Apa Page Numbers Dissertation Writing

Use Microsoft Word's automatic Header and Page Number functions rather than inserting them into the text of your paper manually. 

To create Flush Left first page running head and page number:

  1. On your title page, the Header is in the form "Running Head: SHORT TITLE OF PAPER". Click on the "Insert" tab in the ribbon at the top of the Word program, then choose the Header tool.
  2. Choose the "Blank" style from the drop-down menu.
  3. Check the box labeled "Different First Page."
  4. In the Header space, type your first page style header "Running Head: SHORT TITLE OF PAPER"
  5. Move cursor to the end of your title. Then, with the Design Tools displayed, click the "Insert Alignment Tab"  and select the Alignment option "Right." Click OK.​
  6. Click on the Quick Parts tool and click on Field in the menu.
  7. In the Field pop-up menu, scroll down to Page and click on that.
  8. In Field Properties: Format, choose the page number style [1, 2, 3, ...] and click OK.

To create Flush Left running head and page numbers the following pages:

  1. Scroll down to the second page to repeat process for the rest of your paper.
  2. Click in header area above line; if line is not visible, double-click in space at top of page to activate header space.
  3. Enter SHORT TITLE at left. While the Header area is active, mover your cursor to the end of your title. Then, with the Design Tools displayed, click "Insert Alignment Tab" and select the Alignment option "Right." Use Quick Parts tool to create page numbers (will automatically start at “2”).

To start page numbering after title page: 

  1. In first page header area, delete page number; the second page will still be numbered "2".
  2. To start numbering on second page with number "1", click on the Insert tab, in the Headers & Footers group, click Page Number, and then click Format Page Numbers.
  3. In the Page Number Format pop-up box, choose "Start at 0" and click OK. You can also change the style of the page numbers from this menu.

See the attached file for screenshots of the process.

If you have any more questions, feel free to contact us at the reference desk!


For more information about formatting papers in APA style, consult the APA Manual. A copy is located behind the reference desk.

The preferred font in APA is Times New Roman with 12-pt font size. Double-space between all text lines of the paper/manuscript. Leave margins at least 1 inch all around and on each page. Do not justify lines. 

The APA rules for "running heads" are on pages 229-230 of the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association (§8.03):

  • a maximum of 50 characters, counting letters, punctuation, and spaces between words;
  • flush left;
  • all uppercase letters;
  • at the top of the title page and all subsequent pages;
  • do not use your name to identify each page

You can find the requirements for the Title and Byline in §§ 2.01 and 2.02 (pp. 22-23) of the APA manual. In general, the title should summarize the main idea of the paper and, if possible, with style. It should be a concise statement of the main topic.

The text formatting is detailed in §8.03; examples of a formatted manuscript are shown on pp. 41-59.

See Also: How do I add page numbers in Microsoft Word?

To use different page numbering schemes in different sections of your Word document, there are two tricks: 1) you must include a "Section Break - Next page" between each section of your document where the numbering will change, and 2) you must "unlink" each section's footer from the one before it.

To start, temporarily turn on the viewing of hidden formatting symbols by clicking the "Show/Hide" symbol on the "Home" tab in the "Paragraph" box -- this will enable you to see the Section Breaks between sections of your document.

 

One of the required page numbering changes for your thesis or dissertation is that you need to use Roman numerals (e.g., "i, ii, iii") for your introductory sections (Abstract, Table of Contents), and then switch to Arabic numerals (e.g., "1, 2, 3") and begin the page numbering at "1" at the start of Chapter I of your main text.

If you do not already have a "Section Break" between these two sections of your document, you will need to add one.  Place your cursor at the very end of the text in the first section (after your Table of Contents and any Lists of Tables and Figures), being careful NOT to place it in the footer where the page number is (if the text above becomes grayed out, you are in the footer – try clicking higher).

 

Add a "Section Break – Next Page" by selecting the "Page Layout" tab on the menu, clicking the arrow next to "Breaks", and selecting "Next Page" under Section Breaks.

 

After doing this, you should see a "Section Break (Next Page)" code inserted into your document.  This tells Word that the next page begins a new section which may have a different header or footer.

 

Go down to the next page below the section break (in this example, the first page of Chapter I), and click on the page number in the Footer.  If your cursor is in the Footer, you should see "Footer -Section [#]-" to the left, and "Same as Previous" on the right.

