Apa writing format research paper

APA Sample Paper.pdf – APA Writing Style 1 APA Writing.

APA Writing Style 1 Prepared by Gale Mazur, Ed.D. APA Writing Style Writing academic papers requires you to document your sources with the American Psychological Association (APA) system of in-text citations and references. Written as a sample paper, this a brief overview of requirements for preparing papers using the APA format. Additional resources including tutorials and videos are found on Brand man’s Writing Center Resource Page: General Format APA papers are double-spaced with the first sentence of each paragraph indented five (5) spaces. The paper is aligned left with the right-side ragged; do not justify your paper so the right margin is even. The font must be easily readable; Times New Roman and Courier in 12 point fonts are good choices. Title Page All papers are submitted with a title page. An example of the title page for Brandman papers is found in Appendix A on page 7 of this document. Margins Margins must be one inch from the top, bottom, left and right; Microsoft Word’s default of 1.25 inches is no acceptable. The one inch margin rule may only be broken to avoid placing a lone heading on the last line of the page or a single line of text on the top of the next page (APA, 2010). Page Headers The page header is located in the upper left corner of the paper; it contains a few words of the title. The page number aligned right; every page including the title page is numbered. In this

APA Writing Style 2 paper, the page header is APA Writing Style. To insert a page header in Word 2003, click on View in your Toolbar, then Header and Footer to insert the title and click on page number for the program to automatically insert it. In Word 2007, click Insert and then Header. In-Text Citations When the words or ideas of a source are used, not giving credit with an in-text citation is plagiarism. When you use the exact wording of a source, it is a direct quotation and requires the page number in addition to the author and year in the citation. If you summarize or paraphrase the content of source, it is an indirect quotation and the author’s name and year must be included in the citation (Lester & Lester, 2012). Appendix B of this document includes specific examples. Direct quotations . Using the exact words found in a source is a direct quotation. Quotations of 39 words or less are enclosed in quotation marks. “If you do not use the author’s name in your text, place the name(s) within the parenthetical citation” (Lester & Lester, 20 12, p. 297). Quotations of 40 words or more are treated differently. Present a quotation of forty words or more as a separate block, indented five spaces or one-half inch from the left margin…Because it is set off from the te xt in a distinctive block, do not enclose it with quotation marks. Do not indent the first line an extra five spaces; however, do indent the first line of any additional paragraphs that appear in the block an extra five spaces – that is, ten spaces from the left margin. Set parenthetical citations outside the last period. (Lester & Lester, 2012, p. 298) In the second line of the above quotation, notice three dots after the word margin. These dots indicate that a word, phrase or sentence in the original text was not included in the quotation. In this instance, the deleted sentence explained the MLA style rule, which is irrelevant

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How to draft an academic Research Paper Apa Style ? Download this Research Paper Apa Style template that will perfectly suit your needs!

Scientists regularly need advanced templates, forms, spreadsheets, and often more than any other industry. Therefore, our website AllBusinessTemplates.com is updated every day with new suitable and up-to-date templates for your convenience.

  1. Choose a topic
  2. Gather information
  3. Organize ideas
  4. Create an outline & write a thesis statement
  5. Narrow down sources & write notes
  6. Draft the paper
  7. Revise & fill the gaps
  8. Edit
  9. Submit paper

With those very noble goals stated in the preceding section, a research paper has this step-by-step process of realization:

  1. the proposal,
  2. the outline,
  3. abstract,
  4. summary and
  5. conclusion

For example, this Research Paper template can save you valuable time and can help you to reach the next level of success in your studies, research, work, or business!

Scientists regularly need advanced report templates, forms, spreadsheets, and often more than any other industry. Therefore, our website AllBusinessTemplates.com is updated every day with new suitable and up-to-date templates for your convenience.

For example, this Research Paper Apa Style template which can save you valuable time and can help you to reach the next level of success in your studies, research work or business!

The Research Paper: APA Style In-text Citation and Reference List examples based on the Publication Manual of the American Association, 6th ed.. One author: OR Pagels discussed … wo authors: Juedes and Curry (1999) concluded… ORThree to five authors – first citation examined the history… — more references to the same source (first author followed by et al.): Smiler et al.. Several studies Personal Communications (e.g., e-mail, personal interviews): These are included for in-text citations, but are not included in the reference list because they are not recoverable.. For electronically retrieved (online) articles only: o If no DOI is available then substitute the URL of the journal’s homepage in this way: Retrieved from Include retrieval date only if the source may change over time (e.g., wikis, draft paper)..

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Importance of Using APA Format in Research Papers

There is more to APA format than just works cited. APA format, more officially known as American Psychological Association, is one of two main documentation styles used in the United States. This format is traditionally used when writing natural or social sciences research papers, including Physiology, Linguistics, Sociology, Economics, Criminology, Business and Nursing. It guides style, voice and references for your paper.

Explore this article

1 APA Basics

2 Use APA format

Use APA format in research papers to organize your content, achieve an active, first-person writing style and format in-text citations, endnotes, footnotes and reference pages. General APA guidelines recommend that you use 12 pt. Times New Roman font, include a page header at the top of every page and include four main sections in your paper: the title page, abstract, main body and references.

3 Establishes Credibility

4 By using APA format in your paper

By using APA format in your paper, you provide readers with cues that allow them to follow your ideas more efficiently. Using this standard format allows your readers to focus on your ideas instead being distracted by unfamiliar text and formats. The APA format shows that you are aware of your audience and helps establish your credibility.

