APA Format Google Docs

Work Made Easy: Guide for APA Format Google Docs

As a person closely associated with writing or any academic work, you might be very closely associated with using google docs or any other similar word applications. But most often you have to follow the standards of that organization or your instructor to get the writing done in a specified way or orientation. For that let me tell you, APA format in Google docs is the most basic or most commonly used one.  In this post, I shall be guiding you on APA format in Google docs.  

 Topics included in the article:

  1. What is APA format Google Docs?
  2. Basic standards for an APA format document.
  3. Creating an APA format document. 
  4. Conclusion 

Note: The steps and guide in this post apply to the web version of Google Docs only. And these steps are the same for all operating systems and web browser software.

What is APA format Google Docs?

The documentation style APA stands for American Psychological Association. It is actually a form of writing research papers used mainly in the social science fields, like psychology, anthropology, sociology, also education and other fields. However, nowadays APA has become the most common format of writing official documentations, because it is more readable and thus more convenient. 

Basic Standards for an APA Format Google Docs

Although, APA format is most often customizable yet there are some basic standards that specify a document as APA formatted and the others as not. So let’s have a look at these basic formats.    

  •  Text with Double-space and paragraphs with no extra spaces between them. 
  • Text Size as 12, font as  Times New Roman, or any other similarly legible font.
  • One-inched page margins on all sides.
  • A header including the title of your paper and also the page number. Although page number can be added in the footer, as per your choice.  
  • A title page which includes the title of the paper, your name, and your school’s name. 
  • The body paragraph beginning with a 0.5 inch indent.
  • Optionally, a page for the References can be added at the end of the paper.
  • For specific quotes or facts, add in-text citations.

In addition to all the above Your instructor might specify other requirements as well. The American Psychological Association’s website has its own  official guidelines for the APA format.

Creating an APA Format Document

While creating an APA format document we can consider two ways to do so. The first one is by using templates and the other is manually creating an APA file format. So let’s just have a look at it in detail. 

Using Templates to Create APA Format Document 

It becomes a lot easier when we do the APA document using templates; Just 3 simple steps and boom!! there you go have your APA format document all ready to work with. 

1. Open a fresh/ blank google document by clicking https://docs.google.com/document/u/0/. Now, click the File tab, select New > From template from the dropdown list.

Guide For APA Format Google Docs

2. This will open the template gallery in a separate browser tab. You can see several sections, just scroll down to the Education section then select Report APA. you can also see several other templates as wells so you can set up MLA format in Google Docs, you’ll find templates for that as well

Guide For APA Format Google Docs

3. You’ll see a new document open up, containing some demo text in APA format. All you gotta do is just replace these words with your own ones, with the proper formatting already in place. You can also delete some of the secretions if you don’t want that in your file.

Guide For APA Format Google Docs

Manually Creating an APA Format Document 

Creating APA with templates can be easy though it might confuse some, so it is better to understand how to set up the APA style in Google Docs manually. Also, there’s good news that once you format your document, you can save it for later use as well, because it saves us a personal template.

1. Open a blank Google document by clicking https://docs.google.com/document/u/0/. Select Times New Roman in the font and set the font size as 12. In google docs by default, there’s a margin of 1-inch all around which reduces your work of setting margin.

2. Click Insert, then select Headers & footers > Header. This adds the header and footer of the specifications you gave.

3. It’s important to note that, obviously you can change and remove headers and footers in Google Docs at any time but the moment you add text to it, the font will revert to the default form, you’ll need to change it to 12 point Times New Roman again. Also, add the title of your paper, preferably in blocks (all caps).

4. Click the Insert tab then select Page numbers > Page count.

5. Place the cursor to the left-most side of the page number then press the spacebar or the tab key until it is aligned with the top-right margin, now check the box under the Different first page. Or, You can simply align the whole text to the right by clicking the Format tab, Select Align, and Indent > Right. Or, simply select text and press CTRL + SHIFT + R.

6. The text you entered might disappear from the first page, but will eventually appear on the subsequent pages. Type Running head: followed by a space, then type the title in block letters (all caps.)

7. Now you can type number 1 as the page number, then place the text cursor to the left-most side of the page number. Now press the spacebar or tab key until it is aligned with the top-right margin. Or, You can simply align the whole text to the right by clicking the Format tab, Select Align, and Indent > Right. Or, simply select text and press CTRL + SHIFT + R. This has to be done again and again so as to ensure that the new text is in the same format as the other elements in the text and not in the default format.

8. Click or tap anywhere below the header in your document. Click the Format tab, then select Line Spacing > Double. Or, you can also, select the Line spacing icon in the toolbar, right at the top of the page, and select Double.

9. Keep the Enter key from the keyboard pressed until the text cursor is about mid-way down the page then select Center Align.

10. Add the full title of your document, your full name, and the name of your workplace/ school in separate lines.

11. To start a new page Click Insert. Select Break > Page Break.

12. First select Center Align then type Abstract.

13. Press Enter key, now select Left Align.

14. Press the Tab key to indent, then type your abstract. It’s important to note that the default indent of Google Docs is 0.5 inches which are just appropriate for APA format.

15. To start a new page, click Insert. Select Break > Page Break. Press the Tab key and begin to type the body of your paper. Each new paragraph should begin with an indent, to make it more readable and easily understandable. 

16. We can also add references or a footer such as a page number, at the end of our documents. To add a new page for reference click Insert. Select Break > Page Break to create a new page for your references.


 It’s important to note that you can format your own style of APA files/ documents in google docs. All you need to do is change the pre formatted APA document, according to the specifications of your own. 
Hope you understood what APA format document is and how simple it is to imply. Stay connected for such tips and guides.   

Kristina Barooah
I am Kristina Barooah, currently a Computer Science Engineering(CSE) student of Lovely Professional University. I an experienced technical content creator. I write on the trending technologies and their appropriate usage including AWS services, several programming languages like Python, R, JavaScript, and their appropriate usage. Also, operations on network security and operating systems. I have recently worked with RackUp, an international digital marketing company as a Technical writer intern also I have written several tech blogs on AWS services on Medium for the Students wing of Amazon Web Services. In addition to this, I have worked with numerous Student organizations of some reputed companies including Google and Amazon Web Services. I have also, been awarded twice for my excellence in English proficiency. As a Computer Science Engineering student, I am keenly interested in BigData, Machine Learning (ML), Cloud Building, Artificial Intelligence(AI) to name a few. You can check my profile on linked, the URL is linked below.