APA for Dummies: Know Your Style

APA for Dummies: Know Your Style

The APA style appeared first in 1929 in Psychological Bulletin, and it represented the basic rules and guidelines for writing essays in Business, Psychology and social sciences. If you’re new to this style and it’s your first time to follow this style, you may consider it to be too complicated. Thus, we’ve prepared a list of tips that will help every student to use this format in any paper. Scroll down to see the APA for dummies guideline.

Preparing your paper ingredients

The style requires using a standard set of parts for most of the texts that you will have to write in a college or university. Here’s what you need to include into your paper:

  • The title page. Include your name, the title of the paper, the current date and the name of the college. Your goal here is to inform the reader what the text is about.
  • The abstract. A standard size of an abstract is 150-250 words, but it can vary depending on the type of paper you’re writing. It’s a summary of your research without stating the conclusions.
  • The main part of the paper. It can be an essay or a report on Depending on the type of paper, you will divide this section into smaller ones. You’ll need to include an introduction, methods and the results in this part.
  • The references. Here you have to include primary and secondary sources that you’ve used for doing the research.

Using a new style is easy

Now you know the ingredients and the right order to put them. It’s time to take a look from another angle and think how you can make your paper look like a paper visually. Make half-inch space before the first word of each of the paragraphs. Use Times New Roman or similar font with double spacing. Use the running title on every page of your paper.

Center the text on the title page but start the running title from the left side. Write the phrase “Running head” only on the title page before the title of the paper. Let the abstract be within one paper and mention all the keywords or complicated terms here. Use the footnotes to write down all of the important words separately from the text. Start the body of the paper with the introduction. Devote a paragraph or two to it and make it more detailed than an abstract. Write how you have conducted the research in the Methods part. You can devote one or two paragraphs to it.

Describe the conclusions that you’ve come to in the Results and Discussion sections of the paper. Use citations throughout the text and put the name of the author and the year of publication in brackets like here: (Wiley-Blackwell, 2011). Use visuals to support your arguments and conclusions in the paper. You can use pictures, photos, diagrams, tables, and charts. It will interest the reader more than just a plain piece of writing.

How not to get lost when writing a paper?

Once again, using the APA style may seem too complicated if you face using it for the first time. However, let’s try to make it very easy for you. This style mostly refers to the format rather than to the content. It means you write the text at first and only after you finish compiling the paper, you start formatting it to meet the requirements of this style. So the process of creating a new paper will include writing several drafts and preparing a final story.

When you have a text, you can start editing and proofreading it. You can start dividing the text into sections, or you can make up a title page. Don’t type the running head on every page yourself, use automated tools for it. When you have everything ready, your last step will be proofreading the paper and polishing it to make it shine like a star among the papers of other students. No matter what you’re writing about and the topic of your paper, using a proper formatting is important. If you don’t follow the rules, the perfect text will not be perceived the right way. So do your best and write the best APA style paper ever.