How to write a research paper in APA format

The odds are extremely short on any student being asked to write a research paper in APA format in their senior high school years or throughout their college time. The APA format is one of the most common types of format for all forms of essay writing and certainly for research papers.

There are two basic steps which every student should take as soon as possible. Of course you need to be absolutely certain that the APA format is the requirement and checking with your teacher or professor to confirm that situation is a sensible and common sense idea. Remember that the chances of you having to write using the APA format many times throughout your educational years are very high. Consequently the following two steps will not only help you the first time but every subsequent time. Follow these steps and save yourself time and effort.

  • Create a simple template within your computer or tablet for the writing of research papers in the APA format.
  • In a new file or on a single piece of paper, list the basic requirements of the APA format.

If you follow through on the two points above, you will soon find you become very familiar with the APA format. The first point is to create a template. Whatever word processing software you are using, it is particularly easy to control such things as spacing between lines, a page number and header on every page, the selection of the font and its size, and the use of margins on every page. Put these various characteristics into a template and save it as a file. It then means whenever you come to write a research paper in the APA format, you don't have to worry about fonts and spacing and page numbering and margins etc. It has all been taken care of just the once and can be used over and over again. The margin on all sides of the page will be 1 inch. The font chosen will be a common font such as Times New Roman and its size will be 12 point. Lock away these characteristics and forget about them.

The second point requires a little more effort on your behalf. It refers to a number of other things which are requirements in the APA format and by having a summary of these other things in a separate file or on a single piece of paper, you are easily and quickly able to run the slide rule over your finished work.

For example, any good research paper will include quotations from important and relevant experts on the topic upon which you are writing. But the APA format requires that you acknowledge these quotations and do so in a particular way. There will be a separate page for the citing of references. Here you list these references and in which order. You can find requirements for the citing of references and all other aspects of the APA format by going online and searching for websites which clearly explain the requirements. There is no excuse for ignorance. Your college library and the Internet are both awash with websites or printed examples of research papers which use of the APA format. Look and learn.