APA Style Research Paper
During their academic careers, the majority of students are called upon to write one or more research papers. As part of the requirements for these papers, students are usually required to format their documents according to a particular style guide. An APA style research paper is an academic paper written to conform to what is called APA formatting. APA formatting is a style of formatting papers and citing references determined by the American Psychological Association. The latest version of the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association was published in 2001.
Unlike some other formatting guides, the APA style research paper calls for a cover page. At the top of the cover page, the student should place what is called a "running head". The running head is simply the title of the report and it is placed in the upper left header of the title page. The title can be shortened if it is exceptionally long. The cover page should also include, centered on the page, the title of the document, the name of the student, and the university affiliation. Never type the title of the report in all caps.
The pages of the project itself should be numbered in the upper right corner of each page. The entire document should be double-spaced and each paragraph should be indented five to seven spaces (one half inch). Even the title page should be double spaced. However, the abstract of the report and long (block) quotations should not be double spaced or indented. Every page other than the title page should be aligned left. Many APA style research papers are required to have an abstract and it should appear alone on the second page. The body of the document should begin on the third page.
APA style research papers require that headings be placed in outline form. Main headings should be centered using uppercase and lowercase typing. Secondary headings should be aligned left; again with uppercase and lowercase typing. Third level headings (and so on) should be indented with uppercase and lowercase typing. Headings do not need to be bold or in any different font styles.
Each APA style report should have a references page. This page should be an alphabetical listing of each reference cited in the body. Citation styles vary according to the type of reference, therefore students should consult the most recent version of the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association for in-paper citation formatting advice. The reference page should have the word "references" at the top of the page and it should begin on a new page. The first line of each reference should be indented one half inch. This is called a hanging indent.
APA style research papers are easily recognizable by their formal cover pages and their unique citation styles. Some instructors do not require the cover page but may require that all of the other APA formatting rules be followed. Students should be certain to follow the guidelines as dictated by their instructor.
Premium Papers Involving "APA Style Research Paper"
How-to Videos on University Writing