APA (American Psychological Association) style is one of the most widespread academic formats when it comes to writing research papers. Even though the name implies psychological works, the range is not limited to that particular field only. In fact, you can find a vast variety of APA format assignments not only in social sciences and humanities but also in exact studies.
Even though the guidelines might seem confusing at first (even after you did what your professor asked and diligently googled Purdue owl APA page), formatting an APA paper is not as scary as it may seem. Here, we will try to break down the most essential APA format writing requirements step by step and explain them in a clear and concise manner.
APA format general guidelines are not much different from standard academic writing rules. Here goes:
These rules are applicable throughout the entire paper, including APA format paper cover page, and they align perfectly with all other academically accepted formatting guidelines. The other details differ, though.
APA style paper cover page is one of the first things that confuse most students, especially when they are working on an APA format cover page for the first time. Cover page APA style should include the following:
All of this info is starts at the third line of your APA title page and is centered. In practice, APA cover page should look like that:
Challenges of modern police departments An Assignment Submitted by Mary Smith University of Florida Class XXXX, Section XXXX, Fall 2017
Another important difference of APA cover page is that page numbering starts right there. Differently from the majority of other academic formats, APA style cover page will have digit 1 in the top right corner.
Finally, cover page APA style presupposes a running head with a paper title. Start typing ‘Running head’ (capital R is a must) proceed with a colon, and type in your paper title in all caps.
Note that if your paper title is too long to fit in just one line here, APA title page header can feature a shorter version of the paper name — but only for this one page.
These are all of the things you need to know about APA format paper cover page. Let's move on to other components.
While APA style paper cover page presupposes a running head with your paper title and the actual words ‘running head’, the rest of your paper headers will have ONLY the title, nothing else. That is why make sure that the header formatting of your APA format cover page (that is, your very first page) stands separately in this one matter.
Traditionally, the second page of your APA paper is an abstract. However, this part is often optional, so you should consult your professor or scientific supervisor on whether or not you need one.
The general guideline, however, is to include an abstract if your paper is over ten pages long. The main purpose of this part is to provide brief information about the paper and the issues addressed in it. Normally, it should not take more than 150-200 words; however, in some cases, it can take up to three-quarters of a given page.
Once you’ve finished summing up the main highlights of your work in an abstract, make an indent on the line that follows and type in the main keywords you used in your paper. This should look more or less like this:
Keywords: write my essay, academic writing, challenges, solutions
Note: no full stop is necessary after the last keyword. Also, it is advisable not to have over one line of keywords in this part.
The body of your APA format paper follows the same logic as the majority of academic assignments. You center your title (no caps this time) on the first line of page three (page two if you had no abstract) and begin your introduction right away — a quite common step of any ‘write my essay’ process. Typically, an introduction briefly states the problem and wraps it with a thesis statement that will be further on analyzed in your work.
Note that while the introduction does not require an actual header that says ‘introduction’, the rest of your paper contents can be subdivided into several parts and each part can have a subheading of its own. Once again, the solution is advisable when writing longer APA format papers and is unnecessary when dealing with shorter, 2-5 pages essays.
You do not have to start each part of your paper sections on a separate page; however, you do have to include a centered capitalized header for each section. If the section is lengthy and presupposes not only a header but also several sub-headings, the heading will be
The subheadings will be
APA citation rules are pretty straightforward. If the citation is less than 40 words, you write in line with your paragraph text in quotation marks and mention the author and the year of publication in brackets after the quotation. The author and the publication year are separated by commas. Here is an example of APA citation format in the text:
Efficient police departments “are not machine-like but human” (Murray, 2000), which means that…
If the APA citation you want to include is over 40 words, you place it in an indented block, without any quotation marks. You still need to reference the author’s last name and the year of your source publication in brackets. However, don't get too zealous with the quotations. Ideally, they should comprise no more than 10% of your paper text. A paraphrase with your own words would be a better option, and you can still give credit to the original source — same as you would with a quotation.
If you need to quote a source that has two authors, separate their names with &-symbol, like this: (Wuestewald & Steinheider, 2006).
Three or more authors: (Batts, Smoot, Scrivner, 2012) — for the first time you refer to this source; (Batt et al., 2012) — for all of the subsequent times you refer to the source.
APA bibliography, aka APA reference page, is called simply References. It starts on a separate page after your paper conclusion and has “References” typed on the first line. The text is centered, but neither bold nor capitalized.
The sources you list here should have the following information:
Most will be formatted in plain text, even though journal titles (online or printed) are always given in italics. Here is an example:
Wuestewald, T., Steinheider, B. (2006). The Changing Face of Police Leadership. International Association of Chiefs of Police. The Police Chief, 73, 4. Web. Retrieved from link
Each source starts with a separate line, left-aligned. Most of the time, including all the relevant publication data will require more than just one line. In this case, second and all following lines are indented.
APA bibliography is structured in a chronological order. For more information on how to format this section, consult Purdue owl APA page or visit the official APA formatting web page — it will have all the latest guidelines.