If you’re in college right now, you might’ve heard of APA style papers on more than one occasion. In academic writing, there needs to be a proper format for every document that is followed to maintain consistency and orderliness. Research papers are some of the most respected forms of academic papers there is, and for that reason, the format these papers are written in is of the utmost importance. Anyone that reads a research paper is supposed to understand the topic thoroughly, and that needs to be factored in when writing an article as well. No matter what the article is, the format it’s written in is indicative of the care and effort that went into writing it, and it is vital for that exact reason.
Staying in line with the topic at hand, the APA style of formatting isn’t only a way to write a paper, but also align the content and provide citations clearly and understandably. Formatting any research paper is essential as it allows you as a writer to express your message and represent your data coherently and legibly. In this context, the APA format is the format endorsed by the American Psychological Association, and it named aptly as well. As the name suggests, the APA format is a requirement if any research paper is to be written in the fields of social sciences and behavioural sciences. In these subjects, the APA format is essential to use and is a requirement in many cases.
Below, we have composed a short guide to help you get started in writing assignments in the APA format. You will find the different parts of writing an APA format research paper, and get to know the things to do and avoid to deliver an excellent paper that shines and holds its own.
Base rules of APA formatting
Before you get started with writing your paper, you need to make sure that your writing platform is up to standard too. There are a few fundamental rules that must be followed to get the initial format right to write and compose the paper easier in the future. The document that is going to be written on needs to be composed on an 8.5 x 11′ sheet which has a margin set one inch from the edge. As for the font type and size, the ideal one to use was Times New Roman, and the size should be 12pt’s. If you feel that something is off, there is nothing wrong with seeking assignment help from your teachers and instructors, and they would be more than happy to guide you in formatting correctly. We are going to present the guide in a page-by-page order, starting with the title page.
The first page of your paper, the title page needs to contain your name, name of your institution, page numbers and a running head. The running head is a condensed form of the heading not more than a few words placed at the corner of a page. As for their arrangement, the page numbers are to be placed at the right side, the running head at the left. Your name and institution come below the title, with your middle name being represented by an initial. The title itself is supposed to be aligned to the centre of the paper, and use uppercase and lowercase letters. The first alphabet of each word must be capitalized, while the other letters must be written in lowercase. Ideally, your title needs to be concise and explain the objective of your paper in as few words as possible. Avoid abbreviations and jargon, as that can lead to readers being confused.
Next, the abstract page seeks to provide a summary of the paper intended to highlight the critical points of the research without giving too much away. Being located on the second page of your paper, the abstract includes the research question, the research methodology, the results of the research and the conclusion. Unlike forms of creative writing where the goal is to build suspense, in academic settings, all information is supposed to be given as succinctly as possible. For novice authors, the abstract might be challenging to write as its intended to be a concentration of information spanning the entire article in as few as 200 to 250 words.
The introduction could be described as the most important part of your paper, as it sets the tone for the rest of your research. In this part, you need to elaborate and tie your research question with logic and rationalize it. Another core part of your intro is the thesis statement, which is the theory you wish to prove or disprove during your research. This statement needs to cover a few key points that are going to be explored through the course of your work. There needs to be a pattern or connection between these points, and the methods used to reach these conclusions included as well.
Your literature review explores the literature and sources you have used in the process of researching. In this part, it is important to have properly structured and arranged paragraphs that present the information neatly. Although there is no set word count, the data represented needs to be done so in a proper, legible manner. This part is there to mention the data you have taken from each source and how it ties to the research topic in question.
When writing the method of research, you need to use clear and concise language to inform all readers of the processes being used. Since this part of the paper needs to be written from your perspective only, it is essential to write it in the best way possible, lest it turns out useless. This research methods you employ are entirely up to you, and for that reason, it is necessary to explain them to your readers adequately to avoid any misunderstandings and present the information as simply as you can.
In this part, you are to highlight the results of your research, as well as any statistical data you have found. Although you might think that the results need to be richly detailed with all the different variables that led to this outcome, the reality is that this part needs to be rather concise. You need to dive into just enough details to make it accurate and avoid adding information that might be deemed excessive.
Arguably the most important part of your research paper, the discussion is where you will present your opinions and analyses on the research and its results. This would need to be done through a rigorous examination and by citing multiple sources of information. The citations can be given in either of two ways, which are parenthetical and aparenthetical citations. To give your paper a more rounded look, you are free to try out these methods and see what works well for you.
Just like the conclusion of any written piece, it is supposed to tie up any loose ends and allow for future research into the topic. There should be no new information included in the conclusion, and it should have a restated version of your thesis statement, along with your findings to prove it. You need to write convincingly to make your readers agree with your stated perspective.