APA Style for Dummies

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APA formatting style is one of the most widely used ones. It was developed by the American Psychological Association and, as a rule, is used for formatting paper in Social Studies, Nursing, and Business. If you are only beginning studying and have no idea what kind of style APA is and what its peculiarities are, check out the following guidelines on APA requirements.

Things to Pay Attention to:

  1. Language style
  2. APA requires the language to be clear and adhere to the academic tone. Therefore, do not use any informal language, slang or figurative language. Besides, to avoid any controversies in gender issues, avoid using gendered pronouns.

  3. Paper structure
  4. As a rule, APA format predetermines such structure:

    • A title page
    • An abstract page
    • Main body of the paper
    • Reference page
  5. Title page
  6. On the title page, you should provide the title of your paper, your name, and the name of institutional affiliation where you study. Besides, starting from the very first page, provide a header, where the paper topic is indicated.

  7. Abstract
  8. This section should provide a brief overview, or a summary, of what your paper is about. The word count limit is 150-250 words. After you have written the abstract, please, include the list of keywords after it.

  9. Text of your paper
  10. In the body of your paper, you should know how to provide properly formatted in-text citations (as long as you need to use outside sources). There are two main ways of how you can refer to the author of the quote that you have used in text:

    • Start your sentence directly with mentioning the author, e.g. Freeman claims…
    • Refer to the author in brackets: (Freeman, 2015).

    As you see, when referring to the author, you should also indicate the year when the work was published. You are also encouraged to indicate the specific page where you took the quote from: (Freeman, 2015, p.217).

  11. References
  12. This page is really challenging for students, as each type of source that you used in the paper requires its own citation style. For example, a book, an article from a scientific journal, and a newspaper article will be formatted differently. However, a common rule is that the works should be listed in alphabetical order, the last name of the author should be indicated first, and each source should be written from a new line.

What Are the Pros of APA Style?

  1. It guarantees that your paper will be properly structured and easy to read and navigate through sections (if it is a long paper)
  2. You can logically organize your paper into body paragraphs or paper sections.
  3. The paper properly and flawlessly written in APA style will demonstrate your proficiency in academic writing.
  4. It will make your paper look more professionally written.
  5. You will know how to properly reference graphs, tables, and figures.

All in all, APA style is easy to master and make your paper look organized. Besides, if you need some extra help and examples, there are numerous guidelines on the Internet, where you can find more detailed information on other peculiarities.

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