A Research Paper Written in APA Format: The Latest Standards
APA is the most popular research paper format which is widely used in social sciences. There is a number of requirements, comments and recommendations you have to follow formatting a manuscript and making a reference list. The latest APA standards were published in the sixth edition of the Publication Manual of the APA in 2010. The points below explain the most typical guidelines and provide information for the students who are not familiar with the format. The main characteristics of APA format are the following:
- A page size
Use an A4 page that is a standard size of a paper list.
- A title page
The first page is a title page. It provides a running head with a short title and a page number, a title in all capital letters, a student’s name, a professor’s name and school affiliation. Sometimes instructors ask to put a course name and a due date at the bottom of the page.
- Other pages
All page numbers are Arabic numerals that are placed in the top right corner of every page. The short title is also written on every page. APA format requires making the same one-inch margins on all page sides. Left alignment is used for the paper content. Double space helps to make the text more readable. It is recommended to use headings, center them and use boldface letters.
- Source quotations
It is worth mentioning that APA requires different standards for sources throughout the paper and in the list of references. In the text the work titles are capitalized, italics is used for long references, including websites. Quotation marks are put around short names of the sources, e.g. paper titles, poetry, tales, and newspapers.
- An abstract
The second page of your research paper should contain an abstract. It is formatted the same way that other parts of the paper. Usually it consists of one to three paragraphs and describes the summary of your paper, including the general idea, the most important points and significant results.
- Tables and figures
Though students are encouraged to add visual effects to their paper, they should keep figures and tables simple and clear. Each table and figure should have a title and a number. Do not forget to present the references below the table, use footnotes. It is also important to connect your visuals to the text. Insert them as close as possible to the description or explanation given in the text, but long tables and detailed figures are better put into an appendix at the end of the work.
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