5 Provides Style Guidelines

6 When writing in an APA format

When writing in an APA format, you should use a certain style in your writing. The APA format explains what point of view and voice to write from, how to address clarity and conciseness and how to select certain words and terms. Clarity and conciseness are essential for conveying research. It helps you provide adequate information to your readers for following the development of your study. APA format guides you when selecting certain words, such as participants rather than subjects, helping you to increase clarity and control over how your readers receive your information and to avoid bias. Unlike other more literary styles, APA format recommends that you use simple, plain language to avoid confusing your meaning. Also, minimize figurative language and avoid using rhyming schemes or poetic devices.

7 Protects Against Plagiarism

8 After spending hours

After spending hours, even days, researching and writing a paper, the last thing you want is to be accused of plagiarism. The key to avoiding this is giving credit where it is due. Any word or idea that originated from somewhere else should be documented in your text following APA format. This includes information you gain through an interview, copying a unique phrase, using diagrams, charts or pictures or reusing media, audio, video or images.


  • 1 Purdue University: Purdue Online Writing Lab: APA Formatting and Style Guide
  • 2 Purdue University: Purdue Online Writing Lab: Is It Plagiarism Yet?
  • 3 Purdue University: Purdue Online Writing Lab: APA Style Workshop
  • 4 Purdue University: Purdue Online Writing Lab: APA Stylistics: Basics

About the Author

Fitzalan Gorman has more than 10 years of academic and commercial experience in research and writing. She has written speeches and text for CEOs, company presidents and leaders of major nonprofit organizations. Gorman has published for professional cycling teams and various health and fitness websites. She has a Master of Arts from Virginia Tech in political science and is a NASM certified personal trainer.

How to Write a Research Paper in APA Format |Research Paper Format

When you are writing your research paper, it’s important to use the appropriate formatting. Whether this is your first time writing a paper or not, using APA format can make things easier and less stressful. This post will show you how to write research papers in APA format and avoid common errors along the way.

What is APA?

A set of guidelines when writing a piece of literature not only makes the organization and flow easier but also enables better readability. The APA style has been created by American Psychological Association (APA) as one way for sources to be cited correctly in order to avoid plagiarism; this means that writers can rely on consistency throughout their papers which will increase efficiency concerning research , organizing arguments, etc..

General Requirements for APA Format

In order to make your paper as professional and well-written as possible, it is important that you follow these guidelines.

  • Have all main points double spaced with 1 inch margins on both sides of the page; use a clear font such as Times New Roman.
  • Make sure there’s an “inch” symbol before numbers so people know how much space belongs between lines – otherwise their eye gets confused when reading long amounts without any extra filler words like ‘ however ‘ etcetera . For headers at top right corners insert links using capital letters formatted flush left into spaces available after the title (“APA” style).
  • Add page numbers at top right corner of every introductory paragraph so they’re flush with text below them–after titling each new page header as desired using ALL CAPITAL LETTERS within 50 CHARACTERS including spaces/punctuation): now you’re good…for printing

Talking about how to write a research paper in APA format , your APA paper should have four major sections:

Title page

In a professional paper, the title page should include an author’s note and institutional affiliation. In this way it is easy for readers of your work to find out where you conducted your research so they can have access when looking at other papers in related topics or areas.

Table of contents

A table of contents is an important part of any academic paper as it provides readers with a roadmap for the work. Adding one can increase length and make reading easier, but they’re not necessary if you don’t have room on your page count – just be sure to put them in double-spaced font like what will appear inside pages themselves!


Writing an abstract is often overlooked, but it’s a crucial part of any research paper. The purpose for writing the abstract and 150-250 words to summarize all that happens in your article makes each sentence packed with information so readers can understand what they’re reading without having read every word!

Main Body

The introduction of a paper is one that can either compel the reader to continue reading or cause them not too. The first line in this section should grab their attention and make it hard for them to put down your work

The body contains more indented text with shorter sentences, which are easier on digestion than those found at higher volumes throughout an essay (Hamilton n.d.). In addition there must be clear transitions from supporting material cited earlier into newer information presented later without any confusion as readers feel they’re being led through all relevant points step by step

Discussion & Conclusion

The final section of a research paper is the Discussion in which the researcher(s) interpret their data and compare it with existing literature concerning that topic. The author may include limitations or scope for more studies into this part, but usually concludes by mentioning its importance as well on why we need further investigation into certain topics.


The APA format reference page includes a detailed list of sources used throughout the paper. This section begins on a new page titled “References”, which is centered and on top of this one below it (centered). The first line has flush left alignment with all other lines indented one Anthropology essay writing service three spaces each; these references are arranged alphabetically according to their names within text citations or parenthetical referencing formats such as (“(Smith 1999)”.

If you don’t properly credit any of the information, your credibility will diminished. It has the chances that others think less highly about your research project go up.

How to Cite a Research Paper in APA

How to write references in apa format for a research paper? There are specific rules to follow when citing a research paper in APA. The following are the specific formats to follow:

  • Book: Author, A.A.. (Year of Publication). The Title of work. Publisher City, State: Publisher.
  • Example: jacky, J. (1970). Time and again. New York, NY: Simon and Schuster.
  • Magazine: Author, A.A.. (Year, a month of Publication). Article title. Magazine Title, Volume(Issue), pp.-pp.
  • Example: Olivia, K. (2006, April). Should they stay or should they go? Time, 167(15), 3-40.
  • Newspaper: Author, A.A.. (Year, Month, Date of Publication). Article title. Magazine Title, pp. xx-xx.
  • Rosenberg, G. (1997, March 31). An electronic discovery proves an effective legal weapon.The New York Times, p. D5.
  • Website: Author, A.A.. (Year, Month Date of Publication). Article title. Retrieved from URL
  • Example: Simmons, B. (2015, January 9). The tale of two Flaccos. Retrieved from

How to Use Numbers in APA

A general recommendation by APA style recommends using words if a number below 10; however with higher numbers (10 & above) only numerals should be used since this will enhance comprehension as well maintain consistency across different documents or output.

