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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.
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.
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.
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.
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:
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.
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.
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