In APA Style, there are five levels of heading. Level 1 is the most important or highest level of heading. Level 2 is a subsection of Level 1, and so on through Levels 4 and 5. Sections 2.26 and 2.27 of the APA Publication Manual, Seventh Edition cover headings.
They educate the reader not just on the content, but also about its place within a hierarchy. The APA Publication Manual (section 3.03, pp. 62–63; also see sample papers) recommends up to five levels of heading in a document, while most works will only require two, three, or four. More than that and the information becomes difficult to find.
The use of headings is important for organizing documents into relevant sections. They help readers find what they are looking for quickly and easily. Without them, documents would be hard to read and would take longer to complete.
There are different types of headings used in academic writing. Hierarchical headings are arranged in a tree structure with a general topic at the root and more specific topics contained within it. Examples include "Introduction" and "Methods". Non-hierarchal headings are listed in alphabetical order without any apparent pattern or sequence. These can be used to organize material by subject matter or for aesthetic purposes. Common non-hierarchal headings include "A", "B", "C", "I", "II", "III", "IV", "V", "VI", and "VII". Hierarchical headings may be used in addition to non-hierarchal headings if necessary. For example, if you were writing about several methods for measuring income distribution, you could start with "Measuring Income" as a hierarchical heading followed by subheadings for each method described.
Regardless, always start with level one headlines and work your way up to level two, and so on. Headings
|3||Flush Left, Boldface Italic, Title Case Heading Text starts a new paragraph.|
|4||Indented, Boldface Title Case Heading Ending With a Period. Paragraph text continues on the same line as the same paragraph.|
The number of headers that should be used in a document is determined by the length and complexity of the material. Use Level 1 if just one level of heading is required. Use Levels 1 and 2 if two levels of heading are required. If three heading levels are required, use Levels 1, 2, and 3. (and so on).
For longer papers or those with more complex material, more levels of heading should be used.
It is advisable to keep header and footer sections at the beginning and end of each chapter or section, respectively. This makes it easy to refer back to these parts of the paper if you need to insert additional information or revise your ideas.
Using subheads is a good way to reduce the number of words in your paper while still maintaining clarity. Subheads can be used under both main and secondary heads; however, only one subhead should be used per paragraph. Using too many subheads will make your paper hard to read and follow.
Headers and footers should be typed or printed in black ink on white paper. They should be left off of copies sent to individuals. For presentations or web pages, it is acceptable to use color ink and/or text formatting for headers and footers.
Headings help the reader understand your reasoning and structure by providing a hierarchy of parts in the document. Title case is used at all heading levels in APA 7. The initial letters of words with four or more letters are capitalized in title case, while all other letters are left lowercase....
|1||Centered, Boldface, Uppercase and Lowercase Headings|
|2||Flush left, Boldface, Uppercase and Lowercase Heading|
|3||Indented, boldface, lowercase paragraph heading ending with a period.|
Each paper starts with an introduction. However, the heading "Introduction" is not used in APA Style since what appears first is regarded to be the introduction. Level 1 contains the first heading. The first heading in this article is "Literature Overview," hence it is on Level 1.
A Three-Level Plan A three-level outline is composed of of headers for a paper's sections, subsections, and paragraphs. The main sentence (or phrase) that all sentences in the paragraph will support should be included in the paragraph headers. These main sentences are called thesis statements. Each subsequent sentence or phrase should be related to the previous one by using cause and effect, comparison and contrast, or some other formal relationship expressed in English grammar.
Level 1 Headers are used at the beginning of each section of your paper. Level 2 Headers are used within these sections to help organize your argument. Level 3 Headers are used at the end of each section to signal that there will be no new material starting on the next page. These can also be called subheads because they are usually shorter than regular headings.
Thesis Statements: These are the words or phrases that summarize the content of your paragraph or entire essay. They must be concise and clear, although they don't need to be long. Try to identify the main idea of each paragraph before you begin writing it. This will help you include this information in the header. You can also use subheadings to indicate the topic of each paragraph or section.
Level 1 Headers: These should be short and simple to understand. They should also reflect the subject of the section they are giving credit for.