When writing an academic research paper in APA format, you have to follow certain APA rules. They include formatting guidelines and recommendations for citing sources. Using research paper APA formatting will help you write a well-organized paper with a consistent flow and enable your readers to find the cited sources seamlessly.
This in-depth guide to writing a research paper in APA format will provide you with all the essential tips for APA formatting and citations. You’ll learn all about the APA style, its importance in the scientific community, and the key steps to consider when using it.
Let’s start with the basics.
APA stands for the American Psychological Association, the largest scientific and professional organization of psychologists in the US. The organization publishes the APA Publication Manual, the most recent being the seventh edition.
The APA style is the standard format for structuring research papers and documenting sources to avoid plagiarism. Researchers, writers, educators, and students use it for research papers in education, social and behavioral sciences, natural sciences, business, communications, and other related fields.
Formatting in particular style provides consistency and clarity. It helps you organize your ideas professionally, making your paper easier to read and understand. Thanks to a uniform APA research paper format, your readers can focus on what matters instead of jumping through hoops to get a better grasp of the topic.
Apart from helping you structure and format your research paper, the APA style helps you cite your sources appropriately to establish credibility and avoid plagiarism.
If you’re too busy with your studies to spend time following the APA guidelines, you can find APA papers for sale and let the professionals handle them. But even if you do, you should still get familiar with all the rules. They’ll simplify your research, as you’ll learn how to read all the necessary sources effortlessly.
Creating a proper APA style research paper format requires following certain general guidelines, including:
Apart from these general requirements, there are other strict rules to follow regarding the main elements of your APA format research paper.
When formatting the title page, which is your research paper’s first page, you must:
The abstract page is your APA format research paper’s second page, which can contain the introduction, your research summary, and the definitions of terms and abbreviations. Its formatting rules are as follows:
When it comes to your research paper’s body, the APA recommends meeting the following research paper APA formatting rules for the headings (apart from the general requirements above):
How many heading levels will you use? Well, that depends on your paper’s complexity and length. You don’t have to use all of them.
The reference page should follow the body and list all the sources you used for the research. Remember to use in-text citations as well, which should match all the sources in your reference list. Follow these APA style guidelines to give credit to the original authors:
If you’re looking for a research paper APA format example to get a better grasp of all the rules above, check out these sample papers by the APA. You can download them for free to explore their overall structure and formatting.
Here are a few research paper examples to help you cite sources on your reference page.
An example for citing a book:
Kashdan, T., & Biswas-Diener, R. (2014). The upside of your dark side. New York, NY: Hudson Street Press.
Here’s another one for citing a journal article:
Hammond, S. I., & Drummond, J. K. (2019). Rethinking emotions in the context of infants’ prosocial behavior: The role of interest and positive emotions. Developmental Psychology, 55(9), 1882-1888. https://doi.org/10.1037/dev0000685
Writing a research paper in APA format requires more than just structuring your paper and citing the sources properly. Take a look at some of the key steps to consider during your APA research paper writing:
Writing an academic research paper in APA format doesn’t seem so daunting now, does it? There may be plenty of rules, but they’re quite straightforward.
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