Rules for Punctuation In APA Style

  • Here are some guidelines that writers should keep in mind.
  • Most punctuation marks require one space after them.
  • Furthermore, in APA style, the Oxford comma should be used.
  • There should not be any space between em dashes or between en dashes.
  • Most APA styles follow universal grammar and punctuation rules.

Graphics (Photos, Tables, and Figures) in APA Format

In APA, you should number graphics in the same order as they appear in the paper.

  • The font should be 12pt and double-spaced.
  • There should be a consistent spacing between all tables.
  • It is recommended that all headings and information be left-aligned (if more than one line).
  • Photographs should be black and white. It is also important to cite adapted or reproduced information.

Bottom Line: Research Paper Writing Guide Lines In APA Format

We hope that this guide has helped you understand how to write a research paper in APA format. The general requirements for the style are outlined above, and we recommend checking out our blog post on how to use numbers and graphics correctly as well!

Learn How to Write a Research Paper in APA Format Style

This guide will provide you with essential information on how to write a research paper in APA format by following the rules of APA 7th edition. You will learn the specifics of APA academic writing style and learn how to cite and format your research paper correctly to avoid plagiarism risks and keep your paper accurate.

What is APA Formatting?

The APA style is a special format used in academic, business, and research writing for documentation of sources and publishing purposes. A research paper in APA format that you create must be presented in the latest 7th edition unless specified otherwise. Created by the American Psychological Association, hence the abbreviation, the latest manual is what we are going to reference in our APA guidelines to avoid confusion. It means that if your college professor asks for APA 7th edition, you are in the right place!

Published in October 2019, the latest edition of the writing style manual follows most rules that have been published before with a focus on simplification and readiness for publishing purposes. Speaking of research paper writing, the majority of students that use APA style format are majoring in subjects like Psychology, Sociology, Journalism, Education, Anthropology, Law, and Healthcare. Since it’s relatively simple compared to Chicago, Harvard, or Turabian, it’s not hard to learn the basic rules as long as you remember the following:

  • There are in-text citations that you must use to provide a reference to a source mentioned in your text. The information that is required includes the author’s name and the date of publication. You should also provide the page number or a section in the newspaper if such data is available.
  • There is a page called “References” that is placed at the end of your paper after your final conclusion part. This is exactly where you provide information (references) that list all of your sources that have been implemented in your research paper.

When to Cite a Source in APA Format?

This question often comes up. The answer is quite simple: when you need to bring out a summary of some data, paraphrase information that you discover, or quote something from another source. These citations may include it all from books in print, scientific journals, online books, articles in a newspaper, reports, surveys, statistical data, and so on. When you use a reference, the APA 7th style format requires mentioning the name of the author and the year of publication that will look this way for a single author:

It means that you are dealing with an author with the last name Jones and something that has been published in 2005. Alternatively, your in-text citation can look this way:

Another important notion has been explained by the concept of mutual co-existence. According to Jones (2005), who believed that authoritarian leaders can exist in peace and mutual respect, we can conclude that.

What is APA References Page?

We are certain that you have seen at least one references page before as you were looking through the final part of a research article online. The References page must list all of your sources alphabetically and may include up to 20 entries for a middle-sized research assignment. A typical APA example coming from a research journal looks this way:

Berry, B., Stipe, J. M., Wahlberg, R., and Zeldman, A. S. (2021). Social Interactions in Georgia State: A an overview of American South. Journal of Social Psychology, 34, 123-136.

As you can see, we have listed the authors alphabetically and mentioned the year of publication that is followed by the name of the scientific article. The name of the journal is given in italics to specify the importance of the source. It is followed by the journal’s volume and the number of pages that have been referenced.

Note: Remember that far not all sources and references that you may encounter are suitable for a research paper. EduBirdie experts recommend talking to your course instructor first and checking things twice regarding additional requirements and formatting. Our guide will provide you with the basic instructions on how to set things up to help your research paper meet the formatting standards.

APA Page Layout Disclaimer

Before you learn how to write a research paper in APA format by turning to various sections of our guide, it must be mentioned that using a Word processor or Google Docs as your writing source, it is essential to create a special page layout and the relevant headers that will be mentioned in our APA guide. While you can find online templates in APA format, these are not always accurate, which is why you must check things twice by focusing on fonts, headers, margins, indents, and other important aspects!

Writing a Research Paper in APA Style Format: General Requirements

1. Page Layout Rules

We’ll start with the page layout that must be there all the time as this part of the APA 7th edition remains the same for all papers that you may encounter as a college student. Here is what you must do as you learn how to format a research paper:

  • Creating a document in MS Word or any other word processor of your choice, set your page margins to 1 inch on all sides of the page.
  • Your text must be double-spaced, including APA headings.
  • The APA 7th edition uses indents of the first line in every paragraph by 0.5 inches. Just press your TAB key once.
  • The recommended fonts for APA style format include Times New Roman (12 pt.), Arial (11 pt.), or Georgia (11 pt.). In certain cases, other fonts may be used, yet do so only after consulting your academic advisor.
  • Page numbers are included on every page of your document in the top right corner unless specified otherwise.

