APA Essay Format: Help with Writing Your Essay Paper

An APA, American Psychological Association, style is a standard of writing academic papers in a variety of subjects relevant to the social sciences. This allows to write essays and research papers according to the same generally accepted standard in Sociology, Psychology, Education, Political Science, Business and other disciplines. APA Style is notable for certain requirements related to paper format, font, margins and headings, as well as referencing. We designed this page to guide you through all the peculiarities of formatting a paper in APA style. Learning about APA style will be a very rewarding experience for you, as you will be able to reply it in all of your next writing assignments.


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The Fundamentals of an APA Essay Format

What comprises the APA style? Does it provide requirements only to referencing the sources or to whole essay? In their published guide book, the American Psychological Association, provides APA standards on the following issues:

  • Title page. Unlike MLA style which doesn’t require a title page, it is a must in APA essay format. It usually contains such standard elements as the title of the paper, the student’s name, teachers or course name, and the due date. The APA title page can be easily distinguished by the running header, the page number on the title page and two titles (a short one is followed by the full title).

 

  • Abstract. Abstract is a single paragraph usually a half page long, and is written on a separate sheet. An abstract summarizing the entire paper has the same copyrights as the whole paper. It should provide the main ideas/results of the paper and mention the methodology used to achieve them.

 

APA Essay Format

  • Page format. Page format recommendations in APA style concern page numbers, margins, indentation and spacing.

 

  • In-text references. The format of references in APA format is the foremost subject of student’s concerns. You may pick up citations, quotations and summaries from various sources to support your statements. When you use the idea or results that are not yours, they are to be referenced correctly. APA style approves of in-text references. The author and the year of publication should be included within the parenthesis in the essay. Page numbers also need to be mentioned when picking up lines from a book.

 

  • Use of quotations. APA style recommends to put short quotations in quotation marks. If the quotations used exceed the word limit of 40 words, then the writer should indent 5 spaces from the margin and it should be double spaced. Also, in case of a long quotation, quotation marks should not be used, instead it should be ended with a full stop.

 

  • Headings. Though it may be not required for an essay, but if you will write a research paper or thesis in APA format you’ll need to structure it. Headings are used to separate and classify paper sections. Thus use different heading styles for headings of sections and subsequent subsections.

 

  • Reference list. Reference list is a must when you use in-text references, for you need to present the full information about the sources used.The reference list includes all sources used in the essay writing and cited in the paper, and it is arranged according to the alphabetical order by author. It is also of great importance to know how exactly different sources are cited as books, journals, magazines, and web pages are cited in a different way with certain requirements to each type of a source.

 

Download APA Format Essay Sample

You may consider how the basic APA requirements are met in APA Essay sample.


APA Essay Template (Cick the Image to Enlarge)

APA Essay Format

When using APA style there are a few standards to keep in mind:

  • double spaced;
  • have all the margins set to one inch;
  • it’s recommended to use the font serif typeface for the text and sans serif typeface for any labels;
  • use 10-12 for the font size;
  • always have page numbers;
  • a header with the title of the paper should also be used.

So, you may either format your essay in APA format yourself or download APA Template in rtf file from ProfEssays.com.

Download APA Template

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APA in-text references

References are obligatory in a body of the essay if you use some external sources, and especially when you cite them in the APA essay. In-text references are used instead of footnotes in APA format.

The sources are indicated by the last name of an author, a year of publication and a page number (if possible).

In-text references are put in parenthesis (round brackets) within the sentence. Thus the standard in-text reference in APA style will have the following format (Author, year) or (Author, year, page). But there may be variations:

1. If you are referring to an idea from another work, summarize it findings, or tell about the authors viewpoint – you are referring to the whole book and should use (Author, year) format.

Example: T. E. Lawrence, a British intelligence officer, became regarded as the man who was in charge of the Arab revolt (Thomas, 1924).

2. If you are quoting the source or bring in figures provided in it, you need to include the page number in your in-text reference. Like: (Author, year, page).

Example: Lawrence was compared to “a caliph who had stepped out from the pages of ‘The Arabian nights’” (Thomas, 1924, 16)

3. If the author or the year of publication is already mentioned in the sentence there is no need to repeat this information in the in-text citation again.

Examples: With Lawrence in Arabia was published in 1924 (Thomas).

Lawrence of Arabia became famous due to the book of Lowell Thomas (1924).

4. Multiple authors reference. If the source is written by multiple authors, then you should state last names of all of them, at least in the first reference within the essay. Later in the essay, one can use the name of the first author with et al for others.

Example: (Morris, Raskin, 1993) – first in-text reference

(Morris et al., 1993) – subsequent in-text reference

5. In case of no author. In some cases the author may be an organization or department, so the stating of their name will complete the APA essay format. Or else the mention of the book will also fulfill the need. Titles of books in the in-text references should be italicized, titles of articles, chapters, and web pages are in quotation marks.

Examples:

Organization: (ProfEssays.com, 2009)

Book: (The correspondence, 1914)

Article: (‘APA Essay Format’, 2010)

APA Reference list

APA Reference List

The reference list includes all sources used in the course of the essay and cited in the paper. The references should always be organized in alphabetical order. This gives an organized look to the essay.

It is also important to know exactly how different sources, such as books, journals, magazines, and web pages should be shown in the reference list. As certain requirements differ for each type of source:

  • Book: Author, A. (Year of publication). Title of work: SUBTITLE. Location: Publisher.Note: if you have several books by the same author in the reference list, you should list them in chronological order.
  • Article: Author, A. (Year). Title of article. Title of Periodical, volume number (issue number), pages.
  • on-line source: Author, A. A. (Year, Month Date – if availiable). Title of article. Name of the web-site. Retrieved from http://www.url/ on Year, Month Date.

