APA stands for American Psychological Associations and it is used to cite various sources in education, psychology and social science. The APA format is first originated in a 1929 article that was published in Psychological Bulletin and first laid out all the basic rules and guidelines. Eventually, these are the rules that got expanded and became the official publication manual for APA.
So why the APA format is important especially in social sciences and in psychology? By utilizing the APA style paper format, students and researchers writing about psychology are able to easily communicate the ideas and relevant information in a format that is consistent throughout the document. Consistency in style will let the users to know what to look for while reading the psychological writing and some other journal articles.
If you are a student of social science class or psychology class, then you are probably intended to use a styling guide that is different from APA format such as Chicago Style or MLA. It is often observed that college students are surprised that after spending a number of years now there is another format that is drilled into their heads.
Many classes at the university level require APA format. It might be a painful transition for you if you have to go back and forth between these styles. So, learning about this new format, you need to get a strong grip of the basic rules and bookmarking some important resources as this eventually help you to learn this format in a lot easier way.
APA stands for American Psychological Associations.It is the scientific organization that assembles the APA format manual. The APA style format originated in 1929 by a group of scientists to make some standards for scientific writing.
The idea behind this was to provide a structured and professional writing manner to cite sources in the social and behavioral sciences field.
The first APA format manual was published in pursuit of a neat and efficient formatting style. But it was mainly for editorial purposes.
The APA format has since become one of the most popular referencing styles.
Today the style is adopted in term papers, literature reviews, research reports, case studies, theoretical articles etc.
The official style of American Style Association, APA is commonly used to cite sources in psychology and social science field.
While writing a paper, it is important to give credit and cite all the sources.
The purpose of this is to acknowledge ideas and research of other people that you have used in your paper. No doing so will be considered plagiarism.
If you have never taken a psychology or social science class before. Then you are probably accustomed to use a different style format such as MLA.
If this is the case, you can explore our complete guide on MLA format for more information.
There are some basic and important rules that you need to follow while writing an APA format paper, inducing the content structuring, margins, spacing, reference list and in-text citation.
Have a look at some basic rules that you need to follow in an APA format paper, but before that it is important to ask the instructor about any specific requirements.
Note: The page header should not be exceed 50 characters and it includes spacing and punctuation as well.
It is very important to use headings properly that are followed by subheadings while organizing the information in the essays and papers. Also, you are required to organize the information in different sections as well.
Mostly, the paper is required to include 4 sections:
You title page is the initial page of the essay. Some instructors and teachers do not want title page but there are some who do. So, you will need to ask your instructor first whether to add the title page or not.
The APA format title page includes:
Include a header page which is known as Running head. Add this at the top of the page. It includes two pieces of information
For example: At the top of the page add this
Title Page: Key Guidelines to Follow
Are you wondering how to create an abstract for your paper? Then there is no need to. Some instructors and teachers require it and some do not. So, you need to ask your instructor first.
The abstract is basically a small and brief summary that follows the tiles page immediately. According to the rules of the APA paper format, the abstract section need not be more than 250 words. It needs to be in between 150 to 250 words. Although, it depends on the paper type and the requirements by the instructor.
Key Guidelines to form an Abstract
After the section of abstract, paper's main body begins. .
Let suppose you are writing an essay, then the main body will be the essay itself. If it is a lab report, the main body will be going to break down into different sections.
Such the lab report will contain 4 main sections: introduction, method, possible results and section for discussions.
Key Guidelines for the body of most scientific papers
This section will include the list of sources that you have used in your paper. Keep in mind that if you cite your sources then you need to add full reference in this section of the paper. One key rule to keep in mind that, any source that is cited in the paper is required to be added in the section of references.
One more thing to keep in mind is the hanging indent. It means that while formatting the APA reference page, the first line of your reference will need to line up with the left side margin and line after that are required to intent one-half inch from the left margin.
It is very easy to display from where your information came from. Next to the information or quote place the name of author followed by year.
Have a look at an example of references in APA format:
Wynne-Jones, T. (2015). The emperor of any place. Somerville: MA, Candlewick Press.
Remember APA citation styles is an APA format in text citation. You can find these within your paper. A time when a paraphrase or quote in added within your paper. It usually add the name of the author and the date when it was published.
Did you get the perfect information or quote to add in your paper? It's always nice when you find the magical words or information to include in you writing. You might need to just copy and paste the information in your writing and just provide the credit of the original author.
When writing the paper, it is very essential to add text citations that specifically identify from where the information was found. These terms are known as citations, and when citing the sources in the APA format, use the name of author after that publication date is followed.
APA format citations consist of parenthetical citation in the text and the entire reference reference in the reference list. For each web page, book, journal or any other source specific citation guidelines apply.
To know more about APA citation format for your full citations. Read the APA format example below:
The additional information needs to appear in the section of reference.
According to Brown (1997), Paris was full of artists and musicians in the early 1930s.
Paris was full of artists and musicians in the early 1930s (Brown, 1997).
If you are including a quote from a source directly, then you will have to add the name of author, page number (starts with p), and publication date.
According to Rebecca (1995), “Students often experience issues with using APA style” (p.20).
The name of the author is structured in different ways, especially if there are multiple authors. Things might appear different as there is not an author at all and this happens in case of a web page of a website.
Note: APA style requires volume number for the references of journal article. Because journals are published at regular intervals. So additional information is required that indicated where and when the article was published.
Your references need to start from a separate new page. You are required to name the new page “References” and center the title text right at the top.
All entries are required to follow an alphabetical order.
The first reference line is required to flush left margin. After that each further lines needs to be intended and that is accomplished by pressing the Tab key.
Although earlier versions are required one space only after the sentence. But as per the new 6th edition of the style that is recommending two spaces.
All cited sources should appear in text and on the page of reference.
Book titles, magazines, journal articles, and newspaper are required to appear in italics.
APA and MLA are the two most important and popular formats, and are commonly used in scientific papers. The difference between APA and MLA is how the citation is going to organized. Citation format in APA style is quite clear about the in-text citations. As we have mentioned above that all the citation and the sources need to be listed in the list of references on a new page.
Citation in APA begins with the name of the author and followed by the publication year and the title of the source.
Here is a sample explaining how to write a paper in APA format.
Although APA format may appear complex at first but it will turn out much easier when you get yourself familiarized with all its rules and guidelines. The structure of the format is similar for a number of papers but there may be a case that your instructor is having some specific requirements for you and it also depends whether you are writing a research paper or an essay.
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