How to Format Writing in APA Style

In writing research articles and journals, formatting consistency is very important as it vigorously assists researchers by making it easier to look for key points or cited references from page to page.

Since 1929, APA (American Psychological Association) format became the official adopted writing style in 27 APA journals and over 1,000 journals around the world.

APA format is about writing academic papers in a consistent style to help readers comprehend articles quickly and find information easily. The format is commonly used in writing psychology and social sciences articles.

The APA format has its distinctive style guided by the constantly evolving rules and conventions that authors follow to promote reading comprehension of social science’s materials and convey clarity of information.

It saves time, causes no distraction or negative impression of sloppy writing. The reference citation style also enables a researcher to trace back the source of an idea and uncover more leads to other reference materials for the same subject matter.

This writing style supports simple yet strong and graceful communication. Without it, a manuscript would be confusing to read, distracts the reader, and discourages researchers from pursuing any value from the material.

Not surprisingly, writers, editors and journalists are taking interest in the consistency of the APA format, structure, references and citation style.

Here’s an overview of writing guide for an APA style paper.

Why the preference for APA format?

� Flowing and consistent format
� Simplifies cross reference tasks
� Bestows authority to your manuscript
� Prevents charges of plagiarism

Main Parts of APA paper

1) Title Page
2) Abstract or Author
3) Main Body
4) Reference

A Cover Sheet is the separate sheet from the Title page. The Cover Sheet is placed before the Title page which, in turn, is placed before the Main Body.

Page number and short title. Your name does not appear at the header. Place it below the Main title, along with your academe affiliations. In the Title, beginning characters in words can be capitalized; using all capital letters are only for important words.

The first number starts at the Title page, not on the Cover Sheet, placed on the upper-right section of the header. The running head or short title should not be more than 50 characters and printed on the upper left of the paper in all Capital letters.

New Conventions: No underlines, Use of Punctuation

In the Main Body, use double space for texts. Importantly, there will be no underlining or boldface whatsoever. To denote titles in references such as books, journal and dissertation, use Italics. Apply one space in a sentence that ends in punctuation.

For font, use New Times Roman or Courier in size 12.

For quotes within a quote, use single quote marks. Block quotes are to be indented – from the body – and used only if absolutely needed. For sentences ending in URL, enclose it in a parenthesis.

For references, what is the basic choice of source?

� Trade, journal or academic magazines
� Books
� Periodicals

Using as reference encyclopedias, Wikipedia and popular magazines are a no-no.

When citing a source in text (last name, year of publication), do not rename the author in the citation if you have attributed the work in the sentence.

To cite a source in text, last name (in alphabetical order) should be followed by year of publication. Full names are not used in citation to remove gender and racial bias.

Wherever you read an academic and social sciences journal, the APA format will appear with a familiar, consistent and understandable style effective in spreading scientific behavioral and social knowledge.

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