APA style
Tips & Tricks

Understanding What is APA style?

Studying at college or university means that you will need to write lots of essays or papers on various topics. And the hardest thing to do while writing could be to arrange your sources, citations, etc. For that purpose, there is a list of possible styles to use while writing your assignment. One of the most popular styles in science is APA (American Psychological) Style. As with any other style, it helps to organize your ideas and standardize your scientific paper. However, following all the rules of this style might be confusing, so you could need help. Feel free to address professional paper writers who could easily assist in creating papers complying with certain style rules.

One needs to cite the works they mention in order to avoid plagiarism and prove their work is original. Not citing other authors’ ideas means you take credit for them and basically cheat. Citing also helps support your arguments and make your judgments sound.

Moreover, writing in this style your text will be smooth, easy to follow and consume. Due to the standardized format, your readers will stay focused on the information you provide and quickly evaluate the included sources.

  • The document is typed; line spacing should be double on every page.
  • Any readable font may be used, but according to the American Psychological Association, you should write in Times New Roman, size 12.
  • Each paragraph should begin with a 1.27-cm indent from the left margin.
  • The width of all margins is 2.54 cm (one inch).
  • The document usually consists of the title page, abstract, main text, and references. The main text is divided into subsections such as introduction, methodology, results, discussion. It is optional to include these titles or not.

Title page

It contains the title of the document, author’s name, institution, and header.

The title is capitalized, centered at the top of the page, and should be one or two lines long.

The APA recommends that the title should not be more than 12 words. The author’s name should be indicated below it: first name, middle name, last name.

The name of the organization/institution is printed under the author’s name.

Abstract

Starts with a new page, which already contains a header. At the center at the top write the word “Abstract” (without quotation marks, bold, italics, underlining).

Starting from the next line, write an accurate summary of the key points of the study. There you should state the topic of the study, include the questions posed, a listing of participants, methods, results, and conclusions; it should be one paragraph (150-200 words) with double spacing. The abstract may also include the name of future works related to the results of the current one.

Key words can be added to the annotation sheet. In the second paragraph, “Keywords” (without quotation marks) are printed in italics from the red line and then list words that will help other researchers find this work in databases.

Citations

In APA, in-text citations are given in author-date format. For example, (Lennon, 1989). Note that when you cite thoughts from another work or refer to a source, but do not use a direct quote from it, you do not need to put the page number in parentheses.

However, if you cite another work, the page from which the phrase was taken should be given in parentheses. Use “p.” for a single page and “pp.” for a range of pages. For example, (Lennon, 1989, p. 168) or (Lennon, 1989, pp. 168-171).

Unlike References where only the first word in the title and proper names are capitalized, inside a research paper, all words except for the auxiliary parts of speech are capitalized. This applies both to two words separated by a dash and to two words in a title separated by a colon.

For example, Natural-Born, “Translation: The Rules and Mistakes.”

If the title of a work is italicized in References, it is also italicized in the text.

The title of the work which is not italicized in the reference list, in the text should be highlighted in double quotation marks.

Long Quotations

Another peculiarity concerns long quotations. The citation which consists of more than 40 words should be written as a separate block after the signal phrase on a new line without quotation marks and with an indentation on the left. Line spacing in the quotation is double. After the quotation, you should put a period and in parentheses indicate the page number from which it was taken.

Reference

The author’s surname is given first, followed by his initials. All authors are listed if there are less than seven or seven. If there are more than seven, the first six names are listed, followed by a dotted line, followed by the surname of the last author of the work.

The list is arranged in alphabetical order on the basis of the first letters of the authors’ surnames.

If several articles by the same author or authors are mentioned, they should be listed in chronological order from the earliest to the latest date.

When referring to books, chapters, articles, web pages, only the title, sub-title, first word after a colon, and proper names are capitalized.

Titles of longer works (books, journals) are written in italics.

Titles of smaller works, such as journal articles or essays from anthologies, should not be italicized, underlined, or enclosed in quotation marks.

To master APA style may look hard and confusing, but do not overthink this task. There are lots of series or programs to check how you formatted your text. Remember to pay attention to the sources and citations to avoid plagiarism and get credit for your efforts.

Learning APA style is a useful skill not only for writing papers on psychology, but it also could come in handy for other humanitarian classes.

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