Posted: October 8th, 2020
An excellent academic paper should have proper formatting and referencing. To do that, one needs to have complete mastery of the referencing format. APA format essay is a common assignment for college as well as postgraduate students. Its simplicity and ease of mastery make it a standard referencing style for institutions.
However, with the new APA 7th edition now in use, it is necessary to understand the latest APA format essay to avoid getting penalized. Here is a complete APA format essay guide and APA format essay writing tips to guide you when writing your paper.
APA format is a writing style format that the American Psychological Association developed. It is an academic style of referencing alongside other techniques such as MLA, Chicago, and Vancouver.
APA is commonly referred to as an author-date system, which means that any APA format essay needs to give a brief reference, including the author’s surname and the source’s date of publication.
Over the years, APA has undergone updates, with the most recent being the 7th edition of APA’s Publication Manual. APA is commonly used for specific disciplines such as Economics, Psychology, Social Sciences, and education.
When struggling to understand the APA referencing style, students’ common question is why their professor required them to write an APA format essay. Here are the reasons why your instructor wants you to use the APA format;
When writing an APA format essay, you use a professional tone, cite all your references, and give credit to authors who previously worked on the same topic. Thus, your paper appears professional and presentable. It also enhances the credibility of your work.
Under the APA format essay, you need to give an author credit when arguing our t their ideas. Failure to list the previous author could lead to plagiarism issues, leading to low grades or failing in the course. Therefore, the APA referencing style helps students avoid plagiarism by supporting their arguments with previous works.
When writing an APA format essay, you can relate with your reader and speak the same language. The citation format enables you to communicate the sources you used through different formats for books, journals, or online articles.
The APA formatting baseline is to ensure your paper has a neat and professional look that appeals to your professor. Having taught for years and gone through hundreds of papers, professors can quickly tell when you miss a piece of formatting. That is why it is essential to ensure you follow each instruction to the letter. Here is all the information you need on the APA 7th edition formatting requirements.
APA Format for a Research Essay
Your topic and university requirements will affect what you write under each section of your essay. However, Each APA-style research essay should have these sections;
Depending on what your paper is about, it can also have figures or a list of tables. Let us discuss what you should write under each section;
Your title should reflect the content of your essay and should have between 10 and 12 words. The title page should include the essay’s title, your name, and college.
APA 7th edition doesn’t demand a student paper to have a running head. Therefore, you won’t need to include a running head, unless your instructor asks you to. A running head is a short version of the title, which appears on each essay page. It helps the reader have the title in mind when going through your paper.
If your instructor asks you to include a running head, you will need to shorten the title to be less than 50 characters. Note that the 50 characters are inclusive of spacing and punctuation. The characters will make your running head.
Your running head should appear to the left of the page. It must be written in capital letters, and have the words “Running Head” on the title page. The subsequent pages will only have the actual running head without the label.
Lastly, your title page should also have a page number. Flush right the page number on the same line as the running head. Always use the toolbox to add the page number so that the subsequent pages are numbered automatically.
The abstract contains the topic and an overview of the methods used, results obtained, and the discussion your essay has. It should be less than 120 words, written in block format and only constitute one paragraph. The abstract should be labeled, and the label center aligned.
Of all sections of an APA paper, the introduction section is usually the hardest to write. A great introduction should briefly summarize, integrate, and evaluate your relevant area of study and the reasons why you chose that particular study. An introduction starts broad and slowly narrows down towards the end. Here are tips to make your introduction intriguing;
We recommend that you start by brainstorming all ideas that are relevant to your paper. Then, decide the order in which you would like to present these ideas. Now, write your introduction as you transition from the first to the second idea and so on.
If you happen to have a complex idea, it is essential to use a relevant real-life example to clarify your point.
It is the most straightforward section to write. However, it demands excellent precision. Your aim is to fully describe each detail of your study in a manner in which a different researcher can use your exact methods.
The method section will include the participants of your study, apparatus or materials used, and the procedure subsection. In case your method is somewhat complicated, you can include a different section for the design and procedure.
In other cases, for instance, questionnaire studies, there are different ways in which you can describe the procedure. It is advisable to present your procedure section before writing the materials section.
You should label it and flush it to the left. This subsection should include the necessary details of the participants. That is their number, gender, the mean and standard deviation for age, population type, and ethnicity (only if the information is relevant to the study).
