How to Write an Essay in APA Format

Table of contents

As students, we attend lectures, take an active part in out classes activities and have fun. But we should not forget about another side of the study, in particular, scientific papers. The main essence of such occupation is to work out a plan, examine new phenomena, and submit the results.There is no hesitation that such kind of writing is the first step in the educational achievements that brings profit. Unfortunately, “not all roses.”

According to a survey, some students avoid such kind of work because it is troublesome and requires a lot of time and patience. Nevertheless, we can state that there are cases when educational papers bring pleasure and encourage young people to dedicate their lives to science. It is possible when students understand specific character of such writing and realize their primary goal. That is why we have prepared for your article that will help cope with difficulties and break incomprehension related to academic papers.

Briefly about APA format

It is a common situation that your professor can ask you to write a paper in various styles, in particular, APA. Let’s clarify its essence and find out the main features. To start with, we should admit that this abbreviation stands for American Psychological Association. As a rule, this style is used for such disciplines as sociology, philosophy, and education. APA style essay is well-spread in different universities as it helps test knowledge of students. Moreover, it is regarded as the easiest one. We hope that you don’t have troubles with college essay formatting, but if you do, keep reading this information.

How to write an APA paper

The crucial thing to memorize is that APA essay example consists of title page, abstract, body pages (the place where you present your investigation), and references. It is reasonable to describe each of these components.

Title page

We can say that it is a “face” of your work, as it makes a general impression. When a professor starts checking your paper, the first things that he notices are mistakes on a title. In order to avoid it, we recommend you to follow simple rules of formatting.

  • At the top of the page, it is required to have a running head. That is the shortened variant of the title. Here you rephrase the text, but it should not exceed 50 characters. Another key thing to know is that each word should be capitalized. It should be on each page of your work.
  • The title has to be at the center of the page. The appropriate font is Times New Roman typed in 12- point. Do not italicize, underline or capitalize it. This is important to admit that your title should be one or two sentences with grammatically correct structure. The style should be neat. Moreover, make the title precise and concise.
  • Under the title, you should write your name and data about your instructor. It is required be double-spaced and centered.


  • A second page of the paper is dedicated to abstract. Type a word “Abstract” at the center and do not make it bold. The first sentence should not be indented. That is an informative part as it conveys the main goals, tasks, and plot. Try to make it qualitative, well-structured, and grammatically correct. The main reason for it is that professor will estimate an abstract and make the conclusion about the whole paper. We recommend to avoid writing the facts that are not given in the paper as it is not a good manner. You are required to submit keywords that are frequently used in writing. Moreover, you should write all terms that relate to the topic. The abstract should be 150-200 words.

APA body format


  • As a rule, it is the most complicated and troublesome part as you should make and encourage people to read your masterpiece. It can sound funny but do not introduce yourself. We recommend you to star with philosophical statement, proverb, or quote. It will make your work more qualitative. Be sure that your instructor will be pleasantly surprised to see the quote of Nietzsche, for instance. Moreover, it will attract readers’ attraction. Another key thing to know is that you should integrate your investigation. Namely, your task is to prove the importance and originality of content. Do not forget, to end this paragraph with the appropriate thesis sentence that will be a good “bridge” to the second part of the work. One more tip for you: feel free to submit here scholar and scientific ideas that you have used; try to organize them and perform logically, not randomly. It means that previous sentences should be the beginning of the next one. A good way to make your intro informative is to highlight which articles or other sources were used during the investigation. It doesn’t mean that you should write “I used a book “Miracle” and found out that…” You can agree that it is not a high level of academic writing. That is why use your skills and summarize credible sources.
  • In the introduction, it is a kind of forbidden thing to use quotations, except the case when you start the paragraph. It means that you should write your thoughts and assumptions. It is more interesting to read new and original thoughts, rather than copied.
  • Do not title this part as “Introduction,” just divide it into paragraphs, in order to separate significant thoughts.

Method, Materials, Participants

After you have introduced your paper, it is time to present methods. Here you give a brief and precise overview of the scientific ways of research that was useful during the investigation. There is no need to type the title of method, just give its small characteristics.

