Academic help - how to write APA format research papers

The APA format for any type of writing and in particular for research papers is both a challenge yet simple. There are many requirements which are clearly expressed in any APA manual and these are certainly freely available online on any number of relevant websites. You can consider the format requirements as being either of the following.

  • General formatting rules
  • Specific formatting rules

The beauty of the general formatting rules is that you can set up your word processing software to comply with the requirements and then forget about it. Once you have locked away the general formatting rules, all your typing, all your input of text will appear according to Hoyle.

For instance, you will have a one inch margin on all four sides of every page. You will use a 12 point font making use of a common and popular typeface such as Times New Roman. You will double space the text in your research paper and you always write in the past tense. Now apart from this last point which obviously relates to your actual writing, all the other general formatting rules are things which you can set up a template for and forget about.

When it comes to the specific formatting rules, they too can at times be applied through a pre-set or template situation. For instance every page will have a heading which will appear flush on the left-hand side and it will all be in capital letters. Using such a software program as Microsoft Word, you are able to establish a heading which will automatically appear on every page.

The title page is a separate document and there are various requirements for its presentation. The title itself should be between 10 and 12 words and must obviously reflect the content of your research paper. You must include your name and the name of your academic institution. Another separate page is for your abstract which is basically a synopsis of what is to follow. It will be a single paragraph with no more than 120 words and again it will be double spaced with no indentation.

There are a significant number of requirements for your research paper in this type of format but again they are clearly listed and freely available on a wide variety of websites. You need to pay particular attention to the citing of the references. For example they must be listed in alphabetical order according to the last name of the first author. Take your time and get it right.

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