2 . Page Headers in APA 7th Edition

According to the manual, you must set your page header correctly. Every APA format research paper must provide headings that are written in upper case. Setting up your header, you must:

  • Click on the “Insert” tab in the MS Word toolbar.
  • Choose Header & Footer tab, click on Header and Blank.
  • The first (title) page of your APA research paper must include the left margin positioning where you type: MY RESEARCH PAPER TITLE. Of course, it’s only an example and must be replaced by your actual title.
  • Tab once or twice to the right margin now.
  • Close your Header & Footer tab.

3. Page Numbering

Speaking of page numbering, use the default feature in MS Word or any other software to do so automatically. The page numbers must be placed in the top right corner and be present on all pages, including your references page. The title page in APA 7th edition should start from page number 1.

4. APA Title Page

Your title page in APA must start with the title of your paper, the name of the student or authors of the research project, and the institutional affiliation. All the lines must be centered and start in the middle of the title page. In addition to that, you must include your course number, instructor’s name, and the due date of your research paper. It will look this way:

The General Electrics Sample Title Page:

Following the Engineering Principles of Electrical Circuit

Department of Engineering, Georgia State University

ENGN 222: Electrical Engineering

Dr. Michael John Stipe

October 11, 2008

5. Table of Contents

A table of contents is only necessary if you are writing a thesis paper or working on a dissertation. This section must be placed between your abstract part and the introduction. Use the same font and size as the rest of your content. The text starts at the top of your page with the word “Contents”. Every entry must be centered and in bold font.

6. Outline

The outline in APA format follows the same rules and can be delivered as a separate document in most cases. The page margins remain the same with the page numbering starting from page one. The structure of a page (usually one page only) should include an introduction that mentions the main background points and your thesis, the main body with the elements that support your research thesis statement, and a short conclusion that makes your final take on things or your position clear.

Note: There are no headers or anything specific for an outline. You may copy the main paper’s header by adding the word “OUTLINE”.

7. Abstract

Your abstract must appear on a separate page after your research paper’s title page. It means that it should be numbered as page 2. Write “Abstract” in bold title case and center it at the top of your page. The abstract itself comes as the next paragraph with the 0.5 inches indent. The length of your abstract should be no longer than 250 words. You may write it down in a single paragraph or use a different kind of structure.

As you write, focus on the requirements that you want to achieve scientifically, consider your target audience as you explain your methodology and the problem that you are planning to explore. Describe your results and provide a brief conclusion to your work exactly as it would be done in a book’s review.

8. Body Parts

It does not matter if you are working on an essay or a complex research paper, APA style format does not mention any specific rules that must be used. Therefore, you should refer to your paper type. The majority of research papers should include an introduction with the list of research objectives (see research paper introduction example), three to five body paragraphs that explain and support your arguments, and the conclusion part where you sum things up.

The body parts should start with the most important argument that speaks of your thesis and provides analytical information.

The second paragraph of the body in the APA research paper should implement statistical data, which is also considered as a reference. This is where you can use citations and refer to certain publications. Such an approach will help you to avoid plagiarism risks.

The last paragraph should provide alternative opinions and provide counter-arguments where additional citations, graphics, and multimedia sources can be added.

9. Conclusion

The APA manual mentions that your conclusion part should not use any citation elements in the final section and avoid introducing any new ideas. Keep this fact in mind and make sure that you leave suggestions and an overall review of your research paper.

Note: If you have any additional information that you refer to in your previous paragraphs, certain recommendations can be added as an appendix section after your references page, yet always ask your academic advisor to ensure that it is applicable.

10. References Page

  • Start your References page by placing the word “References” at the top of the document’s layout. It must be centered and placed one inch down. Do not use capitalization, bold fonts, or italics.
  • All of your citations (references) must be double spaced and should have no additional lines in between.
  • If your reference goes past the first line, create a hanging indent by using tabulation.
  • Your references in APA 7th edition style are placed in alphabetical order.
  • If your reference does not start with the author, these are placed at the start of your paper, according to ABC.

The Writing Guides to Follow in APA 7th Citation Style

Basic Citation Rules in APA

Let us imagine a situation when you need to cite a book in print for your research paper in APA style format. It will require the following information:

  • Author or authors of the book. The surname is always followed by the person’s initials.
  • The Year of publication of the book comes next in round brackets.
  • The book title is always placed in italics.
  • Edition (if available) also comes in round brackets. If the book represents the first edition, this part is not necessary.
  • Publisher.
  • DOI. It is necessary to include it (if available) for both online and print versions.
  • The second line of your citation in a References page must be indented per about 5 spaces.

For example:

Fisher, J.V. (2006). Teenage Violence: How do video games affect the modern youth?. Penguin Books.

For a journal article citation, provide the following information:

  • Author or authors of the article. The surname is always followed by the person’s initials.
  • The year of publication of the journal comes next in round brackets.
  • Journal title must be in italics.
  • Provide volume of journal (in italics).
  • Add an issue number of a journal in round brackets (no italics are necessary here).
  • Page range of article (if available).
  • Provide DOI or URL

For example:

Braxton, T. (2005). Asian Cuisine: A study of health benefits. Modern Health Care, 11(4), 34-36. https://doi.org/


The rule of abbreviations in a research paper states that there should be at least three times when a certain abbreviation is used. If your abbreviation is only met once, it’s necessary to provide a complete spelling of your phrase each time you implement it for your assignment. When using APA style for research purposes, the use of abbreviation within headings is not necessary. Remember to provide a full term the first time you use an abbreviation by adding the abbreviated form in parentheses. APA 7th edition manual states that these must be used only when they help to provide a better kind of communication with your target audience.