  • Speaking of materials, we should note that the aim of this section is to give readers opportunity to cast a glance at the results and sources that helped you achieve them. Another key thing to know is that this part is optional as it is a type of duplicate of conclusion.
  • As for participants, we are sure that you realize the main aim of this part. Here you should present the scientists that contributed to the investigation of this phenomena. You should write that you haven’t chosen participants randomly. Your task is to prove that you used only necessary, trusted, and qualitative data. We recommend you to avoid short and choppy sentences.
  • It can be stated that APA format essay body is a discussion where you write about the main aspects of the theme, perform data in order to help readers realize the phenomena. Here you interpret your findings but in a more extended way. It is a part where you can link the scientific facts with your hypothesis.
  • We recommend you to make paragraphs and separate key thoughts and thesis. The main reason is obvious, as it helps readers find necessary information quickly and does not make them sleep with the monotonous structure.
  • Feel free and show how your finding is connected with the existed investigation.
  • Use various examples and evidence. It will prove readers that your paper is based not on the figment of your imagination, but credible works.
  • There is a rule – to finish each section with a conclusion. Do not be afraid because you do not need to write a big paragraph; your task is to create the sentence that will sum up given information and turn readers’ attention to the next portion of writing.

Now it is high time to mention the common and significant rules of the main body formatting.

  • Remember that we do not duplicate the “title” on the second page, it means that you can start submitting your content without the introductory phrase. It goes without saying that it makes the writing process easier.
  • You can use different levels of headings in order to structure your paper well. Moreover, it will make your content logical and interesting to read.
  • Common knowledge is that you will have the titles of different works in your paragraphs. We have one rule for such case, in particular, you should italicize or put quotation marks around the titles.
  • Do not forget about margin; it should be one-inch at each side of the page.
  • Make your paper double-spaced as it is better for reading. Moreover, you will find the mistakes while proofreading easily.
  • Do you hesitate where to put the number on the page? As a rule, it should be at top right corner.
  • The required font of American Psychological Association is Times New Roman 12 size.


That is the smallest, but not less important part of an academic paper. You should be aware of the simple rule of short essay format.

  • The conclusion should contain the summary of each part of the main body and organize the data logically.
  • Do not try to be omniscient, write only the facts that you have described in your paper.
  • It is a type of forbidden thing to describe the new phenomenon in this part.
  • The aim of conclusion is to inform readers about the results and achievements of an investigation. Moreover, here you are required to show the scientific importance of your paper for the future research.


  • The sources that you have used should be indicated and shown at the end of your paper; that is why you are required to make “Reference list.” This title should go at the center of the new page. Do not bold or italicize it.
  • Now it is time to make references. It is essential to note that they should have alphabetic order and the first line should be indented from the left margin.
  • The type of reference depends on the source that you have used.

If it is a book, follow this rule:

Author, (Year of publication). Title of work. Location. Publisher.

If you have used periodicals:

Author, (Year). Title of article. Title of article, volume, number, pages.

Article from online periodical:

Author, (Date of publication). Title of article. Title of an online periodical. Retrieved from (link).

In case of misunderstanding and troubles, you have a chance to address different services that can make a citation instead of you.

Simple steps to write an APA paper

At first sight, it seems impossible to apply in practice information mentioned above. But things can’t be all that bad. We invoke you to believe that it is a doable thing if to follow simple rules. You have the opportunity to get acquainted with the steps that will make the writing process easy and interesting. Hope it will be useful for you.

  1. The basic thing is to choose a good topic. We highly recommend you to pick the topic according to your tastes and interests. Be sure that it will be a fascinating process if you write about the branch of science that you are fond of; moreover, the results and score will be high. Another key thing to remember is that you have to select a topic that can be investigated from different aspect with the help of modern methods. Do not try to depict old and previously discovered issue in new colors. As a rule, it will not bring success.
  2. Start with an outline. Make a type of frame of your paper. Be sure that it will motivate you to good thoughts. Everybody will agree that it is easier to work with the draft rather than start writing from scratch.
  3. Learn the basic rules of the APA style and try to adapt your work to the existed requirements. Admittedly, your professor will appreciate it.
  4. Examine the potential sources of your future writing. Feel certain that these materials can serve as credible sources.
  5. Start the creation and enjoy this process.

So, now you are armed with the essential information about writing an essay in APA style. We hope that your first step will be successful. Do not hesitate and accept challenges.


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