APA Paper Formatting & Style Guidelines
Your teacher may want you to format your paper using APA guidelines. If you were told to create your citations in APA format, your paper should be formatted using the APA guidelines as well.
- Use white 8 ½ x 11” paper.
- Make 1 inch margins on the top, bottom, and sides
- The first word in every paragraph should be indented one half inch.
- APA recommends using Times New Roman font, size 12.
- Double space the entire research paper
- Include a page header known as the “running head” at the top of every page. (To make this process easier, set your word processor to automatically add these components onto each page)
- To create the running head/page header, insert page numbers justified to the right-hand side of the paper (do not put p. or pg. in front of page numbers)
- Then type “TITLE OF YOUR PAPER” justified to the left using all capital letters
- If your title is long, this running head title should be a shortened version of the title of your entire paper
Sample running head/page header
APA Paper Components
Your essay should include these four major sections:
- Title Page
- Main Body
This page should contain four pieces: the title of the paper, running head, the author’s name, institutional affiliation, and an author’s note. Create the page header/running head as described above.
*Please note that only on the title page, your page header/running head should include the words “Running Head” before your title in all capitals. The rest of the pages should not include this in the page header. It should look like this on the title page:
- The title of the paper should capture the main idea of the essay but should not contain abbreviations or words that serve no purpose
- It should be centered on the page and typed in 12-point Times New Roman font. Do not underline, bold, or italicize the title.
- Your title may take up one or two lines, but should not be more than 12 words in length.
- All text on the title page should be double-spaced in the same way as the rest of your essay
- Do not include any titles on the author’s name such as Dr. or Ms.
- The institutional affiliation is the location where the author conducted the research
Sample Title page:
On the following page, begin with the Running title.
- On the first line of the page, center the word “Abstract” (but do not include quotation marks).
- On the following line, write a summary of the key points of your research. Your abstract summary is a way to introduce readers to your research topic, the questions that will be answered, the process you took, and any findings or conclusions you drew.
- This summary should not be indented, but should be double-spaced and less than 250 words.
- If applicable, help researchers find your work in databases by listing keywords from your paper after your summary. To do this, indent and type Keywords: in italics. Then list your keywords that stand out in your research.
Sample Abstract page:
On the following page, begin with the Body of the paper.
- Start with the Running title
- On the next line write the title (do not bold, underline, or italicize the title)
- Begin with the introduction. Indent.
- The introduction presents the problem and premise upon which the research was based. It goes into more detail about this problem than the abstract.
- Begin a new section with the Method. Bold and center this subtitle The Method section shows how the study was run and conducted. Be sure to describe the methods through which data was collected.
- Begin a new section with the Results. Bold and center this subtitle. The Results section summarizes the data. Use graphs and graphs to display this data.
- Begin a new section with the Discussion. Bold and center this subtitle. This Discussion section is a chance to analyze and interpret your results.
- Draw conclusions and support how your data led to these conclusions.
- Discuss whether or not your hypothesis was confirmed or not supported by your results.
- Determine the limitations of the study and next steps to improve research for future studies.
** Throughout the body, in-text citations are used and include the author’s/authors’ name(s) and the publication year. In APA format page numbers are not used in in-text citations.
Ex: (Wilkonson, 2009).
For more information about how to cite properly please see EasyBib’s guides for APA citations based on the sources you are using.
Sample Body page:
On a new page, write your references.
- Begin with a running title
- Center and bold the title “References” (do not include quotation marks, underline, or italicize this title)
- Alphabetize and Double-space all entries
- Every article/source mentioned in the paper and used in your study should be referenced and have an entry.
Sample Reference Page:
APA stands for American Psychological Association, which is the largest scientific professional organization of psychologists in North America. The association has developed its own formatting style, which is called APA and is mostly used when writing essays, research papers in social & natural sciences. If you experience any difficulties with APA formatting - request help from our professionals!
Most current document governing the APA style is the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association, Sixth Edition. The manual is available on the APA website; furthermore, there is plenty information available online.
APA REFERENCING TOOL
Writing an essay and formatting it to match APA style is the most frequent question students ask us. Unlike the MLA formatting, APA is used in social & natural sciences; naturally, a formatting style will inevitably differ from MLA.
One of the major differences is paper structure. APA style essay should consist of 4 major sections: title page, abstract, main body & references. For more serious APA style publications the structure will be somewhat different and will include: Title Page, Abstract, Introduction, Method, Results, Discussion, References, and Appendices.
This article is going to deal with such aspects of essay formatting as paper, title page, font, formatting, numbering, spacing, indentation, heading, citation, and references. Here you can see a detailed formatting of the APA cover page.
Paper. Your essay should be typed on clean, white sheet of A4 paper (8.5”x11”). Use one-inch margins on all sides.
Title Page. This is one of the mandatory parts of your essay. Include the phrase ‘Running head:’ and type your paper title. Flush left. Press Enter eight times and write your title again, include your first & last name, your teaching institution & your professor. Center this block of text.
Numbering. Your paper should be numbered consecutively, starting from page 1. Page numbers should be placed in the upper right-hand corner.
Spacing. Use double space throughout your essay.
Indentation. Paragraphs should be indented. Press TAB once.
Paragraphs. Indent paragraphs. Flush left.
Headings. Headings should be centered and capitalized.
Citation. Basic in-text citation narrows down to Author-Year style, for example:
The economic situation in most countries is forcing government departments to embrace change in order to survive (Gravenhorst, 2003).
Brunes & Jackson (2001) argue that success rates of organizational change efforts, however, have been found to be very low.
References. References come at the end of your paper. Once you are done writing, start a new page and title it ‘References’. Center your text. From a new line, list your references. Sort alphabetically. Your references will look like this:
DiFonzo, N. (2013). 10 Rumors during organizational change: a motivational analysis. The Psychology of Organizational Change: Viewing Change from the Employee's Perspective, 232.
The good news about APA referencing is that it is fully automatic now. Privatewriting has created a special APA referencing machine that automatically creates references based on the information you specify. At the end it allows you to download the references file as a separate file that you can simply attach to your paper or essay.
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