The Use of Numbers & Punctuation

Turning to section 6.32 in the latest APA style format manual, we can learn that one must use numerals to express numbers going from ten and above as numbers (12, 34, 721, and so on). When you have to use numbers up to ten, these are written in words such as “three positions”, “two authors”, “seven Chinese brothers”, etc.

The rules also state that one must use commas between certain groups of three digits as you work with the figures. For example:

As over 2,000 people have participated in a meeting.

Speaking of punctuation rules, the use of commas, periods, question marks, and exclamation cases must be put inside your quote marks. As for the rest of the punctuation marks, they go beyond your quotation.

Note: When you are planning to use a direct quote that is more than forty words, the block quotations are used with the indent.

Graphics & Multimedia in APA

Looking through the modern research paper APA format example, you will notice that there are frequent multimedia examples with the use of graphics. The use of graphics is permissible.

If you are planning to use artwork from a museum in an online form, it looks this way:

Artist Last Name, First Initial. Second Initial. (Year). Title of the artwork [Format]. Location. URL

If there is a stock image:

Author. (Year). Title of image [format]. Website. URL

An image with no author or date would be resolved to this:

[Subject and type of work]. (n.d.). Your image’s URL.

Tips On How to Write a Research Paper in APA Format

Composing APA style research paper correctly, you must understand that such type of writing is not the same thing as the term paper or a simple essay that you do for college. It’s not the same as a reflection paper either. You must provide research findings. It means that you should provide your writer’s voice but do so in a limited way by focusing on methodology and an explanation of what you discover. Depending on your requirements and the grading rubric, you may have to provide 2-3 citations per page of your research as a way to support your arguments and reference at least one important publication that is dealing with your subject.

As you compose your research paper in the APA style format, make sure that you follow these simple academic writing tips:

  1. Research tone must be present. It means that your research paper should not use the first person unless asked to. The general APA writing style manual recommends using “This study has been conducted by” phrases instead.
  2. It’s recommended to avoid any personal information where you describe your experience. Don’t make the paper sound like a personal statement piece of writing. Your research assignment must synthesize various publications by comparing, contrasting, and finding similarities as you write.
  3. APA 7th style manual asks to use the past tense, which means that you should say that your research paper has shown instead of using “shows“. There may be certain exceptions if you are turning to a certain timeline.
  4. The use of contractions must be limited. It means that you should say “It does not result in” instead of “it doesn’t result in“.
  5. Your writing should stay honest and clear without specific bias. Your purpose is to research things without racial, sexual, religious, or gender discrimination.
  6. The use of sources must be implemented correctly without turning your paper into a collection of sources.

Following these simple rules, you will be able to stay within the basic guidelines and follow the rules of APA-style writing. As always, there may be exceptions to every rule, which is why you must talk to your instructor in case of any doubts. Your college or university will always have a final say.

APA Style Format Bias-Free Language Matters

Writing a paper in APA format, one must remember the rules of bias-free language that are also mentioned in the APA 7th manual for research writing. The purpose is to use gender-neutral pronouns and strive for the avoidance of prejudicial beliefs or specific demeaning aspects that may appear as a negative attitude in your research writing. Therefore, when dealing with a sensitive subject, proofread your text twice and talk to your academic advisor before submitting your work. It will help us all create sincere and bias-free research works that follow the rules of mutual respect, multiculturalism, and democracy.

Writing a comprehensive APA format research paper

Writing comprehensive research paper APA format blog image

Every semester students are supposed to write different pares. Some of these assignments are research papers that hinge on different topics. What’s more, these research papers have to be written in different formats. The research paper format that you write depends on the preference of the instructor or the institution at large. There are some institutions, which require the student to write all his papers in a specific format, as a way of creating a good academic writing identity. One of those formats is the APA, or the American Psychological Association.

When you write a research paper with APA format, there are guidelines you are supposed to follow. These guidelines are the ones that set the paper apart from the rest of the academic writing formats. Students have to master the guidelines and ensure that their papers are not only excellent in writing, but also they are free from plagiarism. This article is dedicated to helping you in knowing and understanding how to APA format our research paper. This regards the structuring content, spacing, margins, in-text citations as well as the references list. These aspects are crucial for the success of any research paper with APA format.

The APA format of writing research papers has been used widely in areas of psychology, business, sociology, economics, and medicine. At face value, the task of writing a research paper with APA format can seem daunting, but it all comes down to how you divide your paper into the right sections, following every single and basic rules of APA formatting paper.

The universal rules of formatting your research paper in APA style

Before even proceeding further, it is important to look at the universal guidelines that apply anytime you format APA research papers. They include:

All the margins in your research paper must be one inch. The margin is the space between the edges of the paper and where the text starts. This applies on all sides, meaning the right, left, bottom, and top margins ought to be one inch. You need not worry about this because it is the default setting in Ms. Word.

When using apa formatting paper rules, this style prefers the 12-point Times New Roman font. The lines in the body of the paper must be double-spaced, and the first indent of 0.5 inches.

When writing a research paper with apa format, you have to ensure that all pages have a running head. This should be put in capital letters and should not exceed 50 characters, including spaces. Make sure that on the first page of your research paper, the running head is preceded by “RUNNING HEAD:” For the rest of the pages, you can leave the “RUNNING HEAD.”

