Give us feedbackX

How to Write an Essay in APA Format

The range of essays you will get assigned at college is humongous. Moreover, different professors might set different standards for the papers they expect from you. Hence, many learners will find themselves at a crossroads, not knowing which path to take.

As a result, even though you demonstrate diligence in writing well-researched, coherent, and grammatically correct pieces, you might get lower grades. So what could be the problem here? In most cases, students can’t spot their formatting errors and inconsistencies. They focus on in-depth analysis, finding sources, and ideas organization but often neglect the essential university guidelines.

Fortunately, we are here to assist and guide you into writing an ideally formatted college essay. This article explains everything you need to know about the APPA essay format, including the crucial steps you must take to draft a successful paper. Keep reading and quickly learn this important part of American education.

What Is APA Format?

APA is an abbreviation or acronym for the American Psychological Association, a scientific and professional organization. Its standard format writing rules go back to 1929 and have been the preferred citation style for papers in the field of social sciences.

You’ll find APA formatting in many books, journal articles, and lab papers. The underlying purpose of citing a research paper in APA is to generate an original style for quoting each source. It also helps the writer to grab the reader’s attention and provide insight into the essay with proper headlines.

Papers on complex topics written uniformly are easier to follow and understand. Clarity and coherence improve, too. As a result, the reader can focus on the content and not on the mechanics of the piece.

When writing an essay in APA format, it is important to consider the organization and formatting of the essay. This can be difficult without the help of a professional, which is why many students turn to a custom essay writing company, such as PapersOwl, for assistance. With their support, students can ensure that their essay is organized and formatted properly according to the APA guidelines.

Don't let plagiarism ruin your grade

Check the originality of a paper with just a couple of clicks.

  • Free unlimited checks
  • Accurate results
  • All common file formats
  • Intuitive interface
Сheck my paper

APA Essay Formatting Rules

Don’t expect all teachers to share identical formatting instructions for your academic papers. These will vary depending on the topic and length of your thesis. However, the paper will most likely contain a title page followed by an abstract, an introduction, a body, a closure, and references. Below, we explain the critical segments and what you should be particularly wary of when drafting.

The Title Page

Starting your essay on the right foot with an APA-based first page is vital. Above all, the page should contain the title, your name and surname, and your school affiliation. Pay attention that some teachers might ask for other details, such as course, professor’s name, date, and page number in the upper right corner.

Paper titles must be concise and describe the paper’s purpose in short. Try to fit the title in one line, but if this is impossible, two lines of a maximum of 12 words are also acceptable. All content should be centered and in bold type.

The Abstract

As a brief essay summary, this segment follows the title page. APA doesn’t recommend it for student papers, but your teacher might request one. If you choose to write an essay format with an abstract, it shouldn’t exceed 250 words and must fit in a single paragraph. The wording Abstract stands in the middle, and the first line has no indentation.

The Text

The APA style essay has an intro, a body, and a conclusion. Every paragraph of your paper must start half-inch indented at the left margin or one tab space. Besides the cover page, you must also ensure each page includes a number in the top right corner.

Professional papers also include a running head on the top. Beginners might find all these rules confusing, so APA research papers for sale might prove a better strategy. In them, you’ll see that running heads are shortened titles with no more than 50 characters in length (with spaces).

The Reference Section

The reference list that contains all the sources used throughout the essay is a must. It goes at the end of the paper. If you doubt your skills, get your free APA citation generator to ensure 100% compliance. At this point, ensure your references are listed alphabetically by the author’s last name.


You will compose most texts in Times New Roman in font size 12 or Georgia in font size 11. Yet, your teacher might also allow the Sans-Serif font in Calibri or Arial (both size 11), but these must be consistent throughout the main body. Footnotes are typically in size 10, whereas for captions, tables and figures, you might use between 8 and 14.

Uniform Margins

These should remain uniform throughout the whole manuscript. The default margin for Word documents is one inch on all sides, and the same is valid for the APA format. If your teacher demands a different margin, you can change the settings.


The entire text must be double-spaced. To do so, highlight the content and select double in the Paragraph Spacing tab. In an APA-based format, there’s no longer a need to provide additional space between paragraphs and around headings.

Writing an essay in APA format can be daunting for students, who may not be familiar with the style guidelines. For those needing extra guidance, PapersOwl offers case study writing help to ensure that each paper meets APA style requirements.

Steps to a Successful Essay in APA Format

Besides citing sources and presenting your views by the APA rules, there are other things you can do to ease your burden. After all, you can always turn to PapersOwl, a custom writing service, for any concerns you might have. Below is an outline of the writing process from scratch.

Pick a Topic

Writing a paper in APA format starts by choosing your topic. The ideal subject would be specific enough to allow in-depth research in the field. Still, it shouldn’t be too narrow because you might have problems finding relevant examples and information. If you choose a paper that covers an extensive scope, you risk getting overwhelmed by data and distracting your readers.

Take a Studious Path

Do your research at an early stage. Find books, journals, and case studies relevant to your topic to help you build your arguments. At this point, decide on the questions you’ll tackle in the body and your attitude towards the subject.

When you familiarize yourself with the theme, make a preliminary list of sources and studies you’ll use. If you get stuck, you might turn to an online platform to write APA paper for you, following the highest academic standards. Note that every used source must get credits in your work. Similarly, you must cite all entries listed at the bottom.

Rough Drafting

Brainstorm to organize your arguments. Start with a rough outline and then add your points. Once you have the overall structure, write complete sentences and sections.

Keep track of all citations. Sometimes, you will get requested to include an annotated bibliography in APA format in your assignment. It involves a brief of the sourced information and evaluates its validity, value, or relevance.

Polish Your Manuscript

It’s time to revise the final draft and check your examples. Finally, ensure your writing is cohesive, well-supported and free of spelling, grammatical, and formatting mistakes. APA format is often used for completing research papers, essays, and other academic writings. For those who find it challenging to write an essay in APA, they can turn to services such as a philosophy essay writing service. These services generally have professional writers who have knowledge and experience in the APA style and can help students with properly formatting their essay.

Frequently Asked Questions

How to Cite an Article in an APA Essay?

To cite in an essay using APA style, you need to insert the author’s name, the publication date, and the webpage where you found the quotations.

How to Quote a Book in an APA Essay?

This format requires book citations with the author’s name, the publication year, the book title, and the publisher. Typically, you can find all the information you need in the copyright segment of the book.

How to Cite a Website in an APA Essay?

APA website citations contain authors, publication dates, article titles, website names, and URLs. If the text lacks an author, insert the article. For an online version of a print publication, do the same as with a printed version, plus an URL.

How to Write an APA Style Essay in Two Parts?

The formatting requirements will remain the same. However, in the case of a two-part essay, it’s best to create two different title pages.

How to Insert Direct Quotes in an APA Style Essay?

Direct quotations must mention the author, publication year, and page (p.) or page span (pp.). They are 40 words maximum and use block quotation formatting on a separate line. The indent is 1/2 inch from the left margin.

Was this article helpful?

Thanks for your feedback!


Simply fill out the form, click the button, and have no worries!

By clicking “CONTINUE”, you agree to our terms of service and privacy policy. We’ll occasionally send you promo and account related emails.