APA Format research paper Writing Help

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Excellent APA Research Paper Example from CustomEssayPapers.com

APA – What Is it All About?

APA Format Research Paper Writing Help

APA Format Research Paper Writing Help

American Psychological Association Style (APA) guidelines were originally created in 1929 when a convening of social science professionals and business managers identified a need for a simple collection of rules regarding style that would standardize scientific writing for better reading comprehension. APA format is one of several other editorial guidelines and encompasses the guidelines or preferences that a publisher must adhere to in order to ensure that written documents are presented in a succinct and organized manner.

The APA Style is typically used for social science essays and term papers, includes rules and guidelines for the following components:

  • Document length, tone and voice, choice of headings
  • Approved abbreviations and punctuation
  • Numbers and statistics and how they are presented
  • Formatting of tables and figures
  • Reference citation both in text and in bibliography or reference lists
  • Formatting rules for title page, headers, page numbers, margins and spacing

APA Essay Title Page

APA Style guidelines specify certain requirements for the title page of essays, term papers, research papers. The title page is the first page of your document and needs to include the title of your paper, properly formatted as well as the author’s name and college affiliation.

APA Title Page Sample

Title Page APA

  • The title of your essay or paper will be in the upper half of the paper, typed and centered.
  • Titles must be 12 words or less.
  • Beneath the title, will be the author’s name listed as: first name, middle initial(s), last name. Individual titles and degrees are excluded (i.e. PhD and Dr.)
  • The title page is double spaced.
  • The institutional or university affiliation needs to identify the place where research was carried out and is listed beneath the author’s name.
  • Abbreviations and words that do not serve a purpose should be excluded. The title can be positioned on one or two lines as needed.

Formatting Your Paper Body in APA Style

Document Format

  • To meet APA Style guidelines, essays and papers are typed and APA paper spacing requires double spacing throughout using paper that is 8.5” x 11”.
  • Times New Roman font is recommended sized to 12 pt.
  • The top of the page includes the page header flush with the left margin and page numbers flush against the right margin. “TITLE OF PAPER” is in all capital letters
  • Pages that follow the title page will have the title of your paper at the top, flush against the left margin.
  • Every APA paper includes standard components including the Title Page, the Abstract, Main Body and Reference section.
  • APA margins are 1” on all four sides.

Abstract Page Format

The Abstract is a separate page that follows the title page. The word “Abstract” is centered with no use of bold, italics, underlining, quotation marks or other formatting. The abstract itself is a single paragraph of 150-250 words, that is double spaced and begins on the next line below the word “Abstract”, and consists of your research topic and questions, information about any participants, methods used, data analysis, results and any conclusions you have drawn as a result of your research. It’s permitted to include any potential research inferences or any work you see linked or related to your findings for future studies. If you choose to list keywords in your abstract in order to assist researchers in locating your work in various databases, center the single word “Keywords” in italics and then list relevant keywords.

APA Headings for Your Essay

The APA Style has five heading levels to divide and organize the sections of your paper. Guidelines for formatting of heading styles was revised and simplified in the 6th edition of the APA manual. Heading levels should always be used in order with formatting as follows:

  • Level 1 heading should be centered in bold type using both Upper and Lowercase letters.
  • Level 2 headings are in bold type and aligned at the left margin using Upper and Lowercase letters.
  • Level 3 headings are indented from the left margin in bold type in lowercase letters ending with a period.
  • Level 4 headings are indented in bold type using italics and lowercase letters followed by a period.
  • Level 5 headings are indented in italics and lowercase with a period and no bold type.

Headings are used based on the level of subordination for example, Section headings will be use level one formatting and its subsections will be in level two format. Level Three format is used for subsections of subsections and so on. The introduction section does not get a heading in APA Style and letters or numbers are not used to indicate heading levels. Number of levels of headings will be determined by the structure and length of your research paper.

There can be as many subsections of a heading or subsection as needed. An Example of heading format is below:

Section Heading (Level 1)

Subsection Heading (Level 2)

1st Subsection of Subsection Heading. (Level 3)

2nd Subsection of Subsection Heading. (Level 3)

Subsection of subsection of subsection. (Level 4)

Level 5 heading subsection of subsection of subsection.

Citation in APA: In-text References

APA citation style necessitates formatting using the author-date format within the text. When referring to an entire book or an article, or an idea from another work that is not a direct quote, you need only refer to the author and year of the work. The author’s last name and publication year for the source appears within the text, for example (Smith, 2007) under these APA format guidelines. If using a direct quote from another work you must include the page number as part of your citation within the text, (Smith, 2007, p12), which enables the reader to locate the APA quotation if needed. The full reference for each source is included at the end of the paper as part of the reference list.

