Saturday, May 23, 2009

APA Format

When preparing an essay for a class assignment, your professor is very adamant about your usage of the writing style of the American Psychological Association (APA) Format. Let's take a look at the information below to ascertain the proper format.

When applying an APA Format to a document there are certain rules to follow. APA Format requires 1-inch margin on all sides of the page as well as a traditional font type (Times Roman, Courier or Arial), either 10 or 12 font size. The APA Format also requires double-spacing the entire document, including the title page, abstract, body of the document, and references. No Boldface is used in the APA format and Italicized word represent certain level of heading or titles of articles of books.

In the illustrations listed below, actual essays will display the various APA Format that was applied.

How to appropriately use APA Format

Let's first view the cover page of the essay with the correct APA Format.


APA Format - Cover Page

The working title is an abbreviated (first 2 or 3 words of the Paper Title) located 1/2 inch from the top of each page. The page number starts on the title page, 5 spaces after the working title.


A running head is a short title or paper (50 characters or less) beginning at the left margin 2 lines below the header.

Information that is centered from left to right and from top to bottom is as follows:

  • Title of the essay

  • Author's Name

  • Instructor's Name

  • Course Name and number

  • Due date

APA Format - Abstract Page

The abstract page is a one-paragraph, self contained summary, not exceeding 120 words of the most important elements of the paper. The abstract page is formatted in block form begins on the line following the Abstract heading. All numbers in the abstract (exception: those beginning a sentence) should be typed as digits rather than words.

Below is a link that will illustrate an Abstract Page.

APA Format - Abstract Page


APA Format - Structure of a Paper

The body of the paper will begin with the working title, an abbreviated (first 2 or 3 words of the Paper Title) located 1/2 inch from the top of each page. The body of the paper begins on a new page (page 3). The title of the page (in upper and lowercase letters) is centered on the first line below the manuscript page header.

The next level of heading that is utilized in short papers is justified to the flush left margin, using both uppercase and lowercase letters. Subject headings may be used if appropriate for the style of paper. Always indent the beginning of each paragraph.

The Structure of a Paper has three components as listed below:

  • Introduction

  • Body

  • Conclusion
APA Format - Structure of a Paper

As seen in the illustrated view of a Structure of a Paper, the Introduction is a preliminary process to establish the topic of the Body. A preview, the basic concept of what the Body of the paper will present.

The Body will consist of supporting data that will span into paragraph(s). The topic is introduced followed by a discussion, examples and analysis and a possible conclusion.

The Conclusion, a reiteration of what has been presented.