In apa formatting paper rules, numbering ought to start from the first page. These numbers ought to be inserted manually and should not have your name or any other identifying information on them. They are just plain page numbers.

Having the universal rules in mind, you can now see how your paper ought to be formatted in the APA style.

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The title page and the abstract

When it comes to a research paper with apa format, everything should be in 12-point font size and double spaced. All margins should be one inch, and this is the basic layout that you will use for the rest of your paper. The title that you formulate for your paper must be brief. It is recommended by format apa rules that the title should be to the point, short and precise. The best length is ten to twelve words. This will give the audience an exact idea of what your paper is all about. The title ought to appear at the centre of the page.

Directly below the title comes your name and that of your institution. This should look like this:

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Do not forget to include the running head because it is a brief synopsis of the title of your research paper. The page numbers ought to be at the top right corner of your paper and should be set to automatically show on every page of that document.

The abstract comes next after the title page, and you have to ensure that you indicate the word “Abstract” without the quotation marks. Do not write in italics or modify it in any other way. It should be centred and should come in the opening line of the abstract page. The abstract is usually a one-paragraph write up that is double-spaced. It summarizes the major points of your research paper. When using apa formatting paper style, you cannot ident your abstract.

Writing the main body of your APA research paper

Remember that wring a research paper with apa format is what sets it apart from the rest of the academic writings. When it comes to how to apa format your research paper, you need to consider the following aspects:

Every academic paper must have an introduction. When it comes to a research paper with apa format, you can write the introduction paragraph on a new page. Here, you are summarizing your topic for the audience and showing its relevance to the existing research. It also indicates how you inferred our hypothesis. You have to ensure it is catchy to avoid boring the audience. An APA style introduction to a research paper is written in terms of ideas

The methods section of the research paper with apa format should be labelled in bold. Methods section comes after the introduction. This is where you give a simple explanation of your research design. You can have sections that describe the participants, materials and procedures that you used in your research. There should be no page breaks between the subsections of your Method section. To make it even easier for you, label the subsections as Participants, Materials, and Procedures in bold letters. This section helps the audience to replicate the study and the methods if they so wish.

The word “Results” should be written in bold and flushed to the center. This should include the statics that analyzes your study. When it comes to formatting statistics in your apa formatting paper, you can consult your lecturer or the APA guidelines for specificity. If you have any supplementary materials like graphs, tables and so on, you can refer to them.

This is where you show the relevance and importance of your work to the audience. Label this section as the “Discussion” in bold and centred. It should come right after the results section of your research paper with apa format. You have to discuss whether or not your findings align with your hypothesis and show the limits of your research. Suggest the area that future research can concentrate on based on your findings.

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Making APA in-text citations in your research paper

Citations are very important when writing a research paper with apa format. You have to ensure there are enough in-text citations where you have used a paraphrase, summary or a quote from another source. The guiding rule here is that for every in-text citation you make in your research paper with apa format, it must correspond with the entry in the reference list.

When making in-text citations format apa, the last name of the author comes first, and the year of publication. For instance, (Field, 2004). When using direct quotations from a source, you have to include the page number. For instance, (Field, 2004, p. 12).

When it comes to using websites and e-books without page numbers, the apa formatting paper rules dictate that you must use a paragraph number

When it comes to making in-text citations for web pages, you have to do it as you would for any other source. However, if the name of the author is no available, the title and the date should be used in the citation. The in-text citation that you make should also lead the audience to the corresponding entry in the reference list. When making citations for sources with no dates, you ought to use n.d (meaning no date). For instance, it can read (Field, n.d.).

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In-text capitalization, Quotes, underlining and italics

When writing your research paper with apa format, you need to pay attention to the following rules:

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Finalizing your APA research paper

Now you know what you are supposed to do when it comes to writing a research paper with apa format. This is how you apply the final touches to ensure the paper conforms to the guidelines of the APA style.

Every source that you have used in your paper must be outlined in the Reference List. This should be put on a new page. The list should be full of bibliographical information for the references. The Reference should be written in bold and centred. The reference list should follow the alphabetical order based on the last name of the author.

Ensure there is no extra space between the references. You only put the normal double-space. The reference entries should use the hanging indentation. Anything that you have cited in the body of your paper must appear in the reference list and vice versa. Do not try to make any reference entry that you have not used in the body of your paper.

If you use any table or figure in your paper, ensure it falls on its page. However, sometimes instructors may require the student to include tables and figures in the boy of their research paper. If you are not sure about this, you have to consult with your instructor.

Common mistakes that students ought to avoid when writing an APA research paper

There is nothing bad in academic writing than overlooking that overlooking some common mistakes. If a student is writing an A-grade research paper with apa format, he needs to be aware of the following mistakes so that he can avoid them.

For your research paper to be successful, you need to formulate a well-defined thesis statement. This is what sets up the expectations for your audience and creates the focus of your paper. If you do not come up with an effective thesis statement, your paper will fall short of achieving its initial purpose. Make your thesis clear and precise.

Sometimes the teacher may give the word limit for such an assignment. As such, you need to ensure that you express yourself based on the topic within this limit. Do not try to exceed the suggested word count. If you do, it should not be by many words and should not interfere with the strength of your argument. The same case applies to fewer words than the expected word limit. What is important here is to ensure that your research paper with apa format meets the word count and makes more definitive statements.

You need to ensure that your in-text citations follow the apa formatting paper rules. This is why it is essential to proofread your paper section by section to ensure it meets the APA in-text citation rules.

