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Writing An APA Format Research Paper: Tips, Tricks, And Samples
APA is one of the most common academic style – and the trickiest one, according to many students. Use the tips below to build your research paper in APA style.
- Set all page margins to one inch.
- Build a title page.
- Create a header.
- Add a page number in the upper right corner of each page.
- Set all text (including headers and page numbers) to Times New Roman, 12 pt.
- Double-space the whole document.
- Capitalize your titles properly.
- Make your section titles bold.
Write the title of your work, your name in the next line, and the name of your academic institution in the next. Center these lines, and bring them halfway down the page.
The header on your title page should read: “Running head: YOUR PAPER TITLE IN ALL CAPS”. The headers on the next pages include only your paper title in caps, without “running head.” All headers should be flush left.
The general rule is that you use capital letter for the first word in the title, the last word, and any word following a colon. Do not capitalize articles and prepositions unless they fall under this rule. Capitalize all nouns, pronouns, adjectives, adverbs, and verbs.
- Put direct quotations into double quotes.
- Give proper credit for any citations, paraphrasing, or ideas by other people you use.
- Include the author’s last name and publication date: “According to Levis and Joan (2003), this…”
- If you don’t mention the author’s name in your sentence, put it into the parentheses together with the year: (Levis & Joan, 2003).
- For direct quotations, include page number: (Levis & Joan, 2003, p. 16).
- Title your bibliography page as “References”.
- List all your sources in alphabetical order by the last names of their authors.
- Use spaces and tabs to trick MS Word Header.
- Create an APA template.
In some versions of MS Word, you might not be able to insert a header and upper page number separately – adding one would delete other. If you’ve faced this issue, create the page number first. Before the page number, type the running head. Put your pointer after the last letter, and press “Space” or “Tab” until the header is in the left page corner while staying in a single line with the page number.
After you apply the basic formatting rules, and before you start writing the body of your paper, save the file as “Template”. You can write all subsequent research papers in it so you would not have to format each one manually.