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APA Style Format and Citation

APA formatting and Citation style, also known as ‘American Psychological Association’ style is used commonly in the fields of social sciences, and the sources related to those studies are cited in this format. Your teacher may require you to write your research paper in APA formatting and follow APA guidelines. And if you are told to write it in apa style format and are not familiar with the basic requirements then here is a quick and easy guide on how to follow the APA formatting style.

General Guidelines:

  1. When writing a research paper in APA formatting style the paper should be white which is 8 ½  x 11.
  2. And there should be 1-inch margins on left, right, top and bottom sides of each page.
  3. The first word in each paragraph must be indented by one-half-inch. APA format is written using the Times New Roman Font, and the size must be 12.
  4. The entire paper must be double-spaced. And the page header which is known as the “Running Head” must be at the top of every page.
  5. You could add an automatic component so the header is added on to each page automatically.

Components of an APA formatted format:

Your essay or research paper which is written in apa style format must include these four major components that are necessary when following this format.

  1. The Title Page
  2. Abstract
  3. The Main Body
  4. References

The Title Page:

This page must include four sections, the title of the research paper or essay, that includes the author’s name, the running head, institutional affiliation, and the author’s note. You could create the running head on all pages automatically by choosing that option on your writing program. Only the first page of the paper should include the term “Running Head” and it should not be included in other pages.

The title of the paper written in apa style format must capture the main and basic idea of the essay, and it should not contain words and abbreviations that serve no purpose. The title should be written at the center of the page, and typed in size 12 in Times New Roman font. And never underline, italicize or make your title bold, keep it simple. The title of the research paper can take up to one or two lines on the page, but it should not exceed the 12 words limit. The title text should be double-spaced just like the rest of the academic paper or essay. And the title must not contain names of the authors, like Ms. Mr. or Dr. And the institutional affiliation included in the paper, is where the author wrote the paper and conducted the research.


On this section of the apa style format, you begin after the “Running Head”

The first line of the page must contain the word “Abstract” at the center, and it should not include quotation marks. Then after that on the next line, you must write a summary of all the key elements and points of your research. The abstract summary helps the reader understand the main summary and idea of your research paper, which questions are going to be answered, the process and approach you took to research things and the research findings and conclusions you made. And the summary must not be indented, but it should be in double-spacing, and it must not exceed 250-word limit. And if you want other researchers to easily find your paper, so they could read and learn from it then you must include important keywords after writing the summary. The word “keyword” should be indented in italics, and then you must include all the important keywords that would help others find your paper for research purposes.

The Main Body:

Then on the next page, you begin writing the body of the paper

It must begin with the Running Title. Then on the next line include the title which should contain simple letters and they should not be underlined, italicized or bold. And then begin with the introduction. The introduction in the body presents the premise on which the research was based upon and all the problems relating to the research. Unlike the “Abstract” section mentioned earlier this part contains a more detailed introduction. Then further begin a new section following this method, make the subtitle bold and write it at the center. The method section on this page shows how the study was conducted and run. Make sure that you mention the method by which you collected the research paper data.

Further, begin a new section with the “Results” which should be bold and centered at the page. This section summarizes the collected data and graphs can be used to display the collected data. Then in the next section, start with Discussion, which should also be bold and at the center. This section helps you to interpret and analyze your results.

Then further draw a conclusion, and discuss whether the hypothesis of your research paper was confirmed or whether it was not supported by the results you presented. Then determine the limitations of the research and study, and write about how it can be further improved.

References in APA style format :

Always write the references and citations on a new page. It must begin with the running title. At the center write “References” and it should be bold. And do not use quotation marks, underlined or italicized title.  Always alphabetize your entries, and they must be double-spaced. Every source and article that is mentioned in the paper must be referenced accordingly, and have an entry.

Using In-text Citation:

When you summarize, refer to, paraphrase, or if you quote from another source then every in-text citation in your paper must be mentioned accordingly in the reference list. In apa style format In-text citation style the author’s last name is used and then the year of publication.

For Example: (Field, 2009). For direct quotation, include the number of the page as well

For Example: (Field, 2009, p. 19). And if the source such as the website or E-book has no mentioned page number then simply use a paragraph number.

Example paragraph with in-text citation

Some researchers in the literature field have developed and come up with a few training programs that are specially designed to improve native speakers' ability to understand accented words and speech (Charles, Rossiter, & Elizabeth, 2004; Tom, 2004). The technique used in the program is based on the research that is described above which indicated that understanding improves with more exposure to non-native languages and speech. Charles et al. (2002) conducted the training with several students that were preparing to be social workers.

Example of the reference used in the above-mentioned Paragraph

Charles, T. M., Rossiter, M. J., & Elizabeth, M. J. (2002). Teaching native speaker students to listen to foreign-accented language and speech. Journal of Multilingual and Multicultural Development, 22(1), 222-232


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