APA Essay Format

The American Psychological Association (APA) formatting style is popularly used in social sciences in writing research papers and essays. APA style was developed in North America by an association of psychologists. For any document to be considered to be of high academic quality, the rules of APA formatting have to be followed to the latter. There are some things that the APA format strictly guides the scholar when they are developing an academic document. The template, paragraphs, numbering, headings, citations and other requirements like the line spacing must be considered. All these aspects are discussed below.

APA Essay Format Definition

APA Structure

Although it may appear a little differently in some cases, the structure of APA papers contains a title page, an abstract, introduction, methodology, results, discussion, references, and appendices. The various sections generally appear in that order. Each part has key elements that must be considered as discussed below.

Title page. The title page is the first page when using the APA style. This page must appear because it contains vital information including the title of the paper, the full names of the writer, the academic institution, and supervisor/professor. Sometimes the date when the work was submitted is included in the title page. In APA format, all the information on the title page must be centered.

Abstract. The abstract is the second page in the APA writing style. This page contains an overview of all the concepts that have been discussed in the paper. The abstract is a summary that presents the reader with a glimpse of what to expect within the document. The abstract in APA style is centered and written as one paragraph with no indents.

Introduction. This section introduces the subject matter and introduces the reader to the topic to be discussed within the document. Here the subject matter is discussed more elaborately unlike in the abstract.

Method. APA style is used mostly in writing social research papers. This kind of writing requires carrying out research using various systematic scientific methods and presenting them logically in the article. The method section outlines the methodology that was applied in gathering the information provided in the paper.

Results. You give the findings of the study.

Discussion. Following the research results, a discussion is drawn. It involves comparing ideologies expressed by different writers and presenting them logically in this section.

References. APA referencing is done at the end of the paper. The reference page consists of a list of books, periodicals, academic research papers and other resources that have informed the study. Scholars must record on this page every resource they used in writing the paper. Every kind of resource used has a unique way to be referenced in APA referencing. 

Every reference entry must have the last name of the author followed by first initial, the year of publication, the title of the resource and the publisher and place of publication. In the case of more than one author, ensure that they are all included. The reference list is organized in alphabetic order. The reference list must be double-spaced and hanging indents must be applied.

For example, in the case of a book with a single author: Doe, J. (2016) Title of book. Place of publication: Publisher

Appendices. The appendices include a list of figures and images that have been used within the paper.

Paragraphs. All paragraphs in APA style have to be flush left and indented apart from those on the reference list and the appendices. Every paragraph is indented at 1 inch.

Numbering. When using the APA format, all pages must be numbered. Numbering in this writing style must start from 1 to whatever number the writer wishes. All page numbers have to be written using Roman numbers. However, numbers used within the text in the document must be spelled out. This rule applies to numbers below ten.

Running Head. A running head is a header containing a shortened version of the topic. It is found on the topmost part of the page. The running head must appear on all pages in the APA format. The term “Running Head:” appears followed by the short version of the title in CAPITAL LETTERS.

Citing. The in-text citation is necessary for APA referencing. It involves citing within the text where you got the information you have just presented. The in-text citation is presented in parentheses after every bit of information that is being referred to. This is important as the lack of in-text citations leaves the writer at the risk of being guilty of plagiarism. In APA Referencing, the author’s last name and year of publication are provided.

General Requirements

Page size In APA style, the standard paper used is the A4 format. The paper appears as the size of 8.5 X 11 inches
Headings All headings must be centered
Line spacing Spacing in all paragraphs must be double-spaced
Margins Ensure that the right, left, top and bottom margins are set at 1 inch
Font In APA style, use visible fonts like Times Roman

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