How to Write an APA Paper: Tips on Using APA Style


How to Write an APA Paper: Tips on Using APA Style

If you have a task to write a paper on any social sciences, then you probably already know that you will need to use an APA format. But how to write an APA paper and use the format in the right way? Find out more in this guide on how to write an APA paper step by step.

What is an APA style paper?

There are many formats which are widely used for different papers. One of the most common styles is an APA format. APA is an abbreviation which is short for the American Psychological Association and is commonly used for studies in various sciences. Examples of such fields are psychology, political science, archeology, linguistics, and many others.

Many other areas use this style as well. There are many things you should take into account when using APA format. Types of papers that use the APA style are reviews, scientific articles, and case studies. If you are not sure if need to use APA format in your paper, it’s best to ask your instructor about it.

How do you write a paper in the APA format?

So how to write an APA style paper? There are many basics a writer should know about. In this section, you can find tips on how to write an APA paper outline and use this style correctly. 

  1. Let’s start from something pretty simple: length of a paper. Since this is a scientific paper, you should try to avoid “water” in your text and be short. Less is more.
  2. When formatting your paper, you should keep in mind the margin sizes. Try to make them be on the same distance from the paper edge. It’s also best to use margins which are not smaller than 1 inch.
  3. When working on a paper in an APA format, you should also create a cover (or title) page. First of all, you should keep in mind that you the most commonly used font is Times New Roman, but if any other is required, you can use it. On your title page, you should mention your name, running head, the name of a paper, a place where you study, and other information if required. 
  4. Include page headers. You don’t have to do it manually: you can just add the headers to each page by your editor. Don’t forget to write the title of a study and page numbers.
  5. Write the headings. So how to write an APA format paper headings? Make sure that you read the instructions carefully and use sizes for headings and subheadings perfectly. 
  6. Work on the paper structure. You should write your beginning, a body of the paper, as well as evidence, and a concluding paragraph. Just search online to find good examples.
  7. Include graphics. Feel free to include tables, images, and other elements to your paper. Just make sure you number all of them. 

How do you write an APA reference page? 

A reference page is the same thing as an annotated bibliography. In the reference page, you should mention all the resources you used to write your paper and their authors. Use tips if you wonder how to cite a reference page: 

  • A bibliography should be separated from the rest of the text. Include the running head for your references too.
  • The list should be ordered from A to Z by the last name of an author. Names are always inverted, which means that your last name goes first, and initials go after that.
  • If in the list there is more than one work of an author, list the works in the order from the earliest work to the most recent one.
  • You should use the full name of the work listed. Capitalized letters should also be used in the same way as for the original. 
  • If you use quotes in the text, they should also be present in the bibliography.
  • Titles of bigger works like books should use italics. If the works are shorter, for example, articles or essays, the titles should not be italicized or underlined.
  • If your bibliography has to be longer than one page, it’s fine to make it this way. 

How do you write an abstract in APA format?

To be short, an abstract is a brief summary of the study. The goal of an abstract is to let the potential read know what the paper is going to be about. Instead of reading something without knowing whether or not you will like it, the reader has a chance to first read the abstract. Find out how to how to write in APA paper style your abstract here: 

  1. Same as the bibliography, your abstract should have its own page. Usually, it’s right after the title page.
  2. Running head should also go at the top of the page, same as the rest of the text.
  3. The word “Abstract” should go in the center before the summary. The abstract should include information about the topic and your research. Try to simply recall everything from your study without adding too many facts.
  4. If the part of your research includes the work of others, it’s best to mention that in the abstract. Also, don’t forget about the name of the author whose work you 
  5. This step is optional. You can make a list of keywords which are connected to your study at the end of your abstract.

A few last thoughts 

If you wonder how to cite a paper in APA style, then you should do your research and use the instructions from your professor to make sure you do everything right. Of course, you can always use a citation maker or online generator, but if you want your paper or essay to get A+, it’s better to do it by yourself. 

If you are studying in college, you know how much small details mean. This is why you should be careful when working on citations. Use the guide on how to write an APA paper for dummies, and you will handle this task easily. And feel free to ask others to help you if you are not sure about how to cite something.