Tips for Writing a Paper in APA Format: Become a Pro

You have given your best in classwork and now it’s time for your professor to assess you. They give you an essay prompt. It doesn’t feel so tough. You understood the concepts well. But then, here comes the challenge; they insist you use the APA formatting style as you complete your essay.  Do you have what it takes to write a flawless and compelling APA paper?

Before I begin on the tips to write a paper in APA style format, let me give you a headstart: instructors aren’t only interested in assessing your level of subject mastery, they also assess how well you can share the knowledge with other people. One of the ways you can achieve that is by strictly abiding by the requirements of APA formatting style. APA style is popular and more suitable for learners pursuing social sciences, business, and nursing.

So, what is APA? In the simplest terms, APA refers to the standard formatting style that writers use to document external evidence used in their research. Remember that every time you use external evidence, you should give credit to the author to avoid plagiarism. You acknowledge the writer by citing and referencing. These are the two important aspects that distinguish APA from any other formatting style.

Essential Features to Consider When Writing a Paper in APA Format

When writing a paper in APA format, you should pay attention to some of the structural aspects that define an academic work as written in APA format. The main paper elements that must be present in your papers are discussed below.

The title page

When you write an APA style paper, remember you must include a title page, which includes specific information. For APA 7, you must ensure that your research paper title page has the following

  • The title of your paper
  • Your institution
  • Course number and the course name
  • Your professor’s name
  • The date

Remember that in APA 7, the title page for a professional paper differs from student papers. For instance, a professional paper should include an author’s note and should not include the course number and the course name, the professor’s name, and the date. Again, for a student’s paper, you only need to include the page number at flush right while for professional research papers, the header should contain the paper title in capital letters flush left and the page number flush right.

Abstract

An abstract is another essential element to consider when writing an APA research paper. It should begin on a new page and the first sentence should be the paper title given on the title page. Make sure you center the title, write it in bold, and use the title case. Remember APA doesn’t allow you to underline titles so don’t be tempted. As academic experts from CustomWritings paper writing service advise, this section shouldn’t exceed 250 words. Include the key points about your research, such as the research questions, methods, and implications among others. You may include keywords, written in italics.

Introduction

An introduction should prepare the reader to understand what your research is all about. You should provide adequate background information about the research topic. You should also explain to the readers the research problem as well as the purpose and significance of your research. Remember a good research paper must have a strong thesis statement or a research hypothesis. Therefore, your introduction wouldn’t be complete without any.

Research methods

When writing a research paper in APA format, you are required to explain to your readers the research methodology you used and the reason you felt it was the most appropriate. You should also discuss other aspects such as participants and procedures. It is also essential to discuss how you collected and analyzed your data.

Results

Your paper should also have a results section where you furnish your readers with your research findings. Make sure you present them in an extremely organized way for ease of understanding. Use visual statistical tools such as pie charts.

Discussion

This is the section where you interpret the results of your research and help the readers understand the implications. Ensure you seamlessly connect your discussion with the research hypothesis and questions. Don’t forget to highlight the limitations as well as identify gaps for future research.

Reference page

Your reference list should include all the external sources utilized in completing the research paper.

Appendix

You should include additional materials that helped you complete the research here. This could include data collection tools such as questionnaires.

Effective Tips You Could Use to Write a Paper in APA Format

Whether you are writing a reflection paper, or a master’s thesis in the APA style, you should use these tips to develop extremely high-quality papers.  

  • Understand APA guidelines: I would recommend that you read and understand APA style guidelines before you start writing a paper in APA format. Having a strong understanding of the rules and guidelines will help you to avoid errors in APA format.
  • Conceptualize the structural requirement: One of the most important considerations when writing an APA style essay is the paper structure. Common essays contain three sections; intro, body, and conclusion. However, you may need to add headings and subheadings in your essay for enhanced readability and clarity. Make sure you understand the rules of writing headings and subheadings before using them.
  • Master in-text citation: The APA style adopts an author-date in-text citation approach. However, you should learn how to cite different sources including articles with no authors, books with more than three authors, organizations, etc. Remember that poor citation will result in plagiarism.
  • Don’t forget the reference page: The last page of your essay should contain the references. Imagine having written an exceptionally high-quality essay, only to lose marks because of poor referencing! Make sure you know how to write references for different sources. Different types of sources are referenced differently. For instance, a journal article is referenced differently from a book. You can use online tools to help you learn and practice APA referencing.
  • Proofread and edit your essay: Before you deliver any academic paper, you should always ensure it is flawless. Proofread to correct grammatical, spelling, and formatting errors. Besides, counter-check that every source you used in your essay is correctly referenced.

Final Thought

Writing a compelling APA academic paper may be challenging for many students. However, if you learn the steps, rules, and requirements of writing a research paper in APA, it will become easy and enjoyable. Read APA manuals and guidelines and practice persistently to become a pro in APA. You can always use the available online tools to sharpen your skills. Don’t forget, your in-text citations and the reference list should be flawless to avoid plagiarism and unnecessary loss of marks!