General APA Writing Format

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We provide you with guidelines you should adhere to while formatting your APA paper. We also provide you with directions on how to format your paper using APA format.

What to Know About APA Format

APA essay format represents the official style of the American Psychological Association (APA) that is widely used to cite sources in social sciences, psychology, and education. Initially developed in 1929, it enables students and researchers to effectively present their ideas and scientific work in a consistent format. It dictates on the important presentation components of your paper, such as margins, content structure, referencing, spacing, and your title page. In this article, we provide you with an overview of some of the important considerations for an APA format.

Developing Your APA Title Page

Your paper must contain a title page as the first page of your essay. It should include the following key components: title of your work, a running head, name of the author, and the institutional affiliation. The title of your essay should be typed in upper and lower cases and located at the center of the upper half of the first page. Ensure that it is no longer than 12 words or 2 lines, double spaced, and should not contain abbreviations. Just below it, indicate your name as the author of the essay. You should include your first name, initials of your middle name and the last name. Titles such as DR. are prohibited on this page. Finally, below this is the institution affiliation, where you are expected to provide the name of your school or campus.

Have You Included a Running Head?

Should be included on every page of your essay. It includes the title of your work and a page number that has been justified to the right. You can set your word processor to help you insert the running head. For the manual process, you can go online and seek for steps or videos on how to insert a running head on a word document.

What to Include in an APA Format Outline

The key to correctly format your paper in APA is having an outline in place for your work. Even though there is a no official APA structure, there are some commonly used formats. It contains the following key components:

  • Title page
  • Abstract

It entails a summary of your work. Should be presented in a single double-spaced paragraph of about 150 and 250 words. Should include information on what your paper entails, findings made and conclusions arrived at.

  • Main body

For an essay, the body represents your whole work, but for reports and research papers, it should contain sections depending on the paper instructions provided. In all of them ensure you begin with a clear introduction to your work and a clear conclusion at the end of the paper.

  • Conclusion

Should include a restatement of your thesis statement, followed by a summary of major findings made in the paper.

  • References

Have You Checked Your Text Alignment and Margins

Always ensure you have double spaced your work unless instructed otherwise and justify your work. Also, 1-inch margins should be maintained on all sides of the paper.

What to Know About APA Citations

Intext-citations are a vital component when using the APA format. The general rule is that you should use the last name of the author and the year of publication of the material used. You can check online for more specific guidelines on how to cite each kind of material.

How Should You Develop Your APA Reference List?

You should have a reference list for all the works cited within your essay. The standard format for an APA reference list is that they should be alphabetically arranged and should be on a separate page from the rest of the content. In case of a book, the following should be included in your reference: name of the author(s), year of publication in brackets, book title in italics, city of publication and the name of the publisher.

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