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Getting a Handle on APA Research Paper Format

When writing a research paper there are certain format which are applied. Most often the format is either APA or MLA. In order to get a handle on these formats it is good to understand: when to use APA, standard rules, and citations/references.

When to Use APA

The APA, or American Psychological Association, format is most often used when papers concern social sciences. APA styles can be found in academic research, medical journals and other publications presenting quantifiable data or information. This style, versus the MLA style, allows the researcher or writer to present his or her audience with quantitative results and analysis of these results. Use of charts, graph, and tables are used to present this kind of information in APA formatted research papers.

Standard Rules

There are many intricate rules when it comes to the APA style of writing, just like with the MLA style, but there are also some standard rules you will always apply to your paper, which are good to commit to memory. Your paper will always begin with an abstract, presenting a general outline of your paper. You paper will always have one-inch margins and12-point professional font (i.e. Times New Roman, Arial, etc.). The paper will feature a proper heading, subheadings, and page numbers. Also, your APA will never leave outside information not cited.


This brings us to our last major guideline when it comes to getting a handle on APA research papers. Your APA style paper will always include references and citations. The research paper will be full of information from outside research, and these references and citations function to give credit to these outside sources. Whenever information from an outside source is used in your research paper it must be paraphrased or quoted to avoid plagiarism. Then following the use of the information, but before the period at the end o the sentence, you will include your in-text citation. You will have an open parenthesis, the author’s last name, the year of publication, a closed parenthesis, and then the period concluding the sentence. These in-text citations can be used in coordination with your references page to know where the information came from. The references page, much like the work cited, will be included at the end of your paper. This will be a list of all the sources that were cited in the text of your paper.

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Writing a term paper

Any ideas or concepts you use while writing should be written clearly. This means try to continue your idea and provide thorough details to ensure readers don’t get lost in the text. Good sentence and paragraph structure will be helpful.

Ensure references are mentioned correctly and review citation and bibliography details. There are written samples available for each formatting style to help you compare how to reference and cite your own sources.

Know where you can get good writing examples. Consider your school library, school website, and handbooks on term paper writing and formatting. You may get ideas on how to develop your topic, thesis, and write other parts of your term paper.

A strong conclusion is important and helps bring the whole assignment together. Your main points should be mentioned briefly and consider providing clarity to a main point mentioned previously with an example. Reinstate thesis statement.