Essays are the most popular academic assignments in Western colleges and universities. They can be challenging or straightforward, short or long, inspiring, or tedious. Although, there is one common feature obligatory for all academic papers that drives millions of students crazy. It is called a citing style or format. They are numerous. Each of them has peculiarities and difficulties. And you will face them as a student. Unfortunately, there is no universal magic trick that turns a bunch of words into a well-formatted paper. Fortunately, you read an ultimate guide to APA style of formatting. Keep it with you, and you’ll never face problems with it.
General Notes of APA Style
The APA style (American Psychological Association) appears in the essays and academic papers connected with the humanities and social sciences. The style was created by the sociologists and scientists for applying in term papers, research reports, technical analysis, methodological articles, etc.
- The essay must be typed with the computer. The line spacing is doubled, starting from a title page and finishing by works cited page.
- You can use any readable font. However, the specialists recommend it to be Times New Roman,12 pt size.
- Every paragraph must be started with a 0.5 inch (1.27 cm) left indent.
- All margins are equal to 1 inch (2.54 cm).
- Upper colon title must be present on every page (including the title one). It contains the page number without the right indent and an “ESSAY TITLE” without the left indent. The colon title version of the title is short (not more than 50 characters, including spaces and punctuation marks).
- As usual, the document consists of four parts: title page, annotation, the body, and discussion. However, this is not a strict rule to follow.
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Details of APA Style
The title page contains the name of a document, author name, the educational establishment, and a colon title as it was described above. The document name starts with a capital letter, appears in the centre, and takes not more than two lines. APA style recommends it not to contain more than 12 words. Under it, the author’s name is indicated. It includes middle name initials and no positions (prof., stud., doc., etc.). The establishment name goes under the author’s name.
The annotation starts from a new page with a colon title. On the top, a word Annotation is situated. It goes without quotation marks and font style applied. Starting with the next line, give direct and general information about your essay. It must include, at the least, the topic, the questions it answers, methods, and conclusion (if needed). You can add keywords to the next paragraph. Type “Key Words” in italics and list the keywords that will help others find your essay in a database.
The titles in APA style have got five levels. Here is their design:
|1||It is centred, in bolds, with all capital letters. The text begins from the next line with a left indent.|
|2||Left aligned, in bolds, with all capital letters. The text begins from the next line with a left indent.|
|3||With left indent, in bolds, the first letter is the capital, with the period in the end. The text begins on the same line.|
|4||With left indent, in bolds and italics, the first letter is capital, with the period in the end. The text begins on the same line.|
|5||With left indent, the first letter is capital, with the period in the end. The text begins on the same line.|
APA formatting style implies the “author-date” citation. It means that an author’s surname and a year of publication must appear in the text (Doe, 2019), and the full resource data will appear in the reference list. If you have used only a concept, without direct quotation, indicate only surname and date. Short quotes use the indicator described above with a new page number. If there is no author, use a source name (or its short version) and a year. Quotes longer than 40 words must form a separate paragraph. It begins from a new line, with a 0.5-inch indent (for every line of the quote). The source data is indicated as in previous examples.
APA Style of the Reference List
The section begins from a new page separately from the essay. The title “References” is centred. Do not mark it with font styles or quotation marks. All lines of each passage have a 0.5-inch indent (except the first line). The surname of an author goes first. Then his or her initials come. Mention all authors if there are less than six of them. Otherwise, name the first six surnames, then put the ellipsis, and the surname of the last author. The list is built according to the alphabetical order of the authors’ surnames. If you have used several works belonging to the same person, start with the earliest one. Names of newspapers and magazines are indicated by saving the original capitalization and punctuation.
That is how you will apply an APA style to your essay. As you can see, with a little bit of practice, that is nothing complicated. Keep this guide and deal with your APA style essays with ease.