I'm trying to define my sections for my research paper using APA guidelines :

Section : Centered, Boldface, Uppercase and Lowercase Headings

Subsection : Left-aligned, Boldface, Uppercase and Lowercase Heading

Subsubsection : Indented, boldface, lowercase heading with a period. Begin body text after the period.

To do so, I am using the following commands :

\renewcommand{\section}{\@startsection {section}{1}{24pt}%



However, my sections, subsections and subsubsections all look the same : the sections are not centered but indented and are followed by a period; the subsections aren't left-aligned but indented, and followed by a period, and my subsubsections look just right. Basically all of my sections look like subsubsections.

The document class is : \documentclass[doc,apacite]{apa6}

  • 1
    Shouldn't the apa6 class give the right headings?
    – Johannes_B
    Commented Aug 8, 2014 at 9:20
  • @Johannes_B It does but the spacing under the headers is thrown off. I want it to be double spaced (24pt). To remedy that I wrote : \usepackage{titlesec} \titlespacing{\section}{24pt}{\parskip}{-\parskip} \titlespacing{\subsection}{24pt}{\parskip}{-\parskip} \titlespacing{\subsubsection}{24pt}{\parskip}{-\parskip} ...but \titlespacing doesn't play nice with apa6.
    – user60367
    Commented Aug 8, 2014 at 9:40
  • 1
    Can you add up a compilabel minimal example to your question showing the problem? Right now i can't even imagine whats wrong.
    – Johannes_B
    Commented Aug 8, 2014 at 9:45

1 Answer 1


The default settings from apa6.cls give you most of your requirements; the only thing that you might need to adjust is the spacing after the sections and subsections; those spaces are controlled by lengths (skips) \e@level@one@skip (for sections) and \e@level@two@skip (for subsections). The default values are

\e@level@one@skip=0.2\baselineskip \@plus .2ex
\e@level@two@skip=0.2\baselineskip \@plus 0.2ex

so you need to adjust those according to your requirements. For example:


\e@level@one@skip=1\baselineskip \@plus .2ex
\e@level@two@skip=1\baselineskip \@plus 0.2ex


\section{A Test Section}
\subsection{A Test Subsection}
\subsubsection{A test subsubsection}


Will give you

enter image description here

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .