The abbreviation “APA” is deciphered as an “American Psychological Association,” i.e. an institution for the experts in psychology namely. Still, the manual on the APA style issued by this organization can be used both by students and specialists in diverse subjects.
If you are required to write a paper in APA, you need to follow the instructions provided in the mentioned manual to make a correct format and structure. By using the said manual, you will learn to organize each element of your work properly.
Go to your library to see if there is a full version of the manual there. It is very helpful to refer to this guide especially if you need to deal with some tricky issues. However, if you desire to quickly learn the basic rules of APA and find out how to write APA format essay, continue reading this article.
Essential Essay Components of the APA Format
General Formatting Peculiarities
There are a few important points relating to APA formatting which you should bear in mind when creating your papers:
- First, remember to set 1-inch margins on all sides.
- Second, use the font that will make your text easy to read. It is advised to use Times New Roman 12pt font. However, you may also use such fonts as Georgia, Calibri, Arial, or Helvetica.
- Third, apply double spacing to the entire paper including title and reference pages. Paragraphs should be indented at ½ inch.
Page Header and Page Numbers
A page header/running head is one of the main peculiarities of the papers formatted in APA. The page header is a shortened form of your paper title. It should include less than 50 characters and be presented in the header of your work aligned to the left.
On the title page, the page header is placed after the words “Running head” which is followed by a colon. Nonetheless, the page header is only a title on the following pages of your work.
If you do not know how to arrange your page header in the right way, you should find good APA format examples on the Internet.
Ensure that the page header/running head has a descriptive character. Thus, readers will be able to fully understand what your work is about. For example, if your essay has the following title “It Is never Late: Getting Education Is Beneficial in any Age,” the page header should be “Getting Education Is Beneficial in any Age” and not “It Is never Late.”
As to the number of pages, in APA, they should be present in the page header on each page. Keep in mind that the page numbers should be right-aligned opposing to the page header.
This is one more fundamental item of papers organized in APA. According to the aforementioned manual on APA style, it should be arranged specifically. Alongside a page header, it should also include the following elements:
- a complete title of your academic paper
- your name
- the name of your educational establishment
The above-mentioned components have to be double-spaced and centered on the top half of the page.
The academic papers formatted in APA often comprise an Abstract – a concise summary of your paper. It briefly describes the main aspects of your topic, your purpose, user research methods, obtained research results, so that readers can understand whether your paper can be helpful for them while conducting their own study. It consists of about 150-250 words.
It depends on the demands imposed by your professor on whether to write an abstract or not. Thus, if you are unsure about it, ask your professor to clarify the issue.
Formatting an Abstract
The word “Abstract” has to be centered at the top of a page. No quotation marks are to be used. Additionally, it should be neither italicized nor bold. Apply double spacing to your abstract. Its first line has to be justified to the left margin. No indentation is needed!
Below the abstract, you may indicate the keywords relating to your paper if it is stated by the instructions. Your keywords may be added to the database and, as a result, it will be easier for users to find your work. Therefore, the word “Keywords” should be typed below your abstract and indented as if you are beginning a new paragraph. It should be followed by several keywords separated by commas.
Title and Introduction
After completing your abstract, start creating the body of your paper. It should start on a new page.
The first thing you need to do is reiterate the title of your academic paper. It will signify the beginning of your work. One may find presenting the essay title one more time rather weird, as it is already indicated in the page header. However, such are the rules of the APA style that should be followed obediently.
The next step is to start creating your introductory paragraph. Here, you should be very attentive in order not to make mistakes. Many students label their introductory paragraphs as if readers do not know that each academic work in APA begins with an introduction.
Sometimes even professors tell their students to label introductions by mistake. Now, you know that the introductory section should not be marked as “Introduction.” Being aware of such an unimportant detail, as it seems, at first sight, will help you format your papers correctly. If you want to see how the first page of the paper body should look like, find a clear APA essay example on the web. By referring to the found example, it will be easier for you to organize the first page of the body in the right way.
When creating the body of your paper, you may desire to make headings highlighting the specific aspects of your topic discussed in each of the paper sections. Thus, it is necessary to find out how the headings should be organized.
There are five levels of headings in the APA citation style. Pay attention to the following explanation:
- Level 1 heading is the chief heading, e.g., “Methodology,” “Abstract.”
- Level 2 headings are the subheading relating to the level 1 heading.
- Level 3 headings are the subheadings relating to those of level 2, and so on.
Block Quotes (more than 40 words long)
When exploring your topic, you may come across quotations that you cannot help but include in the text. The most important thing which you should bear in mind when dealing with quotations is that those of more than 40 words in length have to be presented as block quotes. What does it mean? The quotation should begin on a new line and be indented at ½ inch. It should not be placed into quotation marks. Note that the closing punctuation marks should be put right after the text of a quote. No period is to be placed after the parenthetical citation.
There are a few significant points that you need to draw your attention to when formatting a reference page in the APA style. Look through the items given below:
- The word “References” has to be centered at the top of the page. Remember that no quotation marks or italics are to be used. In addition, it should not be either followed by a colon or highlighted in bold. Students often make mistakes when formatting this title.
- The entries on the reference page should be arranged in alphabetical order in accordance with the author’s last name (or whatever is placed first in the entry).
- The list of sources has to be double-spaced. However, there should not be any additional space between the items. Due to double spacing, there should be one empty line between every line of the text.
- A hanging indent is to be used. It means that the first line of each item has to be aligned to the left margin. The second and the following lines should be indented at ½ inch.
By taking the data presented above into account, you can easily answer the question, “What is an APA format essay?”
If you keep the aforementioned tips at hand, you will not consider formatting your piece of writing in APA complicated. You will not need to look through piles of manuals or other reference material to find information on how to organize quotations or references.
You may print this helpful guide off if it is more convenient for you to use it in such a form. You are free to make any marks on the margins of the printed guide so that it is easier for you to find the section’s formatting which you find difficult.
Moreover, you should know that it is possible to find great samples of APA papers on the Internet. Compare your essay to that found online to see whether you are doing everything properly. Additionally, there is a helpful resource called Purdue OWL where you can find wonderful examples of different sections of the papers formatted in APA.
One more reliable resource providing explicit guidelines for organizing academic papers in APA is Order-Essay.com. We will clearly explain to you how to format any of the essay sections in APA and avoid major mistakes.
Note that formatting an academic work is easier than writing it. You just need to strictly adhere to the provided APA directions when formatting an abstract, body, references, or any other structural components.
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An essay may be a very complicated assignment, as one needs to cope with a list of requirements and make it match a specific degree. People who have little or no experience at essay writing will find it an extremely frustrating task. It has almost nothing in common with the essay writing they had at high school. APA essay format is one of the most irritating elements in this type of writing. It includes a number of sophisticated rules every student has to follow. The best way out of this situation is to learn about APA essay format and feel confident when you need to format a paper in APA.
We have mentioned some of the most vital elements one should get acquainted with before starting to write an essay. If you are ready to learn it on a more profound level, you may find many online resources regarding APA essay format.
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