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APA 6: Headings in APA

Tips and information on using APA formatting and styling on your research

What are Headings?

Headings, sections, subsections, or levels of subordination are a style of dividing your research paper into major parts, then minor subsections. Most college papers do not need headings, especially if you are only producing two to five pages. However, if your professor requests you use headings or your are writing an especially long or detailed paper, then use headings to help readers navigate your text. Follow the APA style rules for creating the correct level of heading. Always start with a level one heading and drill down to the last subsection possible (five) in order as seen to the right.

Levels of Headings

Level Format
1 Center, Bold, Upper and Lowercase Heading
2 Flush Left, Bold, Upper and Lowercase Heading
3        Indent, bold, lowercase paragraph heading with a period at the end. First sentence begins afterwards.
4        Indent, bold, italics, lowercase paragraph heading with a period at the end. ​First sentence begins afterwards.
5        Indent, italics, lowercase paragraph heading with a period at the end. ​First sentence begins afterwards.