Tips for Writing a Research Paper in APA format

One of the essential skills every researcher should possess is to effectively communicate research results and analytics to the public. American Psychological Association Style gives researcher an opportunity to structure research paper well and makes it more readable to the public. APA style is the most popular format for social science research papers for many years. We accumulate tips and instructions on how to write research paper in APA format.

Above are guidelines you may find useful when writing a research paper in APA writing format.

APA format is the research paper style developed by the American Psychological Association. In college and graduate school, APA is the standard style for writing research papers that describe studies or experiments. Especially in psychology, sociology, and human health classes, professors often require students to write term papers in APA format.

Like other formatting styles, such as AP, MLA, and Chicago, APA has particular rules about titles, page numbers, citations, and references. (Be careful not to confuse APA with AP--Associated Press. AP style is used by journalists.)

If you need to write a research paper in APA format, this 10-step guide will show you how to do it correctly so that your paper isn't sent back for revisions.

1. Margins, Font, and Numbering

Set the left margin of your paper to one inch with left side justification and ragged right margins. Set the indent to 1/2 of an inch. Use the font, double spaced. Number every page in the top right corner. At the top left corner of every page, in CAPS, use a shortened version of your title as the running header.

2. Organization

Organize the sections of your paper as follows: Title, Abstract, Introduction, Method, Results, Discussion, References, Appendices. Not all research papers will have sections on methods and results, or appendices, particularly if the paper is a summary and analysis of other works. If you are writing a summary paper in APA format, you will have a title page, abstract, introduction, discussion, and references.

3. Title Page

On a single page, write the full title of you paper using proper title case. In title case, you capitalize every word except a, an, the, and, or, but, nor, to, in, of, on, at, with, from, & for. You capitalize these words if they are the first word in the title. Below the title, write your name and the name of your school.

4. Abstract

On a new page, write "Abstract" in bold face, centered at the top of the page with a one inch top margin. Begin your abstract on the next (double spaced) line.

5. Introduction

On another new page, begin your introduction. label this page with a heading that says "Introduction."


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These are just a few of the most important elements to writing a research paper in proper APA format.

If you follow through on the two points above, you will soon find you become very familiar with the APA format. The first point is to create a template. Whatever word processing software you are using, it is particularly easy to control such things as spacing between lines, a page number and header on every page, the selection of the font and its size, and the use of margins on every page. Put these various characteristics into a template and save it as a file. It then means whenever you come to write a research paper in the APA format, you don't have to worry about fonts and spacing and page numbering and margins etc. It has all been taken care of just the once and can be used over and over again. The margin on all sides of the page will be 1 inch. The font chosen will be a common font such as Times New Roman and its size will be 12 point. Lock away these characteristics and forget about them.