blah blah. Blah blah blah blah blah. Blah blah blah blah blah blah blah. Blah blah blah blah blah.

Support Staff. Blah blah blah blah blah. Blah blah blah blah blah blah blah. Blah blah blah

blah blah. Blah blah blah blah blah. Blah blah blah blah blah blah blah. Blah blah blah blah blah.


See section 3.03 of the Publication Manual for a complete description of when and how to use headings and subheadings in an APA paper.


The following explanation about headings is from the APA style website:

Heading levels

There are five levels of headings in APA Style...

  • The number of headings needed for a paper will vary depending on the paper’s complexity and subject matter. Sections of similar importance have the same level of heading.

  • Don’t use “Introduction” as your first heading—it’s assumed that the beginning of the paper is the introduction.

  • Use boldface and/or italics only for headings within the body of your paper (as described for each level of heading in the Publication Manual).

More information

Publication Manual (6th ed., sections 3.02–3.03, pp. 62–63)

From the APA Style Blog:

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