Writing a research paper with apa format is now comfortable with the above steps. You can also hire our professional writers to help you with this format.

APA Research Paper Format

APA stands for American Psychological Association; it is actually the name of the organization which assembles the set of rules that involve internationally acceptable writing styles for academics (research papers)

APA writing style is used in academic institutes because:

  • It offers uniformity to the research paper regarding its format and style.
  • It makes certain that sources of the research paper are cited in standard and fine manner.
  • It also provides constancy and clarity to complete paper.

General Guidelines Regarding APA Research Paper Format

Font style and Font Size

APA Research Paper Format

APA Research Paper Format

Most commonly used font in APA format is “Times New Roman”, “Helvetica” or “Geneva”. APA format restricts the use of bold and italic font style. The purpose of using these simple font styles is to build an overall impression of the document. Moreover, the focus of the reader remains on the content of the research paper.

According to APA format, the font size that must be used in developing the research paper must be neither too small that acts as a hindrance in reading the paper, neither too large that makes an unattractive look of the paper. Recommended font size to be used in developing the research paper is 12.


According to APA format, the complete document should be double-spaced. As it gives a fine and even looks to the research paper.

Paper size

Paper size used to complete a document must be 8.5*11 inches as it is an internationally acceptable paper size and recommended in APA format as well.

Margins of the document

According to APA format, all the margins of the document must be set one inch from all sides. Moreover, according to this format, the first line of the paragraph must be one-half inch left indent from the left margin of the paper.

Major Sections of the Research Paper according to APA Format

1: Title page

According to APA research paper format, title page must be the very first page of the document as it contains the complete information regarding the main title on which you have worked on, name of the author (your name) so that it must show that who is behind all these efforts, and the name of your college/university for which you have developed that research paper. It must contain running head as well.

2: Abstract

The title page should be followed by the Abstract, which actually summarizes the complete research paper is very clear and concise way. According to APA research paper format, its word limit must be not less than 150 words and it can be extended up to 250 words only. It can only differ in some papers if directed by the instructor, otherwise, 150-250 words are recommended limit because the main purpose of the research paper is to give a speedy reflection of the complete research paper.

3: The Main Body

The main body of the research paper according to APA research paper format includes the following subsections:


APA Research Paper Introduction Example

Introduction of the research paper is an important section of the research paper and APA research paper format give a complete set of guidelines for each and every heading & paragraph of introduction. According to APA research paper, introduction developed should be clear, constructive and pure logical. In-text citations must be there with each & every quotation and paragraph included in the research paper. The introduction section is started with the title of the paper, which must be centred aligned which must not be in bold text. Moreover, subheadings in the introduction portion should be bold & aligned to the left side of the paper.


The introduction is followed by the next heading, Method. Heading should be centre aligned and bold. Moreover, subheadings under this section are participants, materials, and procedures; all of them must be bold and left aligned. The subheading participants should encase the description of participants i.e. their gender, age etc; materials describe the tool used i.e. details about the development of questionnaires, and procedure should tell the method used to demonstrate the hypothesis.


This heading should also be center aligned and bold. To properly develop this section of the research paper, the test used should be declared along with statistics and its implication.


This heading must also be centre aligned and bold. The discussion section is really an important section of the research paper as according to proper APA writing style hypothesis developed and results must be restated here. The results of your research paper must be compared to the results of previous researches. The implication of your study, along with its contribution to the academic world and the limitations of your research may be stated in the discussion section as well.

4: References

This section of the research paper includes the record of all the sources (or other research papers) which you have used to support your topic. It is the basic rule of the APA research paper format that each & every piece of information you used in your paper after reading it from someone else’s research paper must be properly cited and referenced to avoid the factor of plagiarism. This portion of the research paper is really helpful if you need to recall the research papers which you have studied & which are relevant to your research paper. Moreover, this portion holds importance for the reader of the research paper as well to approach the cited articles at any time afterward.

In-text citation according to APA Format

The purpose of giving in-text citation is to provide a proper recognition to the each & every paragraph you have included in your research paper. Not even a single word should be included in your research work without citation and reference.

The proper way of using in-text citation, according to APA format is to write the name of the author along with the year of publication of that paper or book in which it is written.

In-text Citation Example according to APA Format

Setting Reference page according to APA Format

1: As it is a different section of the research paper so it must be started on a new page and should be started with heading “References” which should be centre aligned.

2: All the references provided should be listed in alphabetical order.

3: If the reference is longer than one line, the first line should start with the left margin and next line must be indented one-half inch only.

4: According to the latest guidelines of the APA format, each reference should be single spaced but double spacing should be given between two different references.

5: It must be made sure that all the in-text citations used in the research paper must have an entry in the reference section of the paper.

6: Title of journals, books, or magazines given in the reference must be given in italic style.

5: Tables and graphs

All research papers don’t necessarily have this section but should be there for a better explanation of facts & figures if needed. If tables are more than one in number, they must be given numbers and every table should have a title which shows that what this table is about. Table number and title must be left aligned according to APA writing style. In case graphs are also more than one, they must be nominated as figure 1, figure 2 along with its caption. It is to be noted that figure number and caption should be written below the graph.

General Guidelines to follow a fine Writing style in the Research Paper

A good research paper must also follow the given set of guidelines to maintain excellent paper format.

