How to Write an APA Style Research Paper

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How to Write an APA Style Research Paper

The American Psychological Association (APA) is a set of guidelines that has been developed to give the authors of academic papers a specified format to ensure that the papers are readable by the professors and other users. The aim of these guidelines is to enhance the clarity of the academic paper by making it more structured and organized. Many editions were formulated for apa style research paper and the latest one is the sixth edition released in July 2009. This latest edition has more focus on the web to meet the changing needs of writers who author different kinds of apa research paper.

Before writing an apa style research paper, the author should get himself or herself familiar with the different formatting and writing rules. Some of the most important rules are explained below for the benefit of an apa research paper author.

  • The format of an apa paper is important as this is what distinguishes it from other writing styles. The paper should be typed in Times New Roman font that should be of size 10 to 12 pt. The paper should be of standard size (8.5” x 11”) and the writer should leave a 1” margin on all the four sides.
  • Every page of the paper should have a header that includes the page number.
  • Authors of an apa style research paper can place quotations within the body of the paper. These quotations should be 40 words or less and should be enclosed in double quotation marks. The name of the author, year of publication and the page number from which the quotation was taken should be mentioned before the start or at the end of the quotation. If the quotation is more than 40 words, then the author should start at a new line and indent the entire block of quotation by five spaces. Also, the block quotation should not have double quotation marks.
  • When the writer explains the ideas and words of another author in the paper, then he or she should mention the name of the author and the year of publication of the book at the beginning or at the end of the explanation. If there are more than one author, then the writer can mention the surnames and the year. On the other hand, when there are three or more authors, then the writer has to mention all their surnames and the year of pulbication the first time and in subsequent mentions, the writer can just mention the surname of the first author and “et al” for the others followed by the year.
  • Every paper should have a bibliography or references section at the end of the paper. These references can be books, journal publications, videos, podcasts, newspapers and websites. The apa guidelines discourages users from employing user-written content such as wikipedia, Yahoo answers and as sources while writing their papers because the authenticity of the information provided on these sites cannot be verified.

These are some of the broad guidelines that writers should keep in mind while writing an apa style paper.

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