Footnotes and Endnotes in APA Style

APA Footnotes Sample

APA Footnotes Sample

APA formatting includes allowance for the use of two sets of footnotes, Content and Copyright, in the event your paper needs further notes of explanation. Both Content and Copyright footnotes call for the insertion of a number in superscript after any type of punctuation mark except dashes. If the footnote numbers appear within parentheses in a sentence, the number of the footnote is inserted in the parentheses as well. All footnotes should be placed on the bottom of the page where the text appears. If you choose, footnotes can also be included on the last page of the document following the APA References page with “Footnotes” centered at the top of the page.

APA reference list

All lines except the initial one for each entry are indented and each entry section ends with a period followed by one space. Only the first word of the book or chapter is capitalized. For a list of several authors, use the symbol (&) instead of the word “and” before the last name of the final author in the list. For an article with multiple authors, invert all author names.

APA Reference Page

References page APA

An entire book: The first example shows format for a revised edition citation and the next indicates how an edited volume should be cited.

Smith, J. K. & Deutsch, G. (1992). Left hand, right hand (Rev. ed.). New York: T. H. Freeman.

Janeous, M. & Tarnish, R. J. (Eds.). (1996). The representation of jack and jill. Jackson, AZ: University of Arizona Press.

An anonymous book:

The Irish cultural dictionary (3rd college ed.). (1990). Boston: Joughton Tifflin.

A chapter in an edited volume:

Natel, J., & Mola-Zorgan, J. (1972). Child amnesia: A neurobiological viewpoint. In J. Soscovitch (Ed.), Child memory (pp. 125-142). New Jersey: Plenum.

Sevine, T. C. (1997). Effects of late multilateral wounds: Development over the path of time. In T. Jarkewitz & D. P. Shenny (Eds.), Developmental thoughts and timing(pp. 123-165). Millsdale, NY: Erlbaum.

In the above example, chapter author names are inverted but names of volume editors are not inverted.

An article in a magazine:

Steinberg, J. A. (1991, March). Putting your business on the map. MacUser, 7, 158-163, 166-167.

Internet article based on a print source:

Janson, H.T. (2000). What changes in cognitive memory? A life span viewpoint [Electronic version]. Developmental Psychology26, 926-985.

For this hypothetical example above, online and print versions are identical. In the event you feel there is are differences between the two versions, include the website URL and date you viewed the article.

Other APA Regulations You Should Know

APA guidelines include certain formatting preferences for tables and figures that appear in your essay paper format as well.  Vertical lines in your tables are not used so don’t draw them in or try to generate them. The table number is typed above the table title which is placed flush left against the margin and in italics without the use of any period marks. Use your tab function to set table tabs and when including columns of decimal numerals, the decimal points should be aligned.

Figures and their captions also have formatting rules under the APA format. Begin with a new page and center “Figure Captions” at the top. Each figure caption listed is typed against the left margin in block format. Use italics for the figure number and the word “figure” in each caption entry. The actual figures, things such as charts, pictures, drawings, and graphs can be hand drawn in black and white on graph paper if possible or generated in two dimensions using your PC graphics software. Each figure should be centered both horizontally and vertically on its page and axes of charts and graphs should be labelled meaningfully, do not use “X” and “Y” and a key provided if needed. Captions are not placed on each figure page because they will be listed on the figure captions page.

What You Should Avoid in Your APA Paper

Adhering to APA research paper format guidelines is relatively simple as long as you familiarize yourself with the common mistakes so that you can avoid making them in your essay format.

Avoid any experimentation with font styles. Students are often tempted to stretch the length of their APA format research paper or in rare cases, shrink it by using a different font style. The recommended and approved font style is 12 pt Times New Roman.

Page numbers do not need to be fancy. Avoid using dashes, (-15-) or any other adornments to page numbers and merely format the page number as 15 in the top right corner, flush against the margin.

Using an incorrect format for citations within text is a common error especially by students who may have to write papers for different professors that require using Chicago or MLA styles. In text citations are listed as (author’s last name, year).

Incorrect use of bold type, underlining and italicizing is a common mistake. It’s natural to want to place emphasis on things you feel are important, but using bold type for this is unacceptable. It’s also incorrect to use bold or underlining on titles and subtitles. Italics are the correct enhancement for titles of works and reference list formatting.

In addition to all of the above formatting issues for term paper or essay format that should be avoided, one thing to remember about how to write an essay in APA style is to avoid any potential for bias in your language, word choice or use of pronouns.

Use an APA Template to Format Your Paper Properly

Formatting your paper correctly under APA style is an important technical piece of your research term paper or essay. If you are not very familiar with the APA rules, you may choose to get some help with the technical layout of your paper through using an APA template to format your paper properly. A template is also helpful because it takes away the worry about whether your paper is formatted correctly and enables you to focus more of your time on the content. APA templates are available through a wide variety of sources including your PC word processor, proprietary template software, and even random individuals who created the template themselves by following the guidelines, but these can be outdated and inaccurate. The best place to find an accurate and quality APA template, guaranteed to reflect the most recent edition of the APA style manual, is from CustomEssayPapers.com.

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