APA Style: Guide to Writing a Good Essay

American Psychological Association format (also known as APA) is a standard style, used in different academic papers in numerous subjects, related to social sciences. It lets you write research papers in such fields of study as Sociology, Business, Education, Political Science, Psychology and others. In APA format, you have to stick to several requirements including headings, font, referencing and margins. Here you will be presented a guide to APA format, which will familiarize you with style’s peculiarities.

Basic Rules of APA Essay Style

APA Format doesn’t only have certain requirements to referencing the sources. It also has several other issues that the American Psychological Association has published in the guidebook:

Front Page. While MLA doesn’t always require a front page, APA style must include it. The title page contains some important elements: student’s and teacher’s names, the title of the essay, course name, and the date. Also, the main peculiarities of APA title page are running header, a number of the page on the front page as well as two subtitles.


Number of pages

Abstract. The abstract is one paragraph, about half a page long and is usually placed on a separate page. It must summarize the whole paper as well as give the main ideas of the essay, including used methodology.

Page Format. Page format suggestions include a number of pages, spacing, margins and indication.

In-text references. This issue is the most significant among all the others and always worth students’ attention. Picking different quotations, summaries or suggestions in order to support your statement is allowed. However, if you pick the ideas expressed not by you, correct reference is required. APA format approves in-text references. When you choose the lines from a book, the author of the book, publication year, as well as page numbers, must be mentioned.

Quotation Usage. APA recommendation is to put your quotations into quotation marks. The word limit is 40, however, if you need more words, then you must use double space and make an indentation in 5 spaces. Long quotations should avoid marks with a full stop at the end.

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Headings. Even if there is no requirement to use headings, writing in APA style must always include ones. Headings are used in various heading styles, so that there is a difference between main headings and subheadings.

List of References. In case you already used in-text references, you are then obliged to use reference list to show the full material of used sources. The list of references must be arranged alphabetically by the author and must include the sources that have been used in the paper. You should also remember the difference between referencing a book, magazine, journal or web-site because they have their own peculiarities and requirements according to the type of a source.

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