What is an APA Format for Research Papers and Reports?

By Daariya
In Academic
Oct 22nd, 2012

APA Formatting Basics

apa format

When it comes to writing a paper for your university, there is no way out except learning all the different styles of writing a paper. One of the most used is the APA format of writing a paper. This format is also known as the American Psychological Association.

One thing you should be clear about is how easily you can learn this style of formatting the paper. Once you have gone through the basics of all the components which should be in the paper, it will not be difficult for you to write a paper using the APA format without any help. You can also go through this APA style sample research paper for further reference. It will also be of great surprise to you that there are not many different parts which you have to include in your report.

Parts of a Standard APA Format Report

Title Page in APA Format

The first thing which should be in your report is the title page. This page also has a set format. But have no fear, it is not rocket science. The things which should appear on your title page are as follows:

  1. Title
  2. Author’s name
  3. Course name
  4. Faculty name
  5. The date ( this has to be the date on which you are submitting the paper)

Now when you add these parts to the title page, remember to center align it. Everything should appear in the center of the page. Apart from these five, the title page should have a running head. It should appear as the following:

Running Head: Basics Of APA Formatting

This should be to the flush left of the title page. However, after the title page, only the title should appear as the heading on each page. This is also to be towards the flush left of the paper, in this manner:

Basics of APA Formatting

Both these headings should be accompanied by the page number. This page number should be towards the flush right of every page.

Abstract in APA Format

This is the second page of your report, after the title page. The heading of the page should again be the title of your paper. It should appear to the flush left of the paper, while the page number is to appear on the flush right of the paper.

As per the APA format of writing your paper, the word ABSTRACT should appear on the center of the page. It should not have any formatting done to it. The text should be plain. This part of the paper is very important. The abstract gives a brief yet concise overview of the whole of your research paper. You should try to add the following things into your abstract:

  1. Research topic
  2. Research questions (the ones you used to help you get to the conclusion)
  3. Participants
  4. Methods of research
  5. Results
  6. How the data was analyzed
  7. Conclusion

Usually the word limit for the abstract is from 150 to 250 words. This way you will be able to keep it in less than one page. And since it is a summary, it should not be more than the limit mentioned.

Main Body in APA Format

When you are done with the abstract, the next part of your paper in the APA format is the main body. The main body follows a very basic format. However, the title should appear in the flush left of the paper and the page number should be present on the flush right.

However, there are a few things which you should keep in mind when writing the body. The APA format has given the following basic guidelines for you to construct your paper.

  1. Your text should be double spaced throughout the paper.
  2. An inch wide margin should be left on both sides of the paper.
  3. The most preferred size of the font is 12.
  4. Times New Roman is the font style most preferred.
  5. A header on the flush left of all the pages.
  6. A page number on the flush right of the page.

Reference List in APA Format

The reference list is the last part in an APA format paper. In this you will have to list all of the resources which you have used. Be sure to list the page number and the year of publication in all the references which you are to provide.

That was the end of what should appear in an APA format paper. However, this was just the basic formats possible.

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