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APA Research Paper Formatting: What You Should Know About This Approach?

APA Research Paper Formatting: What You Should Know About This Approach?

The way to academic success is not easy. You have to study and implement different formatting for writing research papers. However, it is important to know what methods you can use to present your findings. While you can spot a wide selection of formats, we decided to disclose one of the most popular ones. Keep reading to find out what rules are included in the APA standard for writing.

The Definition of APA

The abbreviation refers to one of the most significant associations nowadays that consists of world best psychologists, who are respected specialists in the USA and Canada? Even in other countries. As a rule, it numbers about 150 000 members. This association has set a goal to present Psychological as a significant science and the tool for improving people’s lives.

Considering their purposes, they have designed a special format for academic papers on the social sciences. The format has received its name from the organization’s name abbreviation. The most world-spread it is in North America. However, it can often appear in other English speaking territories. The organization has presented the guide with numerous recommendations for the paper formatting. You may learn how to meet the academic writing requirements, how to make footnotes and use the information you know in psychology. That is why this format in most cases is used for the humanitarian field of study.

You can find guidelines on how to follow the formatting recommendations in the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association. It includes data on formalization citation performing, table and footnotes, fonts and other features of the research paper. The APA format will be more likely used for papers that are focused on the psychology sciences, business, economics, and sociology. SO it is more of the humanitarian format.

Tips on How to Write a Research Paper in APA Format

The process of using formatting guidelines is the same as other ones. You can find tips and recommendations on using any style. Along with the old features, it can show new ones:

1. The standard screen working size is 8.5″ x 11″.

2. The fonts you use must be easily readable, for example, Times New Roman, 12pt.

3. Double spacing for the title and the main text.

4. Indentation of the paragraphs should be placed half an inch from the left side of the page.

5. Uniqueness is in the creating special heading for pages with page number and the running head from the title page in capitals.

It seems like there is nothing unique and complicated. But the running head intro plays an important role: it brings back to the key point of the paper. But other features of the APA style are not complicated of extra.

Elements of the APA Formatting

Thorough following of the writing format should be one of the most interesting as well as a complicated part of the plan. Below we will disclose the features of every element of the APA style.

Title page

Almost every paper starts with a title page. APA has its own requirements for this part:

1. The title should be in the center of the page regarding the edges of the paper and the vertical axis.

2. There are not any strict limits on the number of characters, but it is better to use no more than 12 words and not to use any words-abbreviation or the ones without meaning.

3. Double spacing is obligatory here. You should write the name of the author under the main title. There is no need to add formalities like Ph.D. or Mr. All you need to add here is your first and the last name.

4. The same requirements are for the institution title you represent in your research paper.

5. The running head includes a short title name, using the words “Running head” is obligatory. After these words, you place the short version of the title.

In fact, these requirements are not very difficult to follow, especially when comparing to some other formats. In APA they do not focus much on the title page.


One more peculiar feature of this format is the requirements for the abstract part. In fact, other standards do not require adding this element to the research paper. As a rule, this part can be added to show the author’s ideas, summarizing the opened questions and received answers. So in the abstract, you can define any abbreviations you are about to use often or special terms that require an explanation for the target audience.

Technical requirements for this part of the text will include the obligatory word “Abstract” placed in the center of the page and written in a 12pt Times New Roman font. Then you continue with the non-intended text of no more than 250-word size and summing up the main ideas. Terms should be written in italic. The abstract can also be useful for your paper to be found by search engines and provide the reader with an overview of the content of the paper.


For body here there are not any special restrictions and you can represent your thoughts with the general essay-form format. Add as many paragraphs as you need to disclose the topic. It is important to add only the relevant data in your paper. There is no need to bold, underline, or italicize text at the beginning of the paragraph. If you want to identify the part of the paper, in APA format you can place centering heading and make it bold.

References and citation

In this aspect, the APA format does not differ much from other writing approaches. The main thought is, to be honest, and professional and to mark every cited phrase you use. You can make in-text references as well. You should specify the name and the date of publication of the source you use. Pay attention to provide the same info in the list of references. Here are some requirements for the bibliography page:

1. Citations indented one-half inch from the left margin.

2. All sources should be arranged in the alphabetical order according to the author’s last name.

3. Right after the author’s name you should add the year of publication.

4. After this, you add the reference title.

5. Then it is required to specify the number of pages, volume and any other additional features of the paper.

6. The last feature to display is the place you found the reference, like web-page or magazine, etc.

APA writing standards are called to help in making the research paper logical and accurate. In most cases, it is not hard to follow them. Following the stated recommendation and rules you will be able to make your paper understandable to the reader.