Formatting a Term Paper in APA Style

The APA style is one of the most difficult types of formats that every college student has to put up with, one time or the other. It is quite complex as it has many dos and don’ts and may be quite difficult to follow through. If it is required to write a term paper in this format, life can simply become hell. But with the precise information and guidelines, students can easily do this.

APA stands for American Psychology Association. When formatting in APA, certain rules are there that have to be followed to the dot.

The main rules of this type of formatting are:

  • The essay should be typed on a standard paper of size 8.5” by 11”, and should have double spaced lines. This can easily be done by any Word processor.
  • There should be 1” inch margins on all sides of the paper, including top and bottom.
  • A Page header is required.
  • The essay or term paper should be written in a clear, readable and simple font, preferably, Times New Roman.
  • A third person perspective and past tense should be used in the paper. Also, an active voice should be maintained throughout the length of the essay.
  • Every section of the essay should be on their respective pages.

In APA formatting, the whole essay is divided into couple of sections, so as to make it simpler to follow and of course, organized.

The main sections are:

  1. Title Page:
  2. In this section, the title, author’s name, institution’s name etc. has to be written. It shouldn’t be more than 12 words.

  3. Abstract:
  4. Over here, the summary of the specific essay is written. This also has to be short; not more than 250 words. The main ideas of the research have to be specified here.

  5. Main Body:
  6. As the name suggests, this is the main section where the entire research essay is written. This part has the greatest length.

  7. References:
  8. The list of sources used is given here.

Students should keep in mind, that there are other sections and sub-sections besides these as well, like appendix, foot notes, tables and diagrams. These vary according to the content and topic of the term paper.

The above guide lines are only the general and universal rules of APA formatting. So it is important for students to keep in check with their teachers and instructors, every step of the way, when writing out their term papers in this particular format.

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