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Answered By: Sara Stambaugh, Digital Services Librarian
Last Updated: Apr 24, 2016     Views: 1115

Adding page numbers and the running head to a paper can be a tricky thing if you are not working from a template (you can find a link to one at the bottom of this answer).

So let's start with your paper. You have begun your writing, finished your title page and have two paragraphs on your first page before you realize that you need to insert page numbers. 

First you want to double click in the header area on your cover page. A Design tab will pop up - check the Different First Page box.

Design Tab



Next, click on the Page Number drop down menu on the far left and insert the page number on the TOP of the page, adjusted on the LEFT.

Design Tab - Page number insert













Leave your cursor on the left side of the page number and type in your Running head. Then press the Tab key on your keyboard twice (it might only take one tab if you have a longer title). 

This will move your page number over to the right side of the page where it needs to be. (Note: Make sure that your header is the same font and size as the text of your paper; Times New Roman, 12 pt.)


Now scroll down to your second page. This page should currently have no header and no page number. Do the same as you did for your title page: insert the page number on the TOP LEFT, type in the title of your paper in ALL CAPITAL LETTERS, then use the tab key to move your page number to the far right.

Second Page Running Head

You have now successfully entered your running headers and page numbers for your paper! Congratulations!

To get more information about formatting the cover page for your paper, check out the video in our ANSWER here: How do I format my Microsoft Word document in APA?

If you have any additional questions about how to format the rest of your paper, see our Sample APA Paper:

If you want a Word Template for APA papers so you do not have to fight through formatting each time you begin a new paper, see our ANSWER here:

Comments (2)

  1. what if my title is ten words long?
    by Student on Aug 21, 2015.
  2. If your title is 50 characters or longer you may want to shorten it for your running head. For example, if the title of your paper is:


    You might shorten it so it fits in the running head. The short version might look like this:

    by Sara Stambaugh on Aug 21, 2015.

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