Answered By: Theresa Bell
Last Updated: Nov 26, 2019     Views: 2828

APA 6th Edition (scroll down for APA 7th edition)

The running head presents information in the top left corner of every page in the header. See below for more information: 

The running head (along with the page numbers) appears in the header of every page (the header by nature is situated within the top margin of your paper; all the margins themselves should be set to 1 inch). Type it in all capital letters, make sure it is no longer than 50 characters (including spaces), and left justify it. Then add your page numbers, right justified.

   On the first page only, the running head is also preceded by the words Running head and a colon. On all other pages, just the running head itself and the page number appear, without the words Running head:. (Lee, 2010, para. 3-4)

Please refer to the first two pages of the APA Help Guide for examples of running heads. Please also see "Aligning the running head and page numbers". For further explanation on running heads, please see "Mysteries of the Running Head Explained" in the APA Style Blog.


Lee, C. (2010, November 11). Running head format for APA style papers [Blog post]. Retrieved from 

APA 7th Edition

Journal article manuscripts submitted for publication contain a running head with an abbreviated version of the paper title at the top left corner of every page. Student papers only require a running head when specifically requested by instructors; otherwise, papers submitted for grading do not use a running head (American Psychological Association, 2020, p. 37).

In the event that instructors request a running head, the running head should appear directly across from the page number and will be identical on every page, including the title page (American Psychological Association, 2020, p.37). The running head includes the title of the paper in all-capital letters up to a maximum of 50 characters, counting letters, punctuation, and spaces between words, for instance: TITLE OF DOCUMENT IN 50 CHARACTERS (American Psychological Association, 2020, p.37). When the title of the paper is over 50 characters, abbreviate the title in a shortened form using the most important words from the original title. For an example of how the running head appears in article manuscripts submitted for publication, please see the APA’s “Annotated Professional Sample Paper”.


American Psychological Association. (2020). Publication manual of the American Psychological Association (7th ed.).