APA Research Paper Format: From Title Page To Reference

Learn how to cite all your APA academic papers well by mastering APA research paper format guidelines. A well-cited APA paper limits the chances of plagiarism.

APA Research Paper Format

APA is the most common formatting style in academic institutions. It is thus important that you know how to format in the style. Apart from APA, there are other formatting styles. These include MLA, Chicago, and Harvard among others. If you have challenges using this style, consider our help.

In every research paper, you must always give credit and cite used sources. This ensures that you acknowledge the ideas of other people used in your paper. Failure to do so leads to plagiarism. The end result is failed grade or other legal consequences. APA style is commonly used to avoid plagiarism.

In this guide, you will learn more in relation to formatting your paper in APA.

  • APA Research Paper Title Page Format

The cover page is the first page in your essay.

So, how do you develop the title page?

  1. Start with the title of your paper.
  • This should be the main idea of your paper.
  • Avoid the use of unnecessary words.
  • For example, instead of ‘what were the causes of immigration to the US?’, ‘consider the causes of immigration to the US’.
  • The title should be short and clear.
  • The title should be typed in 12-point, centered, and in Times New Roman font.
  • It should not be more than 12 words.
  • All text should be double-spaced.

Running head

This is the page header of your paper. It should be at the top of every title page.

It has 2 parts; Paper title and the Page number.

In the title page only, insert these words after clicking the header, ‘Running head’. Then, put the title of your paper in capital letters. This should be justified to the left. Then, insert page numbers justified to the right. Remember, the words ‘Running head’ only appear on the title page. Other pages will have paper title and page. Look at this sample of the cover page.

Look at this other example of page 2, to see the difference between the cover page and other pages.

  • APA Research Paper  Abstract Format

In APA, the abstract is the summary of your paper. Sometimes your instructor may require an abstract other time they may not. Here is what you should know about abstracts;

  • They are placed after the title page.
  • They are found on their own page
  • The word ‘Abstract’ is placed on the first-page line, centered.
  • Then, the summary is provided. This should be less than 250 words.
  • It should be double-spaced and not indented.

Look at the following.

  • APA Research Paper Body Format

The body of your paper starts on the next page after the abstract page.

The page starts with an introduction. Here you provide the problem you addressed in your paper. It is more detailed than abstract. Indent the first line of the introduction paragraph.

The second section is on used methods. Here, you show how you conducted the study. Describe the used methodology.  Indent first lines of all paragraphs in this section.

The third section is the results. Here, you summarize the findings. Graphs and charts are used in displaying the data.

The fourth section is the discussion and conclusion. Here, you interpret the findings and provide your conclusions. The sub-titles should be bold and centered.

Here is a sample of essay body in APA format;

  • Use of figures and tables In APA Research Paper Format

In APA style, there are rules to follow upon the usage of figures and tables. These include:

  • You must number any graphic used. For example, the first figure or table should be numbered as ‘Figure 1’ or ‘Table 1’.
  • You must include a title. Italicize the title. For instance, the title can be the ‘Highest Rates of Cervical Cancer ’.
  • The information should be above the table

Look at the following example of a table used in an academic paper.

Table 1. Highest Rates of Cervical Cancer

Nation Percentage (%)
India 24
U.S 22
Australia 19
UK 18.5
Nigeria 17

 

When using figures, the information should be placed below the figure.

Figure 1. Highest Rates of Cervical cancer

  • APA Research Paper In-text Citations

There are two ways to show the original source of your information.

  • You place the author’s name and year of publishing at the end of the sentence. For instance;
References page is found on its own (Roberts, 2019).
  • You can include this information in the sentence. For example;
According to Roberts (2019), references page is found on its own.

Note: The structure of in-text citation often changes. For instance, where there are two authors or more, the structure is different.

  • For instance, when there are two authors;

The references page is found on its own (Roberts & Gann, 2019)

  • Three and more authors;

The references page is found on its own (Roberts et al., 2019).

APA Research Paper Reference Page

  • The references page is found on its own.
  • The title ‘references’ is bold and centered.
  • Reference all used sources.
  • While your sources may be different, that is, books, journal articles, and websites, they are all referenced in a similar way.
  • That is the name of the author, year, title, place of publishing, and publisher.

For instance,

Roberts, M. (2019). Cervical Cancer. Journal of Gynecologic Cancer, 23-45.

  • This is a brief overview of APA formatting style. Keep coming to learn more about the formatting style. If you have any problem formatting your paper in APA style, consider our professional help. Expert and well-experienced writers will be glad to guide you through the formatting style.