How to Format Academic Paper in APA Essay Style?

How to Format Academic Paper in APA Essay Style?

Teachers assign essays and research papers to check student’s knowledge of the subject and academic standards such as writing styles. There are several paper formats like MLA, APA, Turabian, Harvard, Chicago, and IEEE. American Psychological Association has established the second one for those scholars who deal with common social sciences like psychology, sociology, philosophy, and other humanities. It is more complicated to format each page of the academic essay in APA than in MLA.

APA Format General Characteristics

Any writing format is used to insert in-text citations and provide a list of bibliography at the end of every assignment. In APA format, a page with bibliography is called References. It can refer to the list of words cited throughout the paper, but most often it refers to the entire phrases of other authors. It is done in order to avoid plagiarism. All sources are usually reserved, so students can’t just steal the thoughts of other authors. Besides, such actions may result in the failing grade for the entire project.

American Psychological Association has offered its own paper format to make a difference between students who study humanities and those who study precise sciences, technological disciplines, and business. However, APA format has become popular in many fields, including publishing. We will recall some examples of APA style formatting in this article, but you can view full samples at the academic service site.

Generally Accepted Basics of APA Formatting

Here are the basic principles of the writing format proposed by the American Psychological Association. Mind that every page has to be formatted in the same way. Only References and cover/title page have some peculiarities.

A research paper or essay should be typed, double-spaced on the standard-sized page. It means 8.5” x 11”). A clear font like Times New Roman or Arial 12 pt. must be used when formatting the page. The only black color of the text is allowed. Bold or italic are used only for headings and titles in the text. You should make 1-inch margins on the bottom, top, and sides.

A running head with the full title of the essay must appear on the title page. Remove the words “running head” from the rest of the pages by leaving the title written in capital letters only. Insert page numbers flush rights to complete the mission. If the full name of your paper is too long, make it shorter for the header (no more than 50 characters).

Using of punctuation marks has its peculiarities. You have to apply one space after the majority of punctuation marks unless punctuation marks are located at the end of the sentence. In this case, apply two spaces afterward. This style has five levels of heading. Each level has its purpose and size. Each paragraph of the writing piece should start with an indented first word.

Let's discuss main parts more precisely. 

Main Body

  1. A section called the Method. Center word Method. It shows how you’ve completed your research. Describe how you collected the data for your study. Include the list of methods.
  2. A section called the Results. Center the subtitle and make it bold. You have to summarize the data, use graphs and charts to prove your material.
  3. A section called the Discussion. Make subtitle bold and center it. Here you should draw your conclusions and show how your data prove these conclusions. You should explain if your hypothesis was proved by your study and what steps you are going to apply to improve your research in the future.

The body pages must include citations and the author’s name.  

APA Format Reference List

On this page, you should write your references. Center and bold title “References.” It shouldn’t include quotation marks. Articles that you’ve used in your paper should be mentioned in this section.      

Now we want to provide more details about each element of the APA style paper and examples of these elements.

You’ll be given a specific number of resources to be used. If you don’t have some sources on hand, be ready to conduct in-depth research, qualitative or quantitative – it depends on the type of paper and your goals.

Starting from the first point, here is an example of how an APA style title page should look like:

Compare and Contrast Essay on Eurovision

Name Last Name

College Name

Remember about placing Running head on the top. You can add date below if needed.

Depending on your information and publication initiatives, develop an eye-catching title. If we speak about a research paper, it should be concise and clear, not necessarily an interesting one. The title of your paper has to reflect the main topic idea without any abbreviations or words that serve no purpose. Running head of a title must be a shortened version of the main title.

An abstract should not contain any in-text citations. It is a separate part with a summary of the essay. Share information like what was your research about, why it can be important, and briefly interpret the findings. Check whether this page has research topics, research questions, population sample, methods, and outcomes. According to APA style, an abstract should not contain more than 250 words (1/3 of the page is the best size). You may want to list keywords, especially when we speak about online publication. It might be useful for SEO.

You may find more on the other elements of APA paper if you read this article.

Tips on How to Cite Different Books in APA Format Paper

It is one of the most important parts of your work. You should learn how to cite your sources correctly and use an appropriate format for each type of books you need to mention. A general rule of book citations is that it should include author name, book title, a year of publication, country, and city of publication, and publisher name or names.

  • Print book chapter. You can include the title of a particular chapter or its number.
  • E-book chapter. Include title of chapter and title of a book.
  • E-book. It must be available on computer or e-readers like Kindle, iPad or Nook.
  • Bible. You must include in-text citation if you use text from Bible or other classical literature. When paraphrasing some excerpts you should include the concrete verse or line you were paraphrasing.
  • Journals. It should include title and volume number. Use italics to highlight both fields of this element.

How to Develop a Bibliography in APA Style? General Guidelines

The last thing to discuss is how to organize information on the References page of your paper. Consult professional writers, or try to develop APA style by yourself.

  1. Begin with the author whose in-text citation or another piece of information was used. Type in his Last Name and initials.
  2. Name the publication date. Apply parentheses to the exact year.
  3. Add the title of the source you used to cite. It should be in italic.
  4. Enter the publisher’s location and name.
  5. If available, write down the volume, issue, and the numbers of cited pages for periodicals or full URL for online publications.

Here are some examples of the References page in APA style:

Reference List

Frolov V. (2017). Russia Reveals Eurovision 2017 Entry. The Moscow Times. Retrieved

on March 13 from


Singleton, B., Fricker, K., Moreo, E.(2007)Performing the queer network: Fans and families

at the Eurovision Song Contest. SQS: Journal of Studies in Finland.

Available at: 5

February 2016).


In our guide, we’ve tried to collect helpful tips that may help to write a good paper in APA format for any discipline. You should learn how to place quotations, making your work relevant, which sources you may use in your paper, like articles, journals, official sites and more. You also learned about main sections that are necessary for a good paper. People frequently find this type of essay writing pieces challenging because it requires following strict rules. But our useful review recommends to be patient and to learn all the peculiarities of English content wrote in APA style.

If you experience difficulties, you may try professional assistant. It can be found on the online essay writing services. You may even buy a custom essay in APA style.