  1. Author must never the state himself as a first person in the research paper although he had done all the research by himself actually. It will leave a bad and amateur impression of the author. He must write “this research work was conducted…” instead of saying that “I conducted this research…”
  2. Any personal suggestion, interest, or statements should never be included in the research paper. Each and every line should be authentic and must be properly cited and referenced.
  3. All the statements written should be in past tense.
  4. Biased language or comments must be avoided otherwise your whole research will be of no use except leaving a negative impression of the author.

The Significance of using APA Format for Writing a Research Paper

Ensures reliable writing style

Using APA format means you are following an internationally acceptable writing style to which most of the readers are very familiar as well. The main significance of using this style is that it prevents to distract the attention of the reader from the main focus to its uneven writing format or unfamiliar texts. It helps the reader to remained focus on the main issue from the content of the research paper.

Offers Style guiding principles for writing

To have a good know-how with APA referencing is really important for a writer because it really provides a standard for writing a research paper which makes it easier to create a fine research paper. It actually provides complete strategies like font style to be used, font size, size of paper, margins moreover all information regarding the development of different parts of the research paper, length of each & every section of the research paper, and selection of words, language to be used in it.

Guard against plagiarism

As already discussed APA format for writing research papers provide complete guidelines to write the paper including how to use the information collected from other papers and how to develop literature review portion. So, in the end, it will save you from botheration of plagiarized work. It also provides the guidelines to copy the pictures, tables, phrases, and quotations of other authors as well.

Research Paper In APA Format

It was created by American Psychological Association, which is why its name is the abbreviation of this organization. Its requirements are not constant and they have changed several times, especially when scientists started using computers for writing and publishing their works. For now, many universities use this format so you should learn more about it.

The APA style has its requirements for the font size and type, for the margin sizes on all sides of documents, alignment and indentation, the order of pages, and other properties. If you are assigned to write any document in this format, you can look for the official guide with requirements on the Internet.

Don’t forget that all elements of your work should be styled properly as said in APA guidelines. If you don’t know how to do it, if you need to find a person who can convert your essay to an appropriate format, or if you want another person to write your assignment, look for essay writing services and ask them “write my research paper” on their websites. Such services will help you out!


Formatting Guidelines APA Research Paper


If you use specific guidelines or research paper example APA, make sure you have the current version of it. Earlier, the normal size of margins was 1 ½ inch, for now, it is changed to 1 inch. It works for all sides, including top, bottom, left, and right margins.

You can do it easily in any text editor. For example, in Microsoft Word, you should open Layout tab on the main panel and click Page Setup to open its settings. There you can set the size of all margins. Make sure you are using inches, not centimeters or other measurement units.

Font Size and Type

Students who are writing APA format research paper should also understand what font and its size you have to use. It is recommended to use the Times New Roman font. This font is very popular and already installed in different text editors, you just need to select it from the list before writing or change the font style later if needed.

The default font size for this style is 12. Please notice that it works for ordinary text paragraphs but the font size of titles, tables, figures, and other elements cay be different.


For the whole document, you should use double-spacing. You should double-space not only ordinary text paragraphs but also appendices, footnotes, tables, figures, and other elements, double-spacing should also be used for titles if needed. You should use one space after commas, colons, and semicolons within sentences.

In Microsoft Word, it is easy to set double-spacing for the whole document. You can set it in the Paragraph style settings, on Indents and Spacing tab, just click the Line spacing list and select option you need. You can also apply this formatting to already written text fragments if you select them before formatting. This way your work’s format will meet the requirements.

Running Head and Short Title

If you read an example of APA paper, you can see that running heads are not always mandatory. However, instructors usually ask students to use running heads for documents that will be published. What to keep in mind? These elements should not exceed 50 characters, including the number of commas, spaces, and other punctuation elements.

Short titles are small derivations of the paper’s header. Usually, they consist of two or three words. If you don’t know how to write them and need help in it, you can ask the research paper writing service to edit or write your document.

How To Format APA Research Paper?

Starting with the Title Page

If you look at a research paper example, you will see that the Title Page is the first element in APA order of pages. Here you should place the title of your paper, your name and names of your co-authors, and the name of your university or other institution where you are studying. It also may contain the name of your city and country if needed.

You should read several samples of APA papers to understand how to format such documents properly. Notice the positions of elements, mandatory and obligatory paragraphs, using of font styles and spacing, margins, and capital letters. Your instructor may have additional requirements for title page formatting.


Write the word Abstract on the first line and center it. On the following lines, write the summary of the paper that helps readers to get your topic right and understand what they can learn from this paper. Summaries are usually not indented, the normal recommended size of this section is not more than 250 words.

If necessary, you can provide the list of the main keywords of your paper, it will help other people if they want to find your work in online databases but you should use only keywords that describe your research in a proper way.


Start the body of your paper from a running title, if you are required to use such elements. Then, you should write the title of your work, it shouldn’t be italicized, bold, or formatted in any other way. Then write your introduction, it is very similar to abstract but presents the more detailed explanation of your paper’s goal and objects of research.

Then you need to write all other sections. For example, Method, Results, Discussion, and others if needed. The title and text of each section should be formatted properly, so you need to use APA guidelines and read examples to learn how to do it.

Text Citation and References

To work on essay writing for college, you should know citation rules. In fact, this is one of the most significant requirements to any work. Thus, you should understand how to cite your sources right. For inline citations, page numbers are not required – you should write only the name of an author and the year when the cited work was published, for example, (Alex Smith, 1978).

In the Reference section, you provide the information on used sources. You have to state names of authors, years of publication, titles, and names of sources. All parts of this list should be sorted alphabetically, make sure you listed all entries that mentioned in your paper.

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