Useful Instructions On How To Create A Research Paper In APA Format


American Psychology Association or APA formatting is one of the more popular formats that you may come across when you begin writing at college level. Much like Chicago style and MLA, it is simply comprised of rules that change the look of your research and the order of your citations. Here are some of the most important elements that need to be included to create a paper in this style.

  • Title Page
  • On this page your name, that of your professor, school and the course should be listed. In addition to these, the name of your research paper and the date of submission should be included. Some educators may want all of the above information included while others prefer some of it be left off. Always ask the person who assigned the research what their preferences are in this regard.

  • Include an Abstract
  • In much the same way as a cover letter introduces your resume, an abstract introduces your research. It will explain what the topic is and what you intended to achieve by engaging in your research in the first place. It should not take much more or less than 200 words.

  • Fonts, Margins and Spacing
  • Your pages should have a one inch margin on each side as well as to the top and bottom. Ensure that you use double spacing throughout. It is common practice to use a simple font, like Times New Roman in size 12. Fancier, cursive-like fonts should be avoided to maintain a professional appearance in your work. Headings are generally left without additional formatting such as italics.

  • Page Headers or Running Heads
  • Each page should feature a header that contains condensed information about the paper’s title as well as the current page number. Most software can produce this automatically so there is no need to type it onto each page for yourself.

  • Citations
  • Any reference to the work of another author must be accompanied by an entry in the Reference List. This will be to the back of the paper along with any tables and figures that are relevant to the research.

This basic checklist can help you get started with the APA style but remember that there are booklets and entire websites devoted to it if you still need clarification. A good template can also help you stick to the rules of the style even if it’s your first time using it.