To format a document in APA Style, a writer can use the default options and automatic formatting features of a word processing application or make small alterations. This blog is a comprehensive guide to the APA format style. Read on.
Consistency in the sequence, structure, and format of the paper helps readers to concentrate on the contents of the paper instead of the presentation. The formatting guidelines are applicable to student assignments and publication journals.
What is the APA format?
APA format is one of the writing styles used in scholarly work. It’s applied particularly in the social sciences, engineering, nursing, and psychiatry. APA formatting style was established in 1929 by American Psychological Association.
It was developed by a group of academics from the departments of psychology, business, and anthropology. Their goal was to standardize style rules for scientific writing and make it simpler for readers to read and understand articles and books on their respective subjects.
Citations are essential elements in any academic writing. In APA style, references must be cited in the text where they appear and listed on a separate page called the references page.
APA format: General guide
APA format is divided into four main parts;
The title page is the first section of your essay. You must type the;
- Paper’s title
- ID number
- Your name
- Course title
- The due date of the paper
- Professor’s name is on this page. Always remember to center them on the page.
Every page must have a page number and a compressed version of the title. The only difference between the title page and the other pages is that you must enter “Running head” before the brief title.
If you are writing as a professional and not a student, your title page will have a distinct appearance. It should follow the same format as above and contain:
- Your paper’s title
- Your name
- Your institution
- An author note
A brief note in this case is a revelation of certain information. For example, if an author has changed their institutional affiliation after writing the work, passed away, had grants used to pay for the research they detailed in the paper, or has any conflicts of interest.
The abstract is the page just after the title page of your paper. It should also have a page number and a running head. Afterward, the first line of this page should just have the word “Abstract” in the center of the page.
Under the phrase “Abstract, include a brief synopsis of your work.” This summary, which shouldn’t be indented, should include your research paper question, the questions you set out to answer, the techniques you utilized, the researchers you worked with, the information you gathered, your findings, and the conclusions you drew from them. Your abstract is a very shorter form of your paper.
After the abstract, follows the body of your paper, which includes all in-text citations. Each page should have a number and a running head. APA format does not impose any restrictions on the length or structure of essays or other publications outside its style and formatting requirements.
The references page is the final part of your APA paper. This is the “References” part in APA format. This title is centered on the first line after the running head and page number. There are a number of citation criteria that must be adhered to, but usually, you only need to put the author’s last name, a comma, and the date of publication, and thereafter enclose these in parenthesis. This should appear at the end of the sentence before the period.
Specific guidelines must be adhered to for each kind of reference. The sources are mentioned in the reference list along with the italicized title, year of publication, the first letter of the author’s first name, and place of publishing. The references should be displayed alphabetically, with the first line aligned to the left and the following lines indented.
Its content includes additional data to back up some of the manuscript’s arguments.
- A superscript number that appears in the text next to each footnote serves as its identification.
- Each footnote has a starting line that is indented 5-7 spaces.
Format citations are one of the distinguishing features of any academic style manual. You need to cite your sources correctly since inaccurate citation of sources is considered plagiarism. But what is APA citing? Most students struggle to differentiate various writing styles. Nevertheless, there is no need to worry about correctly citing your sources.
There are a ton of web resources where you can get APA format essay examples for almost any type of source you might use in your writing. Additionally, you can use online citation generators to simplify the process.
Below is an example of APA formatting;
You must cite the author of any source that you use in your writing. These references are found inside the text. Within sentences as well as at end of sentences are the two formats for in-text citations in the APA style.
If you’re quoting them, you only need to cite the author’s last name and the year that their work was originally published. The last name of the author, the publication date, and the page number of their book must all be given when using a direct quote in an APA paper format.
On your references page, list your references in alphabetical order by the last name of the authors. Every reference must begin with the author’s last name, different types of media (such as books, movies, journal articles, websites, etc.) have slightly different formatting requirements.
The citations on your references page should contain details such as the date the source was published, the cited page, the publisher of the source, and when appropriate, details such as the episode of the show you cited and the original channel it was broadcast on.
This guide covers how to properly reference a range of sources, including TV shows, movies, and music.
You should format the names of the authors differently. This happens when there are two or more authors listed depending on whether you’re citing a source’s authors within your work’s text or at the conclusion of a sentence.
In APA style, titles of lengthy works, such as books and newspaper titles, are italicized. While shorter works’ titles are not.
You can list a source’s title first if there is no author to cite. The type of source will determine how to format the title. The title of a book, magazine, or other such work should be italicized if it is a chapter or section inside a larger work, and if there is no title, use the first few sentences of the source.
APA format tips
Using the APA format style can give your study more credibility by offering expert findings that support your theories and enable you to clearly communicate the essential elements.
Make an effort to access the library at your school to obtain scholarly publications or peer-reviewed magazines. There are internet databases where you can obtain reliable information from the comfort of your house.
Although adopting the APA formatting style may seem difficult at first, with consistent exposure and practice, you will be able to master it within a short time.
Key pointers of an APA format
- Use 8.5 x 11-inch paper to print your paper
- The paper should include a one-inch margin on all sides
- Your paper should contain a header, or a running head, on each page. The running head for student papers has the page number flush right. For a formal paper, the page number should be flush right after the paper’s title, which should be kept to fifty characters or less
- Each page is given a number in an APA format essay. The page header includes this number flush to the right
- Although the APA style does not specify which fonts to use, Times New Roman is preferred. Other acceptable fonts are Lucida, Calibri, and Arial
- A title page should be included
- The sources page is indicated as References
- Double space is recommended
When to use APA format and citations
Adhere to the APA style format for all of your academic writing including nursing courses, social sciences, and engineering. This contains reports of all kinds, such as research papers, essays, and lab reports. If you’re confused about whether a paper has to be in APA format, you can ask your instructor.
Unless you’re asked to submit it for review or approval by your instructor, you don’t need to format your outline in APA style. Generally, any portion of your work that you turn in must follow the APA style. This contains your final paper draft, your literature review, your abstract, and your study proposal if any.
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