The APA style, introduced by American Psychological Association, is one of the most commonly used styles in academic writing. This is a brief guide on how to format your paper in APA style.
Your font should be 12 pt. Times New Roman, double-spaced. Make 1 inch margins on all sides of your page. Include page numbers at the upper right corner of your every page except for the title page. Include the title of your paper as a page header on every page. The title should be all caps and flush left. On the title page, you header should be slightly different: “Running head: TITLE OF YOUR ESSAY,” while on the other pages it will be simply: “TITLE OF YOUR ESSAY.”
Check whether your title is longer than 50 characters. If it is not, you can put it into page headers as it is. Otherwise, use its shortened version that does not exceed this limit.
Your paper should include the following sections:
When citing a source directly, you should include the author’s last name, the year of publication, and page number where appropriate. List them in brackets after the citation: “Students often have problems with APA style” (Jones, 2008, p. 299). Alternatively, you may use the author’s name in a signal phrase and place the year and page number in brackets: “Jones (2008, p. 299) writes that “students often have problems with APA style”.” When referring to a source that you paraphrase, follow the same rules. In this case, you are not required to include a page number but strongly recommended to do it.
If you use a direct quotation of 40 words or longer, put it in a separate paragraph and omit quotation marks. The rules for giving credit to the author are the same: parentheses, name, year, and page number either after the citation or before it.
There are specific APA rules for referencing the most common kinds of sources, including books, journals, and online resources. The general rules to follow are:
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