How to Write an APA Style Paper

When you are a student, and a professor gives you a writing assignment, there are always format style requirements to follow. If these requirements are not specified, you should better consult with your professor. Various format styles have been introduced for the convenience of writers and audiences alike. The choice of format style is dictated by your field of studies and the type of work that you are writing. The most popular format styles are APA (American Psychological Association), ASA (American Sociological Association), MLA (Modern Language Association), and Chicago / Turabian.

In this guide, we would like to focus on the APA format style. It is normally used when writing about social sciences. The general formatting requirements of this style are as follows:

  • The font must be clear. Times New Roman 12- point font is a common academic standard.
  • The spacing is double.
  • The margins are 1”.
  • The title of your paper should be placed in the upper left corner of every page. If your work has a long title (over 50 characters), then you should shorten it.
  • The page number is placed on the right side of each page.
  • The written piece is divided into four part: the title page, the abstract, the main body, and the bibliography.

APA format style also specifies particular requirements for each part or section of your work. Let us take a closer look at the requirements for each section:

APA FORMAT STYLE TITLE PAGE

The title page is the cover of your work. Here is what you put there:

  • The title of your work is placed in the center of the upper half of the page.
  • The title should be brief. It cannot comprise of more than 12 words. Therefore, take care that there are only meaningful words in your title.
  • The title should not include any abbreviations.
  • Beneath the title, you write your name. You write your first name in full, then the initial of you middle name(s) – if you have any, and then your last name in full. You do not mention any titles (like Dr.) or academic degrees (like Ph.D.)
  • In the next line, you type your academic affiliation – your university, school, or college.
  • You do not put the title of your work and the page number in any corner of your title page.

APA FORMAT STYLE ABSTRACT

The title page of your work is immediately followed by the abstract. It is a brief annotation of your written piece. It is meant to introduce your reader to what they are about to read further on and decide whether it is interesting to them or relevant to what they would like to know more about. Here is how it should look like, according to the APA format style requirements:

  • Your abstract opens with the word “Abstract” placed in the center of the very first line.
  • The abstract altogether should be no shorter than 150 words, but must not exceed 250 words.
  • The abstract should include the following information: the research question, the people who have taken part in the work, the scientific methods used, the outcomes of the research, the analysis of the latter, and the overall conclusion.
  • The body of the abstract should not include any extra formatting. This means that there should be no italics, bold, underlining, quotation marks, or anything of the kind.
  • However, the italics can be used if you choose to list the keywords and keyphrases relevant to your written piece. Listing them is optional.

These requirements can be modified by your professor, so remember to clarify this issue with them.

APA FORMAT STYLE MAIN BODY

The main body of your work should follow the general APA format style guidelines that we have listed at the beginning of this guide. The main body should open with the outline. Here is a template of what APA format style suggests your outline to look like:

The main point of paragraph #1

  • From: source.
  • Subpoint of paragraph
  • From: source

The main point of paragraph #2

  • From: source
  • Subpoint of paragraph
  • From: source

The main point of paragraph #3

  • From: source
  • Subpoint of paragraph
  • From: source

APA FORMAT STYLE BIBLIOGRAPHY

Bibliography (also referred to as “Works Cited” or “References) is the final part of your work. It includes all the external sources that you were using in the course of your work on your piece. It is meant at illustrating to your reader that you did not just make up some facts that you refer to, as well as to inform them about where they can find more information about a certain detail that they have come across in your text, should they be interested. Here is how you format your bibliography in APA style:

  • You open with the word “References” at the top of the page in the center. It has no extra formatting, such as italics, bold, underlining, quotation marks, or anything of the kind.
  • All lines starting from the second have a hanging indent. It is 1/2” from the left margin.
  • The list is organized in alphabetical order.
  • When mentioning the author, you first put the last name, and then the fist name. They are separated by a comma.
  • If some sources have more than one author, write only the initials of their first (and middle) names.
  • Then you mention the year of publication in brackets.
  • The titles of book and journals should be in italic.
  • If your source is a printed book, you write the place of publication and the publishing house (divided by a column). If it is an ebook, you mention the URL of the service from which you have retrieved it.
  • When referencing a journal article, you mention the issues number and the pages where this article can be found.
  • If you are citing a web page, you paste the full URL of this page and the date when you have accessed it to find your information and use this web page as one of your sources.
  • All the main elements of an entry are separated by a full stop.

Here are some examples of APA format style bibliography entries:

 – Book with one author:

Boorstin, Daniel. (1992). The creators: A history of the heroes of the imagination. New York: Random House.

– Book with more than one author:

Nicol, A. M., & Pexman, P. M. (1999). Presenting your findings: A practical guide for creating tables. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.

– Book published electronically:

Allen, T. (1974). Vanishing wildlife of North America. [Kindle edition]. Retrieved from https://EssayWriters.us

– Journal article:

Harlow, H. F. (1983). Fundamentals for preparing psychology journal articles. Journal of Comparative and Physiological Psychology, 55, 893-896

– Website or webpage:

Fredrickson, B. L. (2000, March 7). Cultivating positive emotions to optimize health and well-being. Prevention & Treatment, 3, Article 0001a. Retrieved November 20, 2000, from http://journals.apa.org/prevention/volume3/pre0030001a.html

http://journals.apa.org/prevention/volume3/pre0030001a.html

This is just about everything you need to know about APA style formatting. If you happen to find some of these guidelines somewhat confusing, you can always address a professional writing and/or editing service like ourselves. Our experts will be happy to make sure that your work meets all the APA format style requirements and you will not experience any formatting-related inconveniences.

When you are an inspired enthusiast who has a lot to say on a particular subject, it is easy to overlook such seemingly minor details as compliance with the corresponding formatting guidelines. You focus on the subject matter of your work and pay less attention to the form. So, it is always a good idea to have an extra pair of eyes. This person should obviously be an expert in formatting academic and scientific papers in various existing styles. Moreover, this person should be trustworthy – because your work is your intellectual property and its content must remain confidential. This is why it is best to address someone who specializes in academic writing and editing because both these features are a must for anyone who claims to be a professional in this field.