 

You should also see a new tab appear on the menu, labeled "Header & Footer Tools: Design".  Select this.  (Be careful not to confuse this with another tab labeled "Design" between the "Insert" and "Page Layout" tabs.)  In the "Navigation" section of this tab, you will see a highlighted button labeled "Link to Previous" which tells Word to link the footer in this section to the previous section and to continue its page numbering scheme.  Click the "Link to Previous" button to UNSELECT it.

 

After clicking this, the "Link to Previous" button should no longer be highlighted.  The "Same as Previous" box to the right of your footer should also disappear.

 

Confirm your cursor is still next to the page number in the Footer, then go back to the Header & Footer Tools – Design tab on the menu, and in the "Header & Footer" section, select Page Number > Format Page Numbers.

 

The "Page Number Format" window will appear.  Select the appropriate "Number format" for this section ("1, 2, 3," or "i, ii, iii", etc.), and tell Word whether to continue the page numbering from the previous section or to start at "1" or another number.  In this example, we want Section 2 (which begins at Chapter I and contains the main text of our thesis or dissertation) to use Arabic numerals and to start numbering this section from page 1.  Click "OK" to finish.

 

You will notice that the page numbering for the current section has now been corrected, and if you unlinked it properly from the previous sections, the numbering in those sections should remain as it was before.

 

Next, you will need to change the page number format to lower-case Roman numerals (i.e., "i, ii, iii, ...") for the section with your Abstract and Table of Contents.  Click your cursor on the footer of your Abstract or Table of Contents page.

 

Open the "Format Page Numbers" window by going to the Header & Footer Tools – Design tab on the menu, and in the "Header & Footer" section, select Page Number > Format Page Numbers.

 

Next to "Number format", select the "i, ii, iii, ..." option for lower-case Roman numerals, then click "OK".

 

The page numbering for the section with your Abstract and Table of Contents should change to lower-case Roman numerals.  As long as you correctly unlinked the following section from this one, the page numbering in the following section, the main body of your text, should remain Arabic numerals starting with 1.

 

You will also need to remove page numbers completely from the title page and other preliminary pages of your thesis or dissertation.  To do this, you will use the same method as above, but delete the page numbers from the first section of your document.

Place your cursor at the very end of the last page which will not be numbered (probably your approval page, dedication, or acknowledgment), being careful NOT to place it in the footer where the page number is (if the text above becomes grayed out, you are in the footer – try clicking higher).

 

Add a "Section Break – Next Page" by selecting the "Page Layout" tab on the menu, clicking the arrow next to "Breaks", and selecting "Next Page" under Section Breaks.

After doing this, you should see a "Section Break (Next Page)" code inserted into your document on the page before your Abstract.

 

Go down to the next page below the section break (in this example, the Abstract), and click on the page number in the Footer.  If your cursor is in the Footer, you should see "Footer -Section [#]-" to the left, and "Same as Previous" on the right. Be sure you are not in Section 1 of your document.

 

On the main menu, select the "Header & Footer Tools: Design" tab, then in the "Navigation" section of this tab, click the "Link to Previous" button if it is highlighted to UNSELECT it and unlink this section from the section above.  This will allow you to modify the page number in the first section without affecting this or subsequent sections.

 

Return to your Title Page (or any page in Section 1 which will not be numbered) and click on the page number in the footer.  Click-and-drag your cursor over the page number to select it.

 

Click the "Delete" key on your keyboard to delete the page number from this section.  As long as you removed the "Link to Previous" connection from the next section, you should the page number disappear from the first section, but remain in the following sections.

 

If your paper includes additional sections (for example, if your Approval Page was added as a separate section from your Title page), you may have to experiment with linking and unlinking sections from each other -- unlink a section if its page numbering will be different from the one before it, but link together any sections where the page numbering will continue from the one before it.  It is generally a good idea to start with the last section of your document and work your way backwards.

When you are finished, don't forget that you can hide the formatting symbols to make it easier to view your text by turning off the "Show/Hide" symbol on the "Home" tab in the "Paragraph" box.

 

Footer Sections and page numbering can be very complex, especially if your document has multiple sections.  If you need additional assistance getting your page numbering correct, contact Jeff Beuck at 216-523-7486 to set up an appointment.

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