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APA Research Paper

APA Research Paper

APA Research Paper

APA format which is also known as the American Psychological Association is the official and legal style of research paper format which is commonly used to quote sources in psychology, education and the social sciences. The APA style was introduced in the year 1929 when an article was published in the Psychological Bulletin which laid out the basic guidelines. These particular guidelines were slowly and eventually expanded into the APA Publication Manual.

The significance of the APA format in psychology and other social science

Why do you think this APA format is so important in psychology and other social sciences? With the help of this APA style research papers, the researchers and students who are writing about psychology are finding it easy to communicate the information about their ideas and experiments in a systematic manner. Following a consistent format allows the readers to know what they should be looking at while reading these journals and other sorts of psychological writing.

If at all you haven’t been in a psychology or social science class before, then you are most probably habitual to using a different style guide like MLA or Chicago style. Students who are newly admitted in the college are very much surprised to find that after spending so many years behind learning another formatting style, now the university-level classes instead require the APA style. I might get very difficult to get familiar with the new format, especially when you have to bounce back and forth between different styles in various classes. To make this new format easier to learn the students should get a solid grasp on the basics and they should start bookmarking a few key resources which would help them.

The 4 Major Sections of an APA style research paper

Mostly an APA style paper should consist of 4 main sections which are: The title page, abstract, main section, and references list.

1.       Title Page

The title page should include a running heading on the top of each page, then the title, author’s name, and school affiliation. The reason behind writing a title on the page is that the readers can quickly know what the paper is about and who it was written by.

  • 150-250 words.
  • The running heading should not exceed 50 characters including punctuation and spacing.

2.       Abstract

An abstract is a short explanation of the APA research paper that is immediately followed by the title page. According to the APA format guidelines, the abstract should contain only 150-250 words and not more than that. However, this could differ upon the type of publication or instructor requirements.

  • The abstract should be in block format
  • It should be double spaced

3.       The Main Body

For an article like an essay, the main body of the article will include the essay itself. Whereas, if you are writing a lab report, then the main body should be sub-divided into further sections, such as introduction, method results, and discussion sections:

  • Introduction: One of the most difficult part to write in an APA research paper is its introduction. The introduction would consist of a summarized idea of the topic you have been writing about and why did you choose that particular topic. It starts with a broad idea which gets narrowed down in the end.
  • Method: This section of the APA research paper is directly related to the topic. The method section basically includes participants, materials and the procedure that has to be followed.
  • Results: In this section, a description has to be written on how the data was analyzed. If your data analysis was complex, try and break it down into simpler words.

4.       References

Reference is the last part of the APA research paper which contains a list of all the sources that has been used in the paper. If a specific piece of information is quoted from a website, then that particular cite has to be referenced in this section.

  • Double spaced with no extra spaces between the references.
  • An alphabetical list of reference has to be provided.

How to Handle In-Text Citations in APA Format

While writing the APA research paper, it is essential to include the citation in the text to identify where that particular information. These notations are known as in-text citations. However, while citing in the APA format, the author’s name should be mentioned followed by the date of publication.

For instance, If the writer wants to cite Sigmund Freud’s book The Interpretation of Dreams, he would use the following format: (Freud, 1900). This information should be explained briefly in the reference section.

Important Tips for APA Style Reference Pages

  • The reference should be written on a new page. This new page should be named as “References” and should be centered at the top of that page.
  • All the entries in the reference section should be in alphabetical order.
  • The 1st line of a reference should be aligned with the left margin. Each and every additional line should be indented (basically done by using the TAB key.)
  • In the earlier version of the APA format, only one space after every sentence was required. But in the new 6th edition of the APA style manual 2 spaces between each sentence is recommended.
  • All sources cited should be mention in both in-text and on the reference page. Any reference that is seen in the text of your report or article must be cited on the reference page, and any item appearing on your reference page must be also mentioned somewhere in the body of your text.
  • Titles of books, journals, magazines, and newspapers should be typed in italics.
  • The same format of all the individual reference might differ a little depending upon whether the writer is referring to one author or a number of authors, a book or a journal article or an electronic source. It takes some extra time to find the specific requirements for each type of reference.

This article is mainly to make graduate students understand the major differences between copywriting and proofreading which will enable them to be more careful the next time they design a research paper and know how it functions.

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