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July 10, 2013

How to Write an Essay in APA format

The citation and formatting style of American Psychological Association, commonly known as APA, is mostly used for essays associated with social and behavioral sciences. They include history, law, communicational and cultural studies, rhetoric, sociology etc. That is why the principles of APA style are obligatory for mastering by the students studying social-oriented subjects. It is most commonly used for scientific writing: for term and research papers, case studies and literature reviews as well as for essays. The APA “code of rules” contains guidelines for the essay structuring, referencing and typing. Let us try to go into the APA maze and find out all the details.

The main aim of APA format usage is to standardize the citations and references used in the paper. The format defines the correct way of including the end and footnotes into the body of the text as well as the reference page and in-text citation (the one consisting of a signal phrase, followed by the author’s name). APA style gives preference to author – date citation system. This means that you need to refer to the References within the paper by mentioning the name of the author for that source plus the page number in the corresponding book.

The structure of an essay set by APA presupposes the following elements:

  • Title Page – containing the “name” of your essay based on the selected topic, your first and second names and complete form of your educational establishment;
  • Introduction – a short review of the topic, its actuality and acuteness for you and the readers;
  • Main Body – the part in which you actually express all your thoughts;
  • and References – this is what is called “List of Used Sources” or “Bibliography.”

Your APA essay should be typed double-spaced, with 1inch margins on all four sides of the paper. There is no definite type of font to be used, still 12 pt Times New Roman is recommended and most frequently observed in this type of paper. The page numbering goes in the right upper corner.

The first page of an essay in APA format, as a rule, appears as follows. On the very top of the page is the Running head of your essay. The Running head is not identically equal with the Title of your paper, it needs to be typed in capital letters, contain up to 50 characters and stated as a shortened version of the paper. Below the Running head you are to start the Title Page itself (we have already mentioned its elements). The body of the paper begins on another page. The next section is the References page. It contains an alphabetical listing of all the printed and electronic sources that you cited in your paper.

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