How to Write An Essay in APA Format?

Every academic paper calls for proper formatting according to the specific style guide. A discrepancy between the standard and the text arrangement completed by the student leads to the inevitable decrease of the grade. If you do not want to lose points for your work because of the faulty formatting, then arm yourself with the tips on how to write in APA format.

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What is APA essay format?

The APA essay format is widely used in the fields that are closely connected to:

  • Psychology
  • Education
  • Social Sciences

The list of the disciplines that usually implicate usage of the APA citation rules includes such subjects like Sociology, Political Science, Linguistics, Nursing, etc. Still, it is advisable to consult your teacher in the case if the necessary format is not specified in the task.

Why is it so important to arrange the paper following the specific rules? It is not the additional possibility for the teacher to mark the paper down. This is the way to acknowledge the thoughts and results of the researches conducted by the eminent personalities of the chosen field. If to ignore the rules of APA citation in essay then any cited line will be considered plagiarism and the whole paper will be rejected with all that it implies.

Here are some general tips on how to meet the requirements of the APA style.

Basic rules on how to write in APA format

The fundamental truth of APA writing is “less is more”. There is no place for waxing eloquent on a subject so all thoughts and ideas should be expressed in the most logical, simple, and clear manner.

  • Margins: 1-inch margins on all sides of the page
  • Font: readable font without serifs (give preference to the font like Arial, Times New Roman, Tahoma, Calibri, etc.). Font size 12pt.
  • Left indent by a half inch for every new paragraph.
  • Double space between lines, references and block quotes.
  • Running head: capitalized, on the top of every page.
  • APA essay title page: Running head with a page number on the top, the title of the paper, centered, the author’s name below the title, the name of the institution below the author’s name.

How to write descriptive statistics in APA format? Certain themes require the usage of statistical data, charts, and diagrams as a piece of evidence to support the argument. APA style has several rules on how to arrange such data. For example, use numerals for all numbers above 10, otherwise, write a word. Number all charts, tables, and images with Arabic numerals. And, once again, use charts, images and so on only if there is no other way to present the necessary information in the written form.

APA essay heading essentials

If you want to make the text more readable then headings are the best back stoppers.  There are five types of headings:

    1. Uses the largest font size and is placed on the center of the cover page.
    2. Heading in the text. Smaller than the title, bolded, against the left margin.
    3. Smaller than the heading, bolded, with an indent from the left margin.
    4. Smaller than subheading, bolded, italicized, indented from the left margin.
    5. The smallest heading font size, italicized, indented from the left margin.

In order to get a clear vision of the heading arrangement, check the APA format essay template, provided below.

Basic APA essay outline

The run-up to writing APA texts is no different from the preparation for writing any other academic text.

    1. You come up with a catching topic.
    2. Gather necessary information from reliable and relevant resources
    3. Conduct the research
    4. Transform the results into the written form

Preparing an outline on this stage will streamline the whole process and save a lot of time and efforts in the future. Follow this generalized outline when planning your paper:

  • The intro part: nutshell paragraph with a thesis statement
  • The body of the text: 3 paragraphs with separate ideas supported by solid evidence
  • Conclusion: the paragraph that wraps up the text and answers/rephrases the thesis statement

APA format essay example

At first, it may sound a bit complicated but when you see the APA format essay example it all becomes clear: seeing once is better than hearing twice.  This visual example of proper formatting may come in handy if you want to compare the sample and your own text and check the correctness of the arrangement.

If you want to find out how to write an interview in APA format’ example, then follow the guideline for the in-text citations. Bring into notice, you should never use interviews in the APA texts if there are alternate sources of the information as interviews are frowned upon this style.

How to write references in APA format

Here comes the most exciting part of the guideline. Students usually are free to use information taken from a huge variety of sources – and each and every source should be cited properly be it a book, tweet or music recording. The APA guideline gives special consideration to the citation rules.

So how to write references in APA format?

The general rule of the citation format is Contributors. (Date). Title. Publication Information.

All the additional guidelines are based on this rule: the author (main contributor, names of several authors), date and title. It is crucial to cite the name and authors exactly as it is mentioned in the source that is why it is advisable to jot down the source info on the stage of collecting research data.

In the case, if the source does not provide the information about the contributor then the order of words changes Title. (Date) Publication information.

When you make in-text citations, the general rule requires mentioning the last name of the author and the date, like this: Quote (Author, Date). Also, it is possible to mention the author in the text and then add (Date) at the end of the sentence.

Why is it important?

The official guideline provides many templates on how to arrange all types of sources, both in print and online. It is essential to follow them if you do not want your work to be treated as a plagiarized paper.


If you want to make sure that your paper is arranged properly, or want to entrust this task to professionals, take advantage of the pro writing assistance. Skilled and experienced editors can check the text to ascertain that your paper is flawless from the APA essay cover page to the References page.

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