How to format APA page numbers

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In an APA style paper, page numbers generally appear in three places:

  1. On every page in the upper right corner (pagination for the paper)
  2. In-text citations
  3. The reference list

Let’s review all three.

1. Pagination for the paper

Every page written in APA style needs to have the page number listed at the top right corner of the paper. It also needs to appear on every page. It should also appear on the title page of the paper, as well as every page of the appendices, footnotes, and other supplemental sections.

The page number should be in the same font and size as the rest of your paper. APA provides different font point sizes depending on the font. For example, 12-point for Times New Roman or 11-point for Arial.

To summarize, your APA page number needs to be:

  • At the top of every page (including the title page, body, appendices, etc.)
  • Placed in the header
  • Flush against the right margin
  • In the same font and size as the rest of your paper

You also do not need to write the word “page” or use its abbreviated form of “p.” or “pp.” All it needs is the number.
APA style student title page example

It’s recommended that you use autogenerated page numbers in the “header” section of your paper. These features are available in most popular word processors.

2. In-text citations

APA style, page number are recommended (but optional) for paraphrasing, and required for direct quotations from sources with page numbers.

In-text citation structure and example for one page:

Text (Author Last Name, Year Published, p. #)

“And in our heart—strange are the ways of evil!—in our heart there is the first peace we have known in twenty years.” (Rand, 2019, p. 32)

In-text citation structure and example for a page range:

Text (Author Last Name, Year Published, pp. #-#)

“It is not good to be different from our brothers, but it is evil to be superior to them” (Rand, 2019, pp. 12-13)

Reference list entry for both examples:

Rand, A. (2019). Anthem. Project Gutenberg. https://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/1250 (Original work published in 1938)

Notice that unlike the in-text citations, the example reference list entry does NOT include page numbers. Whether a reference includes page numbers is not dependent on the in-text citation; it depends on the source type.

3. Reference list

Page numbers are only included in reference list entries when the following happens:

  • The source has page numbers.
  • The cited source is a smaller, complete work within a bigger work.

Common example sources:

Periodical/Article page numbers

Articles in periodicals (e.g., journals, newspapers, magazines, etc.) include page numbers in their references. The page number or page number range are formatted as the following:

Template and examples:

#-#

3-9

100-111

Notice that unlike in-text citations, there is no “p.” or “pp.” preceding the page numbers.

Example reference (journal article):

Gunn, R., Whear, R., & Douglas, L. (2012, June). A second recent canine burial from the Arnhem Land Plateau. Australian Archaeology, (74), 103-105. http://www.jstor.org/stable/23621527

Chapter in an edited book page numbers

Similar to in-text citations, page numbers are indicated by “p. #” or “pp. #-#” in the reference.

Example reference (chapter in an edited book):

Lisi, G. (2012). Uncalculated risk. In J. Brockman (Ed.), This will make you smarter (pp. 68-73). Harper Perennial.


Published October 28, 2020.


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