APA Lists and Headings



APA style uses a five level format for headings. Regardless of the number of levels in a section, the headings should follow this progression.

Level of heading






Centered, Boldface, Uppercase and Lowercase Heading




Flush Left, Boldface, Uppercase and Lowercase Heading 




Indented, boldface, lowercase paragraph heading ending with a period. 



     Indented, boldface, italicized, lowercase paragraph heading ending with a period. 



     Indented,  italicized, lowercase paragraph heading ending with a period.


Lists and Seriation 

Lists may be helpful when discussing key points in sections or even sentences. Separate paragraphs or sentences in a series should be identified by an Arabic numeral. Numbered lists may indicate an order to items that is not intended; bullets may be desired instead then. Each item should be written in sentence form, followed by a period.

Lists of short things within a sentence should be done as follows: Her options were to be (a) a psychologist, (b) a sociologist, or (c) a nurse. Within a sentence, use commas to separate three or more elements; use semicolons to separate elements that have internal commas. When discussing longer items, you may choose to use a bulleted list, which should be capitalized and punctuated like a normal sentence.