Answered By: Rebecca Sedam
Last Updated: Sep 25, 2018     Views: 9

A running head is a type of page header used in papers written and formatted in APA style (American Psychological Association). To get a better sense of how this should appear, take a moment to view the APA Sample Paper from the Purdue Online Writing Lab.
 
Take note of these points:
  • Since the running head is based on the title of your paper, you may have to abbreviate it in order to keep it at the required 50 characters or less (this character count includes punctuation and spaces). 
  • The title page running head should be flush left and take the following form with the title words all in uppercase:
    Running head: AWESOME TITLE OF THIS PAPER
  • Page numbers should be flush right.
  • Subsequent pages will eliminate the words “Running head” and show the title, still in uppercase and still flush left:
    AWESOME TITLE OF THIS PAPER
Use your preferred word processing program (i.e., Word, Google Docs) to automatically generate the running head on each page of your paper.  Since the title page is the only place where the two words “Running head” appear, you have to take a bit of extra care with how the insert header commands affect the following pages. Word processing programs can change many features between updates.  The following steps were recorded in September 2018.
 
Word 2013 - APA Style Running Head
  1. Open your paper in Word 2013
  2. Click in front of the first word of your title page
  3. Select “Insert
  4. Select “Page Number” (located next to the Header and Footer options)
  5. Select "Top of Page"
  6. Select the “Plain Number 1” option
  7. Select the box “Different First Page” (You must be on the first page!)
  8. Type the words "Running head" followed by a colon and one space. After the colon, type your paper's running head in uppercase letters  (Remember, this should be a maximum of 50 characters, counting letters, punctuation, and spaces between words)
  9. Tab over to the right margin and type 1
  10. Go to page 2, click in front of the 2, and type in your paper's running head. Tab the 2 over to the right margin
  11. Select “Close Header and Footer
Google Docs - APA Style Running Head
  1. Open your paper in Google Docs
  2. Go to the first page of your document
  3. Select "Insert"  =>  "Header & page number"  =>  "Header"
  4. Check the box for “Different first page header/footer
  5. Type "Running head" followed by a colon and a space, then your paper's running head in uppercase letters (Remember, this should be a maximum of 50 characters, counting letters, punctuation, and spaces between words)
  6. Click at the top of the second page (the header editing field appears). Type in your paper's running head.
  7. To put in page numbers for the document: Return to the first page, click after the last word in the running head, tab over to the right margin
  8. Select "Insert"  =>  "Header & page number"  =>  "Page Number"
  9. Select the option in the upper left of the box
  10. Adjust the position of the page number with the "Delete" key or "Tab" key as necessary
 

Related Topics

Live Chat

Chat is on break! We will return January 22.

More Ways to Contact Us

Call a Librarian (DPC): 847.635.1644
Call a Librarian (RHC): 847.635.1474
Text us: 847.906.2746
Circulation & Interlibrary Loan (DPC): 847.635.1642
Circulation & Interlibrary Loan (RHC):​ 847.635.1432