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APA Style Cover Page

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Even though APA stands for American Psychological Association, you might be assigned an APA format paper when writing a research on a whole range of subjects, not only on psychology. This style is one of the most common formatting examples for a variety of research papers, whether in exact, social sciences, or humanities.

If you have never written a paper in APA format before, you will probably consult Purdue Owl APA formatting section. Even though this site gives a lot of incredibly useful information, the amount of it may seem overwhelming at first. So, before you take a closer look at Purdue Owl APA section, we recommend going through the basics of APA format listed below.

APA Format: The Essentials

On the whole, APA format guidelines are not that much different from other formatting rules, accepted in the academe. APA format paper, like most other academic papers, will have:

  • One-inch margins (left, right, bottom, upper)
  • 12-point Times New Roman font
  • Double spacing all through the paper

These three simple rules apply to every little part of your paper, from APA format paper cover page to the latest section with reference material. However, proper academic formatting implies a little bit more than fonts and spacing, so let's take a closer look at the details.

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Formatting APA Style Cover Page

Obviously, your paper will begin with an APA style paper cover page. Even though many students find APA format cover page a bit confusing, the basics are pretty simple. Your cover page APA style should include the following information:

  1. Title of the paper
  2. Your first and last name
  3. The name of your institution
  4. Class and date

The information on APA title page is centered and double-spaced. Sometimes, an APA cover page also presupposes an author's note. However, if you are submitting a research paper for college (as opposed to a scientific article for publication in one of the major journals), you can safely skip this info on your APA cover page.

Next, APA style cover page should be numbered, just like the rest of the pages that follow (which is not the case with other academic formats).

One more thing that makes cover page APA style different is the running head with your paper title (in capital letters). Note however that APA title page is the only page of your paper that actually says "running head." All of the following pages feature only the title in caps, no "running head" note.

That's pretty much it, there is nothing more to APA format paper cover page - let's move on to the other requirements.

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An Abstract in APA Format

In some cases, after formatting your APA style paper cover page, you can proceed straight to the contents of your work. In some other cases, however, you will be required to write an abstract. Ideally, an abstract is essential when dealing with complex researches (that take over ten pages). When working on a shorter assignment, you can usually skip that.

If however, you live by the "better safe than sorry" principle, by all means - have your APA format cover page followed by a short abstract. This part will include 100-200 words (no more), and it will highlight the most essential information analyzed in your work. Here is exactly how it should look like


(the first line of your page, no bold or italics; always centered)

The paper focuses on... (expand your point in 5-10 lines here; DO NOT INDENT this paragraph)

Keywords: APA paper, write my essay, research (include 5-7 most essential keywords

and/or key phrases used in your work: DO INDENT this paragraph)

General Guidelines for APA Citation Format

The general rules of APA citation are not that much different from any other quotation formatting guidelines. If the quote has less than 40 words, it remains in line with your own text, framed in quotation marks. Right after the quote, you include the author's last name and the year of publication in brackets. The info is separated by a comma, i.e.

Among organizational problems, the biggest challenge is posed by "lack of diversity in the workplace" (Keverline, 2010).

Sometimes, however, APA citation format will presuppose more than one author. If there are two, simply include & between the names, as in: (Smith & Jones, 2016).

APA citation for three and more authors will look like this:

The first time you refer to the source - "quote goes here" (Black, Darwin, Bates, 2014)

If you mention the same source later in the text - "quote" (Black et al., 2014).

If you want to include a quote that has over 40 words, format it as block indented text without the quotation marks. However, you'd better refrain from using overly long citations - do not forget, you should present your own analysis, not a compilation of someone else's ideas.

APA Reference Page

Once you're done with the whole "write my essay" process, it's time to take care of APA bibliography, also known as APA reference page. The basics are pretty simple:

  1. Start with a new page
  2. Center References on your first line (do not use bold, caps, or italics)
  3. Enumerate all of your sources in alphabetical order
  4. Start each source with a new page
  5. Do not indent the first line that refers to each new source
  6. Indent all of the following lines that refer to a source

Absolutely all of the sources you mention on your APA bibliography page should have the following info:

  • Author's name
  • Year of publication
  • The title of the source
  • Place of publication

In reality, though, there will be certain differences when it comes to referencing. For example, here's how you reference a printed book:

Smith, J. (2014). The Book of Rules. New York, NY: NY Publishing.

If you are referring to a periodical, the formatting will be a bit different:

Ashcroft, J., Daniels, D.J., Hart, S.V. (2003). How Supervisory Styles Influence Officer Behavior.

National Institute of Justice. Washington, DC.

Most of the time, though, you will be referring to online material - after all, how many of us frequent the library these days? In that case, you will have to indicate exactly where you found the article - that is, give an actual link. Here is how the formatting will look in such a case:

Ashcroft, J., Daniels, D.J., Hart, S.V. (2003). How Supervisory Styles Influence Officer Behavior.

National Institute of Justice. Web. Retrieved from https://www.ncjrs.gov/pdffiles1/nij/194078.pdf

Now and then, you will also come across sources that have no author. No worries - you will not have to discard them straightway. Just start with the title in italics, like this:

Avoiding Violence Between Police and Citizens. (2003). U.S. Department of Justice Community

Relations Service. Web. Retrieved from http://www.justice.gov/archive/crs/pubs/principlesofgoodpolicingfinal092003.pdf

Just like there are sources without an author, there will be sources without a publication date. In such a case, include "n.d." (no date), as in:

Black, R. (n.d.) Discrimination in the Workplace. Web. Retrieved from www.sitename.com/url

Finally, note that your text editor will automatically highlight the links you include (at the very least, it will underline them; in most cases, it will also change font color from black to blue). This, however, is not acceptable in APA format; so, you will have to either manually correct that or go through the settings in your text editor.

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