Tips for How to Write a Paper in APA

The APA or American Psychological Association’s method of citation is a very popular style for writing all kinds of research and scientific papers. How to write a paper in APA? When producing assignments in such areas as sociology, psychology, economics, mathematics, business, criminal justice, nursing, and some others, stick to this citation method. This style seems quite intimidating for many students, but these basic guidelines will help.

General APA Formatting Guidelines

Get a copy of the APA Publication Manual, which is easy to find in local libraries and bookstores. You can download it online, and this manual contains detailed information and the latest editions of such sections as tables and charts, online sources and print ethics. Check a favorite word processor for APA style guides or templates because most programs have their pre-designed features to automatically format endnotes, footnotes, bibliographies, and citations.

Formatting essays in this style means paying a lot of attention to different mechanical details, including line spacing, page headers, typeface, and margins. To get high marks on any assignment, meet the following formatting requirements:

  • Use the chosen 12-pt serif typefaces for your text;
  • Double-space the whole paper;
  • Align it to left-hand margins;
  • Indent the lines of all paragraphs ½”.

Get Things in the Right Order

All pages must be numbers, separate from other parts, and follow a specific order:

  • Page 1 is always a title page;
  • Page 2 is an abstract;
  • Page 3 is the start of the main text;
  • References begin on a new page following the main text;
  • All tables begin on a new page after references;
  • All figures begin on a new page following tables;
  • Every appendix begins on a separate page.

How to Format Title Pages in APA

Prepare a title page by centering your title and ensure that it contains no more than 12 words. Everything must be centered and double-spaced. Titles never contain any abbreviations or filler words. Put running heads at the page top and ensure that the head doesn’t exceed fifty characters. Headers must be on every page of your text.

Writing Body Paragraphs and Abstracts in APA

How to write a paper in APA? Put an abstract on a new page as it serves as a description of the whole paper. Focus it on important outcomes, purposes, conclusions, and processes. Don’t use any italics or bold.

  • Don’t forget a header, which includes a page number and a title;
  • Include all the extras, such as questions, researched topics, methods, data analysis, results, and others;
  • List keywords to let others find your writing piece in a database.

Starting the Main Body

Include a header, page number, title, and start your work in this section while using the following APA formatting tips:

  • Everything must be double-spaced;
  • All paragraphs are intended in the first line.

The main body of any APA paper contains 4 basic sections. Title them centered and in bold font, but every subject may have different requirements:

  • For your results section, no sections or subheadings are required;
  • For methods, include materials, participants, correlations, and procedures as your subheadings;
  • For the discussions section, neither sections nor subheadings are needed.

References and Tables

Compile all references on a new page following the last page of your text. Alphabetize any entry based on authors’ surnames or titles. Citing in this formatting style involves diverse regulations for different source types. The APA manual offers examples of how to cite common source types.

Attach all figures, tables, and notes if you have any information that backs up your work and illustrate it effectively. Footnote any long explanation by putting superscript numbers after your text. Finally, proofread your work and go over your draft.