Different styles of writing can often seem puzzling, especially if you are used, for example, to MLA style and all of a sudden are asked to craft an essay in APA. But this is just a matter of habit. Once you practice a little, you are sure to master the rules of writing in a new style and get a good grade.
The APA writing format is named after The American Psychological Association and is widely used for creating academic papers in many subjects: social sciences including psychology and criminology; linguistics; business; economics, etc. This is the accepted and official writing format for publications by The American Psychological Association.
Basic Requirements for APA Formatting Style for Students
In most cases, a students essay compiled according to the APA rules of formatting will consist of:
- the title page
Now, let us look at every component and the requirements for them a little bit closer.
As a rule, the title page in the APA style includes the title of the paper, a student’s name, year of study, and the full name of the college. What is crucial is that the title length should not exceed 2 lines of text and should not count more than 12 words. It should also contain the instructor’s initials and the due date.
Everywhere in the paper, you are recommended to use the Times Roman font, 12 pt. The ‘page header’ should be present on every page at the top too.
Writing an Abstract
Don’t worry if you never have this page in your essay – the abstract page is not compulsory but some disciplines might require it. The abstract normally contains one or two hundred words in Times New Roman 12 pt., if another requirement was not stated.
What About the Margins and Spacing?
Both in the abstract and the essay itself APA demands accurately defined margins and formatting.
- double spacing in the paper
- page numbers in the upper right corner
- equal margins at every side (one inch)
- Times New Roman Font in 12 pt.
- every first word of the paragraph indented 1,5 inch
Formatting In References
The main requirement for the list of references is to include all the sources you referred to in your essay. This section simply enlists every one of them at the end.
Order your sources according to the alphabet, starting from the author’s last name. All other requirements remain the same for the text – double spacing between lines, the same 1-inch margins, and font.
How to Deal With Citations In the Text In APA Formatting Style
Besides having sources in references, you will also need to include citations inside the text. They signal to the reader that all the info you have taken for the paper was credible and that this source is open for access.
Writing a Successful College Essay: How to Do It and What Tricks to Know
Keeping up with the formatting requirements is crucial but this alone can’t take you to the heights. If you really want a superb result and aim your essay to hit home, you should also work at its content.
Now, the basic rules for every essay are to make research on your own, consult reliable sources, and edit the paper mercilessly. Sure thing, you will need to have strong researching skills and analytical type of thinking so the success of your essay paper starts long before you receive the topic.
In general, try to read a lot. Subscribe to useful sources of data, find articles in Google Scholar, read magazines that specialize in the subjects of your ain profile. All of it will contribute to better understanding and let you gather many different points of view.
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