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Writing Research paper in APA format

26 Jul 2017Writing tips

Becoming academically successful is not the easy walk. In order to accurately and formally enough express researching thoughts in writing, you have to get acquainted with the rules of formatting of the research paper.

There are many different sets of rules, which are applied depending on the specifics of the field of study. One of these sets is the APA writing standard.

What is APA?

It is one of the most influential associations of professional psychologists in the world, including specialists from the United States and Canada, as well as associate members from other countries. It includes about 150 thousand members. Organization`s main goal is to promote psychology as a science, profession, and means of improving well-being, mental health, and education of people. The organization developed the widespread form of formatting of academic works in social sciences. On the assumption of the name of the organization (American Psychological Association), it is not hard to guess, that this standard is mostly popular in North America, but also is widely used in other English-speaking countries. Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association, which is the organization`s miscellany, contains recommendations on the formalization of the paper, as well as on using of citations, footnotes, tables, fonts and the structure of the work. It is used in research publications predominantly in such areas as psychology, business, criminology, economics, pedagogy (including applied linguistics), sociology.

APA research paper formatting guidelines

General formatting guidelines rarely differ from each other in various styles. APA style is not an exception. If you are not just getting acquainted with ways of the format of the research paper, these regulations are twice told for you. This style still gives a little surprise in the boring world of margins and indentations:

  • As usual, the text is typed on standard white paper that has familiar parameters of 8.5 x 11-inch.
  • Using of fonts different from 12pt Times New Roman isn`t countenanced by the style.
  • As well as ignoring of double-spacing of the text.
  • Outstanding 1 inch placement of the margins concerning all sides of the page.
  • Don`t forget about indentation set to the 1 inch form the left side of the page.
  • The surprise is in creating special page header that would consist of numbered page and concise title of the paper typed with capitals. This APA`s innovation called running head is present on each page of the work throughout the paper.

It is seen that the style keeps up with world`s leading formatting standards not cooking up a lot of useless rules. The running head introduction visually brings both writer and reader back to the main idea of the research. In all other respects, APA style is similar to the other guides.

Format of APA research paper

The framework of how to write research papers is the most distinguishable part of each formatting standard. Hardly ever, there are common aspects of the structure of the paper. This style provides the following paper composition.

Title page

Every research paper, if it is not MLA, starts with the title page. APA pays lots of attention to the designing the front page. The rules are simple but strict.

  • The title of the paper is placed in the very center of the front page. It is centered due to the side margins and lies in the middle of the vertical axis.
  • It may contain as many words and characters as the writer needs so long as it is 12 words, but the recommendation is to avoid using fruitless information and abbreviations.
  • Remembering double-spacing, the name of the author is written down beneath the title. It dodges any familiarity as Ph.D. or Mr. Just first and last name.
  • The same procedure undergoes the name of the institution which you represent writing this paper.
  • As running page contains capitalized the short name of the study, the header of the title page includes words ‘Running head’ followed by the colon and written in the same way before shortened title.

These rules, as it seen, are not as cruel as they could be, but still demand to pay lots of attention to the formatting of the front page. APA must be thinking that having a cover attracts more consideration.

Abstract

It is another peculiarity of the style as other standards don`t usually recommend using abstract. What for do you have to do it? Abstract serves as an introduction to the ideas of the author, brief announce of what questions did he rose and by which way he came to the answers. It contains all usual information as decoding of inexplicit abbreviations and special words. As for the technical approaches, the abstract page started with centered word Abstract but typed in 12pt Times New Roman, as whole text is. It is followed by unindented text that doesn`t exceed 250 words. At the end of it, after indentation goes key words section that helps your paper to be found. Key words are typed in italics.

Body

APA style adheres to the long established rules of using essay-form while writing research works. The text in the body can contain as much paragraph or sections as writer needs, but only on condition of supporting the idea by answering the rose questions. The beginning of the body once again starts with the name of the survey, which must not be bolded, underlined or italicized. To stand each section out, the standard advises centering heading of each paragraph and bold it.

Text citation and references

APA format doesn`t differentiate from others in the theme of citation politics. The organization through the pages of the manual reminds of academic honesty and invokes writers to cite other works properly. The style uses an in-text citation as well. Such a citation is placed in parenthesis where the author`s name and year of publication of the cited part are specified. This information has to be the same as in the reference list. Formatting of the reference list, or bibliography, is represented in the following consequence.

  1. References are typed in bold and centered.
  2. Then go the name of the author or the group of the authors. If there are more than two authors, only two of them indicated and specified with al.
  3. After the dot goes the year of publication enclosed in parenthesis.
  4. Then go the name of the cited paper.
  5. After this step, indicate the editing house that published cited paper.
  6. Finish it with the way of access to the source.

APA formatting style provides numerous rules to edit research papers accurately. This fact does not mean useless efforts but the effective and correct format of writing studies that help both the author and the reader to come to an agreement.

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