East Carolina University
Department of Psychology


Karl Wuensch's APA-Style Headings Page


    The seventh edition of the APA Publication Manual (see section 2.27) uses headings that differ from those in the sixth edition. 

    Each section starts with a Level 1 heading (The title of the article, not the word "Introduction," serves as the Level 1 heading for the introduction) and then proceeds to Level 2, 3, 4, and 5 as needed, in that order.  To see a examples using two or three levels of headings, go here.

Level Style
1

Centered, Boldface, Uppercase and Lowercase (aka Title Case)

     Text begins as a new paragraph.

2 Flush Left, Boldface, Title Case

     Text begins as a new paragraph.

3 Flush Left, Boldface, Italicized, Title Case

     Text begins as a new paragraph.

4      Indented, Boldface, Title Case Paragraph Heading Ending With a Period.  Text begins on the same line.
5      Indented, Boldface, Italicized, Title Case Paragraph Heading Ending With a Period. Text begins on the same line.

 

        Here is an illustration of these headings should look like:

   

    Below, for historical purposes, are the headings prescribed by earlier versions of the publication manual.


The sixth edition of the APA Publication Manual (see section 3.03) included a radical (and long overdue) change in the style of headings to be used in APA style manuscripts.  There are still five levels of headings:

 

Level Style
1

Centered, Boldface, Uppercase and Lowercase

2 Flush Left, Boldface, Uppercase and Lowercase
3      Indented, boldface, lowercase paragraph heading ending with a period.
4      Indented, boldface, italicized, lowercase paragraph heading ending with a period.
5      Indented, italicized, lowercase paragraph heading ending with a period.

    Here is the awful way headings were formatted in previous editions of the APA Publication Manual.  Good riddance to this.

    Before you can determine which levels of headings are appropriate, you need to know how many levels of headings you have employed. Carefully read pages 113 through 115 in the 5th edition of the APA Publication Manual. Most theses in Psychology will employ two or three levels of headings

Here is an explanation of the characteristics of the different levels of headings, and an example of each:

Birds Flying

spider in web
Contact Information for the Webmaster,
Dr. Karl L. Wuensch



This page most recently revised on 23-March-2020.