Describe how you got the participants. Did randomly pick them? If not, which criteria did you use to select them? Was any compensation given to the participants?
Label the section, write it in bold, and flush it to the left. You should carefully get into detail about any stimuli or material you used. If you include a questionnaire in your essay, describe it at length. For example, which format was the questionnaire in? Was it a 10-point scale with one being strongly disagreeing and 10 for strongly agreeing? Attach a sample of the questionnaire for your reader to go through. If you had created or added a new instrument, ensure you attach it to your paper as an appendix. If you had earlier presented your participants with specific word lists to enhance stimuli, describe it in detail.
Note: It is unnecessary to add insignificant details such as the computer you used to analyze data or the data recording sheet you used.
You should only include this section if you used some specialized equipment in your study. For example, if you used an eye-tracking machine, you should state it and describe the apparatus in detail. The apparatus section should be labeled, written in bold, and formatted to flush left.
Which procedure did you use to obtain the results of your study? For example, if you used participants, what did they do, how did they do it, and was it orderly? Explain what you did and why you did it. What variables were you checking for? This section should be detailed to contain all necessary information, but briefly.
You should label the results section, write in bold and center it. This section describes the method you used to analyze the data and what your findings were. Most scientific research results are complicated. If your data analysis was complex, you can subdivide this section and have each subsection represent a hypothesis.
For instance, you can include a subsection only for descriptive statistics. You can then write about which analysis you did to test your hypotheses. It is necessary to cross-check with your statistics books to find out the correct way to interpret and present your results using APA format essay.
According to the correct way to present numbers and statics, state the nature of your results. That is state whether the results support your hypotheses or not. If it supports your hypothesis, you can use a phrase such as “as expected..” Do not forget to include the mean and standard deviations.
We recommend adding a figure or table to represent your findings visually for a better interpretation of results. Remember to refer to your table or figure as you write your essay. For example, you can use “As shown in Table 2…”
Note: You can present your fining as a table or as a figure. However, you cannot use both. Therefore, ensure that your text is neither redundant with your figures or tables.
For example, if you use a table to show mean and standard deviation, you need not report this in text. On the other hand, if you opt to use a figure to interpret your results, you might have to report the same information on the text as it may not always be accurately described. Do not explain the results or interpreting them. All this should be done under the discussion section.
The discussion section aims to enable you to interpret your results and categorize them in a broader context. This section can be said to be the opposite of an introduction because you start by stating the specifics as you narrow down to a more general conclusion.
Here are some tips to consider when writing your discussion;
In the event that your results were surprising or unexpected, explain why and back your explanation using other theories. Before supporting your finding using alternative approaches, mention that your results are valid.
When you suggest a gap or an idea that should be considered for future research, you need to explain why it is necessary to conduct it. For example, what new information will be gained from the research?
It is wise to sum up your essay with the last paragraph other than finishing off after suggesting an idea for future research. Always end on a positive note. Remind your reader about your study, the findings, and why this study was necessary. Also, mention what your study contributed to the existing literature.
At the end of your paper, there should be a reference list. It should be written in alphabetical order considering the surname of the first author. You should indent the second line of each reference. (The style is commonly referred to as hanging indent, which can quickly be done using Microsoft Word). You can find more information on how to write your references using APA 7th edition manual.
We offer APA research paper writing for college, undergraduate, and postgraduate students. Therefore, if you are confident in your writing skills but lack adequate knowledge of the new 7th edition writing style and guidelines, you can always order your paper from us. Whether you would like it written from scratch, or would our writers edit your essay to the current APA referencing style, we can help. Contact us today and let us know what we can do to help you achieve your A+ in your essays.
APA Format Essay Writing Help
APA papers follow a strict citation format, which could lead to a student stressing out, especially with a new edition to follow. The format above is exclusive for research papers. If you have an APA format essay you would like help with; our APA professional paper writing experts can write your paper for you, making it possible for you to get that A+
The APA 6th edition has been used for almost a decade. As such, many students have mastered the edition and may take quite some time to adjust to the new publication manual. Specializing in Academic writing, our team of professional writers has already mastered the 7th edition to the letter. As such, they can help with formatting your paper to meet the new referencing rules. Contact us today for APA format editing help.
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