How to Use Line Spacing in APA

In the APA format, it’s the norm to have double spacing in the entire paper. This includes the abstract, main text, block quotes, table and figure numbers, titles, notes, and the reference list, however, there are exceptions to this general rule.

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TITLE PAGE CONSIDERATIONS

On the title page, a double-spaced blank line should be inserted between the title and the byline. In the case of professional papers, it is recommended to include at least one double-spaced blank line above the author note, bearing in mind that student papers do not incorporate author notes.

APA Page Title Line Spacing Format

TABLES AND LINE SPACING 

In APA Style, how you space the lines within tables can depend on the layout that works best for communicating information. The cells in the table body can be single-spaced, one-and-a-half-spaced, or double-spaced. It’s crucial to keep the spacing consistent within the table. Also, double-space the table number, title, and any notes that go along with it to ensure the table looks organized.

APA Table Line Spacing Format

In this example, the body of the table, which contains the data, is single-spaced for simplicity. 

FIGURES AND LINE SPACING

The words inside the image part of a figure can be single-spaced, one-and-a-half-spaced, or double-spaced, depending on what makes the information look best. It’s important to keep things consistent. The figure number, title, and notes should all be double-spaced.¬†

Navigating Appendices with Clarity: When including appendices in your document, maintain a clear and consistent approach to line spacing. Ensure that all elements within the appendices, such as titles, subtitles, and text, follow the general double-spacing rule. Consistency in formatting enhances the professionalism of your appendices and contributes to the overall coherence of your paper.

Strategic Use of Line Spacing in Abstracts: While the general guideline is to double-space abstracts, consider the strategic use of line spacing to enhance the readability of key points. Utilize single-spacing or one-and-a-half spacing within specific sections of the abstract to draw attention to essential information. This nuanced approach can make your abstract more engaging and informative for readers.

FOOTNOTES AND DISPLAYED EQUATIONS

Footnotes have a supportive role in providing additional information without cluttering the main text. They are usually single-spaced and slightly smaller than the main text.

When dealing with displayed equations, it’s recommended to use triple- or quadruple-spacing. This flexibility offers writers the chance to emphasize specific elements, contributing to enhanced clarity in mathematical or technical presentations.

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Tomas Elliott (Ph.D.)

Tomas Elliott is an assistant Professor of English at Northeastern University London. His research specialisms include the history of theatre and film, European modernism, world literature, film adaptation, transmedia studies and citation practices. He read English and French Literature at Trinity College, Oxford, before completing a PhD in Comparative Literature and Literary Theory at the University of Pennsylvania.

Learn how to cite in APA