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Tag Archive 'APA format'

APA Style for Dummies

April 5, 2016

APA style for dummiesUsing specific formatting styles when writing papers sets the mark between a good grade and a bad grade, regardless of the content. And we are here to look at one of the most commonly used writing styles – APA – to prevent students from making mistakes and getting a bad grade. What is APA and how should students use it to write great papers and get the highest scores? APA is a specific formatting style used by college students when citing social science sources in their papers. If you haven’t heard of APA before and you’d like to know more about it, the following APA style for dummies guide should help you out.

What Formatting Should Students Use?

APA papers should be typed on a standard 8.5” x 11” paper size with 1” margins on all sides and double-spaced type (meaning that each row of a text has white space between it that is 2x the height of your letters). Using a clear font such as Times New Roman sized at 12pt is a must. Include a “running head” (or “header”) in your paper. This means writing the name of your paper at the top center of every page. It cannot be longer than 50 characters, otherwise it’s against APA standards and considered too long.

What Style of Writing Should Students Use?

When writing APA papers, it is encouraged to use first person and active voice (“We deducted” instead of “It was deducted”). Be clear and explain your research; don’t use vague words, be specific. Avoid metaphors and analogies; use plain language that anyone can understand when they pick up your paper.

What Sections Should Students Include When Using APA?

Students should have the title page, the abstract, the main body and references. These are the main parts that are essential to produce a fully-featured completed paper.

How Should the Title Page Look Like?

Title page should have a header on the top left. The title, author’s name and affiliation should be in the 1/3 of the page height. The title should be less than 12 words long and in one or two lines. Below that is the author’s name: name, middle name, last name, no titles. Below the author’s name is the institutional affiliation, or the place where the research took place.

What Is the Structure of the Abstract?

The abstract exists to show key points of the research paper without going through it. The word “Abstract” should be centered below the header, as the title of the page. The abstract should be 150-250 words long and contain your research topic, questions you ask, methods, results and conclusion. You can also add keywords to the abstract by adding “Keywords” in italics after the abstract paragraph and typing all the keywords you’d like your paper to be recognized by.

Should the Main Body Look Like the Previous Sections?

Following the same guidelines as the first two sections of APA papers – students must use the same font and size with double-spaced type and running heads on each page.

How Should the Headings Look Like?

Headings in main body of an APA style paper are divided into five levels; depending on how many subheadings you have in your text.

  • Level 1: Centered, Bold type.
  • Level 2: Left-aligned, Bold type.
  • Level 3: Indented, Bold type, with period at the end.
  • Level 4: Indented, Bold type, Italic, with period at the end.
  • Level 5: Indented, Italic, lower case with period at the end.

We hope that these guidelines create the right image of the APA citation style and will be very useful for you while writing academic papers. The main trick here is to be attentive and not to miss details, the rest is easy. So, be focused and write excellent papers!

And if you still have troubles, try our Free Citation Generator! It will speed up formatting of your essays!

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The Tricks of APA Citation Style

November 30, 2015

APA citation style

There are a handful of pitfalls students face when citing in APA style. The most common mistakes include improper in-text citations, not including the appropriate sections, and simple errors with spacing, indentations, bold typeface, and italics. Thankfully there are many great ways to avoid these simple mistakes. They are listed below.

Proper Formatting

APA style papers are typically typed in Times New Roman font, size 12, and double spaced. Additionally, the paper should have one inch margins along all sides….

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APA Format Papers

January 3, 2008

APA (American Psychological Association) is a specific format of citing sources in papers within the broad field of social sciences, including psychology. Formatting papers according to the mentioned style is necessary in an academic environment since the quality of the papers depends on the properly implemented and cited evidence in order to support adequately the stated thesis. The general APA guidelines include technical requirements about the design of the paper; it should be double-spaced with a margin of one inch on all sides. Likewise, the students need to insert a page header in the upper right corner of every page, consisting of a part of the title and the page number.

APA style papers contain four main sections, such as the Title Page, Abstract, Body and References. The Title Page has to contain a name of the student, a name of the academic institution and the title. The students have to center all this information in order to be clearly presented. Regarding the Abstract of APA format papers, they need to present a concise summary of the major points of the written essays. Moreover, this kind of format is important with its in-text citations, paying attention on the author-date method of citing the necessary information. The students must cite the last name of the author and the year of publication of the respective source.

There are also certain requirements in relation to the in-text citation capitalization and underlining. For instance, the students need to capitalize author names and proper nouns. Referring to the title of a source requires capitalizing of the words in the title if they are not longer than four lines. In the other case, when the titles are longer, as in books, literary collections, films, it is necessary to underline or italicize the titles. The students have to put quotation marks in the titles of shorter works as journal articles or song titles.

In APA style papers, there are two main types of citations: short and long. The short quotations require not only the last name of the author and the year of publication of the source but also the precised page number for the reference. It is essential to introduce the citation with a phrase that contains the name of the author. If the quotations are longer, which means more than 40 words, APA format requires putting them in freestanding blocks, as the quotation marks are omitted in this case. In addition, there is another method of citing information, summary or paraphrase. Paraphrasing definite ideas requires only identifying the name of the author and the year of publication in the in-text reference.

One of the most important parts in APA format essays, term papers or research papers in APA format is the References Page because it makes sure that all the evidence is properly cited throughout the essays and the information could be easily found due to the detailed references. The reference list needs to appear at the end of the paper. A basic rule for the technical design of the references of the paper is the so-called hanging indentation, which means that the students need to indent the entries in the reference list one-half inch from the left margin. There are subtle differences in relation to referencing the various types of sources, whether print, electronic, articles in periodicals or books. However, APA formatting style characterizes with preciseness and clearly presented information that cannot confuse the readers; on the contrary, it orientates them properly in the right direction of retrieving the information in the easiest possible way.

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