The APA format style for essay and paper production is most commonly utilized in the humanities and social sciences disciplines, and students generally begin to experience this format style in high school, as they prepare term papers. APA essay format was initially established, and has been revised over the years, by the American Psychological Association. Today’s students should be thankful for the revisions in the APA style for the citation requirements are indeed far simpler than in the early days of detailed footnotes at the bottom of every page!
There are two general categories of specification for the APA college essay, a follows:
The Running Header: APA essay format requires a running header on each page beginning with the title page. This header is to be placed in the upper left-hand corner. On the title page the term “Running Header” followed by a colon must appear before the actual running header title. If the title of the essay/paper/research work is lengthy, the running header should be a shortened from of that title. If Microsoft Word is used, the running header may be set up using the tools provided.
Pagination: Every page must be numbered in the upper right-hand corner of the page. This includes the title page which will be “1.” Again, with Microsoft Word, pagination can be set and will be automatic.
Margins: Margins should be one-inch on all sides.
Lengthy Quotes Within the Text: These should be single-spaced and indented.
Spacing: Other than long in-text quotations, every part of the APA essay writing piece must be double-spaced including all entries on the title page and end-of-text references.
Title Page: The title of the work should be centered in the upper half of the page. After double-spacing, the title of the author should be entered – first, middle initial, last. Titles (Ms., Dr., etc.) should not be included. Double space again, and enter the name of the institution. Some instructors may add the additional requirement of the course title, date, etc. for an APA college essay.
Fortunately, APA essay format provides for simple in-text citations. Two methods are utilized, as follows:
References are listed in alphabetical order by the author’s last name.
Titles of books should be italicized; the complete reference listing must include place and date of publication.
Title of journal articles may be put in quotation marks followed by the Journal in italics. The volume number and issue date should also be included, along with page numbers.
Internet resources should include author, title of article, Journal from which the article was taken, and then the website URL.
Multiple authors, up to seven, should all be listed by last name and initials. If there are more than 7 authors, list the first six follows by “……” and then the last author.
If no date or author is given, it is important to use (n.d.) and (n.a.) respectively.
If an author is not available, the resource should be in alphabetical order according to the title.
APA essay format is probably the most commonly used style, and most students are somewhat familiar with it when they enter college. As research become more complex, however, there may be the additional requirement of an abstract. The APA college essay format for an abstract is also quite basic and direct. The title “Abstract” is centered toward the top of the page. Remember that the running header will be at the top left and the page number “2” will be on the right. Abstracts are double-spaced. At the bottom of the abstract two or three keywords should be provided, so that if the work is entered into a database, it can easily be located.
APA essay writing has additional specifications for unique situations, especially odd reference citations. If you are unsure about any part of the requirements, you should consult the APA Style Guide published for public use on the Internet.
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