Not only does adhering to APA format allow readers to know what to expect from your paper, it also means that your work will not lose critical points over minor formatting errors. While this guide offers some basic tips on how to present your APA format essay, you should always check with your teacher for more specific instructions. Basics There should be uniform margins of at least one-inch at the top, bottom, left, and right sides of your essay. Your paper should be double-spaced. Every page of your essay should include a running head at the top left.
The running head is a shortened form of your title, often the first few words, and should be no more than 50 characters including spaces. Every page should also include a page number in the top right corner. Your essay should also have a title page in APA format. This title page should include the title of your paper, your name and school affiliation.
In some instances, your teacher might require additional information such as the course title, instructor name and the date.
The title of your paper should be concise and clearly describe what your paper is about. Your title can extend to two lines but it should be no longer than 12 words.
Your essay should also include a reference list. Located at the end of your paper, the reference section is a list of all the sources that were cited in your essay. References should be listed alphabetically by the last name of the author, and they should also be double-spaced. The first word of each paragraph in your paper should be indented one-half inch.
While the formatting requirements for your paper might vary depending upon your instructor's directions, your essay will most likely need to include a title page, abstract, introduction, body, conclusion, and reference sections. Tips In addition to ensuring that you cite your sources properly and present information according to the rules of APA style, there are a number of things you can do to make the writing process a little bit easier.
Start by choosing a good topic to write about. Ideally, you want to select a subject that is specific enough to let you fully research and explore the topic, but not so specific that you have a hard time finding sources of information. If you choose something too specific, you may find yourself with not enough to write about; if you choose something too general, you might find yourself overwhelmed with information.
Second, start doing research as early as possible. You may come across abstracts while researching a topic. Many databases display abstracts in the search results and often display them before showing the full text of an article or scientific study. It is important to create a high quality abstract that accurately communicates the purpose and goal of your paper, as readers will determine if it is worthy to continue reading or not.
Are you wondering if you need to create an abstract for your assignment? You might not have to. Here are some helpful suggestions to create a dynamic abstract: Abstracts are found on their own page, directly after the title or cover page.
Include the running head on the top of the page. 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. Use concise, brief, informative language. You only have a few sentences to share the summary of your entire document, so be direct with your wording.
This summary should not be indented, but should be double-spaced and less than 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. You can also include keyword strings that you think readers will type into the search box. Use an active voice, not a passive voice. When writing with an active voice, the subject performs the action.
When writing with a passive voice, the subject receives the action. Active voice: The subjects reacted to the medication.
Passive voice: There was a reaction from the subjects taking the medication. Instead of evaluating your project in the abstract, simply report what it contains.
The body of most scientific papers On the page after the abstract, begin with the body of the paper. Most scientific papers follow this format: Start with the Running head. The running head on the abstract page differs from the running head on the title page. Also include the page number. The abstract page should be page 2.
On the next line write the title. Do not bold, underline, or italicize the title. Begin with the introduction and indent the first line of the paragraph. 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 and use this word as the subtitle. 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.
The Results section summarizes your data. Use charts and graphs to display this data. Begin a new section with the Discussion. 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.
Try our automatic generator and watch how we create APA citation format references for you in just a few clicks. In addition, headings provide readers with a glimpse to the main idea, or content, they are about to read. In APA format, there are five levels of headings, each with different sizes and purposes: Level 1: The largest heading size This is the title of your paper The title should be centered in the middle of the page The title should be bolded Use uppercase and lowercase letters where necessary called title capitalization Level 2: Should be a bit smaller than the title, which is Level 1 Place this heading against the left margin Use bold letters Use uppercase and lowercase letters where necessary Level 3: Should be a bit smaller than Level 2 Indented in from the left side margin Use bold letters Only place an uppercase letter at the first word of the heading.
All others should be lowercase. The exception is for pronouns as they should begin with a capital letter. Level 4: Should be a bit smaller than Level 3 Indented in from the left margin Bolded Italicized Only place an uppercase letter at the first word of the heading.
Level 5: Should be the smallest heading in your paper Indented Italicized Only place an uppercase letter at the first word of the heading. First and foremost, the only reason why any graphics should be added is to provide the reader with an easier way to see or read information, rather than typing it all out in the text. Lots of numbers to discuss? Try organizing your information into a chart or table. Pie charts, bar graphs, coordinate planes, and line graphs are just a few ways to show numerical data, relationships between numbers, and many other types of information.
Instead of typing out long, drawn out descriptions, create a drawing or image. Many visual learners would appreciate the ability to look at an image to make sense of information. The first graphic, labeled as 1, should be the first one mentioned in the text.
Follow them in the appropriate numerical order in which they appear in the text of your paper. Example: Figure 1, Figure 2, Table 1, Figure 3. Only use graphics if they will supplement the material in your text. If they reinstate what you already have in your text, then it is not necessary to include a graphic.
Include enough wording in the graphic so that the reader is able to understand its meaning, even if it is isolated from the corresponding text. However, do not go overboard with adding a ton of wording in your graphic.
In APA format, there are five levels of headings, each with different sizes and purposes: Level 1: The largest heading size This is the title of your paper The title should be centered in the middle of the page The title should be bolded Use uppercase and lowercase letters where necessary called title capitalization Level 2: Should be a bit smaller than the title, which is Level 1 Place this heading against the left margin Use bold letters Use uppercase and lowercase letters where necessary Level 3: Should be a bit smaller than Level 2 Indented in from the left side margin Use bold letters Only place an uppercase letter at the first word of the heading. When writing with a passive voice, the subject receives the action. This summary should not be indented, but should be double-spaced and less than words. Complete sample paper F.
If they reinstate what you already have in your text, then it is not necessary to include a graphic. Also include the page number. Do not bold, underline, or italicize the title. In addition, the author explains the current method being used in addition to their own findings, in order to allow the reader to understand and modify their own current practices.