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:
Teachers assign essays and research papers to check student’s knowledge of the subject and academic standards such as writing styles. There are several most popular paper formats such as MLA, APA, Turabian, Harvard, and IEEE. American Psychological Association has established the second one especially for those scholars who deal with psychology, sociology, philosophy, and other humanities. It is more complicated to format each page of the academic essay in APA than in MLA.
Any writing style is used to insert in-text citations as well as provide a list of bibliography at the end of every assignment. In APA, a page with bibliography is called References. It can refer to the list of words cited throughout the paper, but most often it refers to the entire phrases of other authors. It is done in order to avoid plagiarism. The rights of all sources are usually reserved, so students can’t just steal the thoughts of other authors. Besides, such actions may result in the failing grade for the entire project.
American Psychological Association has offered its own paper format to make a difference between students who study humanities and those who study precise sciences, technological disciplines, and business. However, APA has become popular in many fields, including publishing. We will recall some examples of APA style formatting in this article, but you can view full samples at the academic service website.
Generally Accepted Basics of APA Formatting
Here are the basic principles of the writing style proposed by the American Psychological Association. Mind that every page has to be formatted in the same way. Only References and cover/title page have some peculiarities.
A research paper or essay should by typed, double-spaced on the standard-sized page. It means 8.5” x 11”). One-inch margins are required. A clear font like Times New Roman or Arial 12 pt. must be used when formatting the page. The only black color of the text is allowed. Bold or italics are used only for headings and titles in the text.
A running head with the full title of the essay must appear on the title page. Remove the words “running head” from the rest of the pages by leaving the title written in capital letters only. Insert page numbers flush rights to complete the mission. If the full name of your paper is too long, make it shorter for the header (no more than 50 characters).
APA Paper Elements
Your teacher most probably wants to see how well you know APA style, so use both in-text citations and indirect citations when working on your paper.
Make sure that you structure all information with respect to the generally accepted format:
- Title Page
- Main Body (3-5 paragraphs)
You’ll be given a specific number of resources to be used. If you don’t have some sources on hand, be ready to conduct in-depth research, qualitative or quantitative depending on the type of paper and your goals.
Starting from the first point, here is an example of how an APA style title page should look like:
Compare and Contrast Essay on Eurovision
Name Last Name
Do not forget about placing Running Head on the top. You can add date below if needed.
Depending on your information and publication initiatives, develop an eye-catching title. If we speak about a research paper, it should be concise and clear, not necessarily an interesting one. The title of the paper has to reflect the main topic idea without any abbreviations or words that serve no purpose.
An abstract should not contain any in-text citations. It is a separate part with a summary of the essay. Share information like what was your research about, why it can be important, and briefly interpret the findings. Check whether this page has a research topic, research questions, population sample, methods, and outcomes. According to APA style, an abstract should not contain more than 250 words (1/3 of the page is the best size). You may want to list keywords, especially when we speak about online publication. It might be useful for SEO.
You may find more on the other elements of any APA paper by reading this article.
How to Develop a Bibliography in APA Style?
The last thing to discuss is how to organize information on the References page of your paper. Consult professional writers, or try to develop APA style bibliography alone.
- Begin with the author whose in-text citation or another piece of information was used. Type in his Last Name and initials.
- Name the publication date. Apply parentheses to the exact year.
- Add the title of the source you used to cite. It should be in italics.
- Enter publisher’s location and name.
- If available, write down the volume, issue, and the numbers of cited pages for periodicals or full URL for online publications.
Here are some examples of the References page in APA style:
Frolov, V. (2017). Russia Reveals Eurovision 2017 Entry. The Moscow Times. Retrieved
on March 13 from https://themoscowtimes.com/news/russia-reveals-eurovision-2017-
Singleton, B.,Fricker, K.,Moreo, E.(2007)Performing the queer network: Fans and families
at the Eurovision Song Contest. SQS: Journal of Queer Studies in Finland.
Available at: http://www.ojs.tsv.fi/index.php/sqs/article/view/53665/16787(accessed 5
More help can be found at the online academic writing services. You may even buy a custom essay properly formatted in APA style.
Require academic assistance? – Get it right here and right now!