APA Style Guide

When doing any piece of academic writing, it is important to keep in mind citation of any material referred to during the writing is inevitable. Effective referencing gives credibility to a piece of writing through the author assuring his or her readers that relevant literature was referred to in coming up with a particular piece of writing. There are different styles of referencing, a commonly used one is the APA style. This article sheds light on what writers need to know when using this style in writing.

To begin with, APA stands for American Psychological Association, as such this style is commonly used in social sciences. When given a paper to complete in APA, the first question to ask yourself is, ‘where do I begin? This leads us to the general principles that govern the APA style. Papers written in APA style should be typed using a clear font Times New Roman font 12 is recommended in this case, use double spacing and should have 1 margins on all sides. The paper should have a running head which is a shortened version of the paper title – it should not exceed fifty characters. In addition, the phrase running head should only be used in the first page. The subsequent pages should only contain the shortened version of the paper. Page numbers should be flushed right.

APA papers should have a title page this is essentially the first page of the paper. It should have three elements: The full tile of the paper, the authors name and the institution of affiliation. The title should contain no more than twelve worlds – can take one or two lines and should be centered in the upper half of the title page. The authors name should come below the title. It should appear in the order of first name, second name and last name. The name should not be preceded by titles such as (Dr.). Beneath the authors name should be the institution of affiliation, this could be ‘University of Birmingham or ‘Washington College of Nursing. The institution of affiliation indicates the location in which the author carried out the research.

After the title page, follows the Abstract, the main body of the paper and the references. The title ‘Abstract should be centered and should not be formatted in any way – should not be in bold or italics. The Abstract summarizes the main points of the paper, for instance, the research questions, the participants involved, the methodology used for the research, data analysis, findings and conclusion. In our samples page we have an APA SAMPLE PAPERthat students can refer to for better understanding of this referencing style.

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