How to Write a Research Paper in APA Format: Learn by Example

When writing an academic paper, you must be mindful of its format. It’s essential that you follow all the formatting requirements, or your grade will suffer.

Writing an APA style paper may be difficult, but you can find plenty of examples and guides online. Study them carefully in order to be sure that you are doing everything correctly.

Basic rules of APA format paper writing are:

  • Title page.
  • It must include a title (concise and carefully worded), author’s and school’s names, an author’s note, and a running head.

    A running head is an abbreviation of the title (up to 50 characters). It starts with the words “Running head” followed by a colon. The title abbreviation must be typed in all capital letters.

  • Header.
  • Every page of an APA style paper must have a header. It consists of a running head title and a page number. The number is placed in the top right corner.

  • Abstract.
  • This must include the most important points and ideas presented in the paper. An APA abstract is usually 150-250 words long. It must be printed on a separate page, and titled “Abstract” (centered).

  • Body.
  • This part of the paper shouldn’t be labeled. It will consist of an introduction, the method, results, and a discussion. These sections don’t need to start in new pages.

    Be sure to study the requirements of APA quotations in order to avoid mistakes when inserting quotes in the text.

  • Introduction.
  • Start with a new page following the abstract. Introductions in APA papers don’t need a heading, but the paper title must be typed out at the top of the page.

    An introduction must include background information on the topic, reasons that explain its significance in the field, a short overview of the most relevant sources, a hypothesis, and an explanation of how the paper is organized.

  • Method.
  • You must provide detailed information about the research. The readers should be able to reproduce the research based on this part of the paper. This means that it must be written in clear and straightforward language.

  • Results.
  • You can include tables, figures, charts, etc. This section must present the findings, and explain the data obtained during the experiments.

  • Discussion.
  • A short review of the hypothesis and results, discussion of the findings, and the relevance of the research must all be included. This section is closely linked to the introduction, and must answer all the questions posed there. The information in the discussion section must be presented in the context of the literature used during the research.