More Tips While writing an APA paper may seem difficult or confusing, start by breaking it down into more manageable steps. As you research your topic, creating an outline and a working bibliography can help you structure your paper and keep track of all of the references you use.
Begin by doing your research and writing your paper, but be sure to keep a careful record of all your references. Next, write the abstract section of your paper only after you are completely finished writing your paper. Finally, put all of your references together and create a title page. Once you have completed these steps, spend a little time editing your paper and reviewing your finished APA paper to be sure that all of the formatting is accurate.
Was this page helpful? Thanks for your feedback! Have you ever wondered what your personality type means? Sign up to get these answers, and more, delivered straight to your inbox. Email Address There was an error. Please try again. Thank you, , for signing up. Title pages The title page, or APA format cover page, is the first page of a paper or essay.
Some teachers and professors do not require a title page, but some do. Here are key guidelines to developing your title page: The title of the paper should capture the main idea of the essay, but should not contain abbreviations or words that serve no purpose.
The title should be centered on the page and typed in point, Times New Roman font. Do not underline, bold, or italicize the title. Your title may take up one or two lines, but should not be more than 12 words in length.
All text on the title page should be double-spaced. The APA format examples paper below displays proper spacing, so go take a look! The institutional affiliation is the school the author attends or the location where the author conducted the research. Sample of an APA format title page: 5.
To make this process easier, set your word processor to automatically add these components onto each page. Insert page numbers justified to the right-hand side of the APA format paper do not put p. If your title is long over 50 characters , this running head title should be a shortened version of the title of your entire paper. The header should look like this on the other pages: 6.
Preparing outlines Outlines are extremely beneficial as they help writers stay organized, determine the scope of the research that needs to be included, and establish headings and subheadings. It is up to the writer if they choose to make use of an outline to determine how to organize it and the characters to include. Some writers use a mix of roman numerals, numbers, and uppercase and lowercase letters. We promise you, an outline will help you stay on track. How to form an abstract An APA format abstract is a summary of a scholarly article or scientific study.
You may come across abstracts while researching a topic. Many databases display abstracts in the search results and often display them before showing the full text of an article or scientific study. It is important to create a high quality abstract that accurately communicates the purpose and goal of your paper, as readers will determine if it is worthy to continue reading or not.
Are you wondering if you need to create an abstract for your assignment? You might not have to. Here are some helpful suggestions to create a dynamic abstract: Abstracts are found on their own page, directly after the title or cover page. Include the running head on the top of the page. On the following line, write a summary of the key points of your research. Your abstract summary is a way to introduce readers to your research topic, the questions that will be answered, the process you took, and any findings or conclusions you drew.
Use concise, brief, informative language. You only have a few sentences to share the summary of your entire document, so be direct with your wording. This summary should not be indented, but should be double-spaced and less than words. If applicable, help researchers find your work in databases by listing keywords from your paper after your summary. To do this, indent and type Keywords: in italics. Then list your keywords that stand out in your research.
You can also include keyword strings that you think readers will type into the search box. Use an active voice, not a passive voice. When writing with an active voice, the subject performs the action. When writing with a passive voice, the subject receives the action.
Active voice: The subjects reacted to the medication. Passive voice: There was a reaction from the subjects taking the medication.
Instead of evaluating your project in the abstract, simply report what it contains. The body of most scientific papers On the page after the abstract, begin with the body of the paper. Remember that you may present a set of findings either as a table or as a figure, but not as both.
For instance, if you present a table of means and standard deviations, you do not need to also report these in the text. However, if you use a figure to represent your results, you may wish to report means and standard deviations in the text, as these may not always be precisely ascertained by examining the figure. Do describe the trends shown in the figure. Do not spend any time interpreting or explaining the results; save that for the Discussion section.
Discussion labeled, centered, bold The goal of the discussion section is to interpret your findings and place them in the broader context of the literature in the area. A discussion section is like the reverse of the introduction, in that you begin with the specifics and work toward the more general funnel out.
Some points to consider: Begin with a brief restatement of your main findings using words, not numbers. Did they support the hypothesis or not? If not, why not, do you think? Were there any surprising or interesting findings? How do your findings tie into the existing literature on the topic, or extend previous research?
What do the results say about the broader behavior under investigation? If you have surprising findings, you might discuss other theories that can help to explain the findings. Begin with the assumption that your results are valid, and explain why they might differ from others in the literature. What are the limitations of the study? Perhaps these could be incorporated into the future research section, below. What additional questions were generated from this study?
What further research should be conducted on the topic? What gaps are there in the current body of research? Whenever you present an idea for a future research study, be sure to explain why you think that particular study should be conducted. What new knowledge would be gained from it? How do these results relate to larger issues of human thoughts, feelings, and behavior? Final paragraph: Be sure to sum up your paper with a final concluding statement.
End on a positive note by reminding your reader why your study was important and what it added to the literature. References labeled, centered, not bold Provide an alphabetical listing of the references alphabetize by last name of first author.
Double-space all, with no extra spaces between references. The second line of each reference should be indented this is called a hanging indent and is easily accomplished using the ruler in Microsoft Word. See the APA manual for how to format references correctly. Examples of references to journal articles start on p. Digital object identifiers DOIs are now included for electronic sources see pp.
Journal article example: [Note that only the first letter of the first word of the article title is capitalized; the journal name and volume are italicized. If the journal name had multiple words, each of the major words would be capitalized. Ecological momentary assessment of mood disorders and mood dysregulation. Psychological Assessment, 21, Intergroup relations. Aronson Eds. New York: Random House. Book example: Gray, P. Psychology 6th ed.
V iew as PDF An APA-style paper includes the following sections: title page, abstract, introduction, method, results, discussion, and references.
Methodological articles These articles showcase new advances, or modifications to an existing practice, in a scientific method or procedure. Journal article example: [Note that only the first letter of the first word of the article title is capitalized; the journal name and volume are italicized. The institutional affiliation is the school the author attends or the location where the author conducted the research. Was the independent variable manipulated, and if so, was it manipulated between or within subjects?
The APA style is not an exception. It is unnecessary to mention things such as the paper and pencil used to record the responses, the data recording sheet, the computer that ran the data analysis, the color of the computer, and so forth. Was the independent variable manipulated, and if so, was it manipulated between or within subjects? Some points to consider: Begin with a brief restatement of your main findings using words, not numbers. The introduction will end with a brief overview of your study and, finally, your specific hypotheses. One of these sets is the APA writing standard.
Will it provide a test of an important theory? Results labeled, centered, bold In this section, describe how you analyzed the data and what you found.
When referring to external work or referencing an entire work but not directly quoting the material, you only need to make reference to the author and year of publication and not the page number in your citation. Use the toolbox to insert a page number, so it will automatically number each page. In APA format, there are five levels of headings, each with different sizes and purposes: Level 1: The largest heading size This is the title of your paper The title should be centered in the middle of the page The title should be bolded Use uppercase and lowercase letters where necessary called title capitalization Level 2: Should be a bit smaller than the title, which is Level 1 Place this heading against the left margin Use bold letters Use uppercase and lowercase letters where necessary Level 3: Should be a bit smaller than Level 2 Indented in from the left side margin Use bold letters Only place an uppercase letter at the first word of the heading. Use concise, brief, informative language.
This will keep the paper length shorter and more concise. Discussion labeled, centered, bold The goal of the discussion section is to interpret your findings and place them in the broader context of the literature in the area.