How To Write An A+ APA Format Research Paper
When you begin your research paper determined to write it to the best of your ability, it gives you that extra motivation to try to be as perfect in every area of the writing as possible. Using the APA format is common in the area of psychology and some of the other health sciences. It’s the official format for writing adopted by the American Psychological Association.
The format rules can seem intimidating at first, but if you can access the full version of the APA style guide online or check it out from the library, you can use it as you go along. It will help you to check that you are following their guidelines every step of the way. If you’d rather get the work of research and writing done first and then go back and make it adhere to APA format, that’s also an effective way to do it.
General guidelines for APA style
- Use standard size paper with a 1 inch margin on all sides.
- Always type and double-space using a 12-point font. A serif font such as Times New Roman is generally acceptable.
- Each page needs a header, with page number located on the top right hand side of each page.
- There are four sections that must be included – title page, abstract, main body and reference section.
- Title page – it should include a running head, your name and school and the title of the paper.
- Abstract – this is a very short summary of the research paper. It’s location is immediately after the title page. It should be under 150-250 words. If your instructor gives you different specifications, follow his or hers.
- Main body – usually there is an introduction first, a section for methods, another section for results and then a discussion. Your instructor may give you different guidelines.
- References – it’s crucial to include all references and cite them exactly according to the rules and regulations. The reference section must begin on its own new page.
If you break down the work into manageable steps it won’t seem so daunting. As you are going along doing your research, keep careful and accurate records of the sources so you can go back later and create the reference page according to APA style rules.
Carefully proofread and edit your paper. Even when all the other requirements are met to perfection, spelling errors and grammatical mistakes could crash your plans to get an A+.