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
    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
    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
    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

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.