Are you curious to learn how to add page numbers in APA Style? Whether you are writing to meet APA 6 or APA 7, we’ve got you covered!

Page numbering in APA 6 and APA 7

In APA Style, page numbering is (usually) straightforward:

  • The first page is numbered page 1.
  • Each page is numbered sequentially thereafter.
  • Numbers are positioned in the header at the top right of each page.

However, many graduate programs complicate matters by specifying different pagination requirements for thesis and dissertation submissions. The following deviations from the above guidelines are common:

1. No page number on the title page; the abstract is numbered as page 2.

2. The front matter, which includes the abstract, table of contents, and acknowledgements, is paginated in Roman numerals (ii, iii, iv, etc.). Beginning with the first page of Chapter 1, pagination resets to Arabic numerals (1, 2, 3, etc.) and continues that way for the remainder of the paper.

3. A combination of both of the above, such that no page number appears on the title page and the abstract is numbered as page ii.

Adding page numbers in MS Word

Word has several ways to add pagination. Here are two easy options.

1. On the ribbon, click on the Insert tab and select Page Number.

Image showing how to insert page number in word.

2. Or, double click in the header of your document. This action opens the Header & Footer Tools Tab. From here, select Page Number. You can also select Different First Page, if you haven’t already, which you’ll need to format the running head.

Image: showing the header and footer tab in MS Word.

Note: This tab disappears from the ribbon when you are not working in a header or footer. If you want to see it, just double click in a header or footer on any page.

3. Either way, from the drop-down list that opens, choose Top of Page and then the third option, Plain Number 3:

Image: showing the insert page number dialog.
Image: showing the page number insert options in Microsoft Word

Word will automatically add the page numbers and your cursor will appear next to the page number of the page you’re on, in the header.

  • You can exit the header either by double clicking on the page anywhere outside of it or by clicking Close Header and Footer in the ribbon.
  • While you’re in the header, you can add the running head.
  • You can format the numbering to Roman, if needed, which we cover next.

Formatting page numbers in Roman numerals

If your program calls for you to paginate front matter (abstract, acknowledgements, table of contents, etc.) using Roman numerals, and for Chapter 1 to start on page 1, never fear. We’ve got you covered!

First, you need to insert a section break between the front matter and Chapter 1. Without this break, Word won’t know when to stop one type of pagination and begin another.

1. Go to the Layout Tab on the ribbon and click the drop-down arrow next to Breaks to open the breaks dialogue box. Under Section Breaks, click Next Page.

Image: showing the insert page break dialog in Microsoft Word

2. Now that you have a break, let’s start in the first section (the front matter). Follow Steps 1 or 2 above to open the Page Number drop-down list. This time, choose Format Page Numbers:

Image: showing how to format page numbers in Microsoft Word

3. The Page Number Format dialogue box opens. Using the arrow next to Number format, choose the format from the drop-down list. You’ll want to select Roman (i, ii, iii…).

4. Repeat this process on the first page of Chapter 1. Here, you’ll want to select your number format to be 1, 2, 3. At the bottom of the dialogue box, you can choose for numbering to continue or restart. If you need to paginate Chapter 1 as page 1, you would choose Start at: and put 1 in the field.

Image: showing page number dialog in Microsoft Word


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