APA format headings

Readers and writers alike can find headings as a useful tool in writing. Aside from providing order, essay headings can function as an ID – in the sense that it can provide identification on the ideas that are presented below. Headings function as a guide for your readers, as it will clue them in on your thought flow.

The APA style allows five levels of headings when writing.

Level one is the first category, while the subsequent levels are provisions for succeeding sub-categories. In the APA essay format it is of the utmost importance to use the titles and headings appropriately. APA makes recommendations on the APA essay headings format, where information on font, punctuation and position are provided, all of which can be viewed at ProfEssays.com:

heading level 1: Centered, Boldface, Each Word with a Capital Letter

heading level 2: Left-adjusted, Boldface, Each Word with a Capital Letter

heading level 3: Indented, boldface, only the first word with a capital letter, with a period.

heading level 4: Indented, boldface, italicized, only the first word with a capital letter with a period.

heading level 5: Indented, italicized, with a period.

Note: in APA format headings “Introduction” and “Conclusion” are not required! Only the parts of the main body should have headings!

APA essay title page

APA Title Page

  • Title page should be numbered in APA format.

 

  • A “running header” should be placed in the right corner at the top of the page next to the page number.

 

  • A “running header” in APA style contains a short title of the essay.

 

  • The essay title should be placed one-third of the page down from the top. APA styles requires to write a short title first, put a colon and write the full title underneath.

 

  • Author’s name is usually several lines underneath.

 

  • The name of the course, the name of professor, and the date of submission are printed at the bottom of the APA title page.

 

APA regulations on abbreviations, tables and figures

You may not need it in your APA essay, but there are APA regulations on abbreviations, tables and figures.

Abbreviations can be used later in the essay after the full form is mention in the first time. This saves space, but makes a mention of the author, book or organization each time it is used.

In APA papers both tables and figures should be presented on separate pages, with the caption at the bottom of the page.

What to remember with the APA essay writing format

The main thrust of documenting guidelines is to avoid plagiarism. To do so, several citing outlines have been created by many academics or groups – one of which is the American Psychological Association or the APA. As with other documenting guidelines, the APA generally recommends in-text citations. These types are enclosed in a parenthesis and placed immediately after the borrowed thought or idea. When beginning with the APA essay writing format, ProfEssays.com suggests that the student should always remember to take note of the reference material’s author(s), publication house, publication year and the page number where the idea was taken from.

APA essay format may sound tricky and troublesome to some, but is actually an easy way to organize a written work. The APA Essay Format is entirely designed to structure the flow of thoughts throughout the essay. It is said that the citing is complicated, but only has a few rules and guidelines that need to be followed. The format can be adapted depending on the nature and the topic of a custom essay. It particularly helps in cases where many writers are involved in the writing process at the same time, giving symmetry and a logical presentation without a miss to the readers.

What is an APA essay?

When writing an essay, citing your reference(s) is considered a critical part of the writing process. This fundamental element of writing helps students avoid plagiarism. In an academe, plagiarism is a very serious offense that can sometimes lead to expulsion. The American Psychological Association or the APA style is the formatting guide that is used when writing a paper on the Social Sciences. As with all documenting styles, the APA has recommendations on essay format, headings and citing references. Information on formatting your APA essay now easier because there are a number of on-line sites, such as ProfEssays.com, which can provide you with key points in documentation.  Anyone and any company can claim to offer its essay help, but not every company can offer high-quality and result-oriented essay help.

The appropriate APA format for your manuscript

Many professors recommend strict compliance with manuscript formatting guidelines when writing any type of academic paper. Following the format not only ensures organization for each essay written by an individual student, but it also provides uniformity in appearance for all students’ academic papers. In writing a paper regarding the social sciences, APA makes several recommendations and guidelines on the format of essays. Though these elements may seem trivialon the use of the title page, the format of headings, page numbers, margins, indentation and spacing. Though these elements may seem trivial, ProfEssays.com believes that compliance remains a must.

College essay format: writing effectively in the collegiate level

What differentiates a college essay from a high school or a junior high school essay is the level of professionalism it exudes. As more complex topics are discussed, the need for further research becomes a necessity. Another important factor to consider is the format of the essay. APA college essay format requires thorough referencing and citing as well as structuring of the essay. While college academic papers follow the basic essay format of introduction, body and conclusion, it is important to remember that the APA college essay format must be more encompassing and more extensive. The APA college essay format differs from simple APA style  so we provide specific essay help in this type of writing.

ProfEssays.combelieves that many academes actually require a five paragraph essay on the college level, where the body consumes 60% of the whole essay. ProfEssays.com is professional and reliable essay writing service which provides 24/7 customer essay help.

Write Effectively With the Right Essay Format

A standard essay format provides order to any academic paper. Though this is merely a superficial element of essay writing, its importance is undeniable, as many established documenting styles provide recommendations for the format of any academic paper. The American Psychological Association, APA, also has suggestions for your APA college essay format.

Coming up with an essay goes beyond research and flow thought. Despite the ample amount of substantial research materials and intelligent ideas, the essay may end up flawed if the student does not have effective writing skills. For a novice writer, this may seem as an intimidating task because translating your thoughts on paper can be tricky. ProfEssays.com believes that the easiest approach to essay writing is to identify and understand the functions of the basic essay format, which includes the introduction, body and conclusion. Among the three, a student must focus most of his writing on the body, as it is the heart of your essay.

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