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APA Essay Format: All You Need to Know in a Nutshell

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APA Essay FormatAre you wondering what APA essay format is all about? Would you like to learn all the intricacies of this citation style in some ten minutes? It’s possible. Simply look through this quick guide on the requirements of the American Psychological Association (APA).

APA Essay Format: Layout

Haven’t you forgot the layout? Essay structure does mater.

  1. 5 paragraphs = Introduction + 3 (or more) body paragraphs + conclusion;
  2. Margins – 1 inch (2.54 cm) on all sides;
  3. Font – 12 Arial or Times New Roman;
  4. Spacing – double;
  5. Page numbers – upper right corner, in the header;
  6. Short title – upper left corner, in the header.

APA Essay Format: Title Page

When you’re formatting APA essays, here’s how your title page should look like:

Running head: OPTIMISM AND OBESITY       1

The Relationship Between an Optimistic Outlook and Body Mass Index in Overweight IndividualsJohn Doe

California College

APA Essay Format: In-Text Citations

The next step you should take to make APA essay format just perfect is to include properly formatted in-text citations in your paper. There are 3 main options:

  1. Direct quote. Use quotation marks, add the information about the source in brackets. “The ability to engage in critical thinking and active reflection about one’s practice is a key habit of mind of effective teachers.” (O’Donnell, Reeve & Smith, 2012, p.47)
  2. Paraphrased quote with a page number. O’Donnell, Reeve and Smith (2012) concluded that active self-reflection is the central skill of effective teachers. (p.47) Or: Active self-reflection is the central skill of effective teachers. (O’Donnell, Reeve & Smith, 2012, p.47)
    *Note that the word ‘and’ is used with the authors’ names instead of the ampersand (‘&’) in the body of your essay.
  3. Paraphrased quote without a page number. O’Donnell, Reeve, and Smith (2012) concluded that proper level of personal development is critical for effective teaching. Or: Proper level of personal development is critical for effective teaching. (O’Donnell, Reeve & Smith, 2012)

APA Essay Format: Reference List

Another extremely important part of your APA essay format is its reference list.

  • Start it on a new page.
  • Use alphabetical order.
  • Indent the first lines of all entries.
  • Be sure to include at least 1 in-text citation for every entry (and vice versa – include an entry for every in-text citation you use).

Different types of sources require different formats:

Type Example
Book O’Donell, A., Reeve, T., & Smith, R. (2012). Educational psychology: Reflection for action. New York, NY: Wiley and Son.
Article in a periodical Leung, D. & Kember, D. (2003). The relationship between approaches to learning and reflection upon practice. Educational Psychology, 23(1), 61-71.
Website Teaching resources (n.d.). Association for Psychological Science. Retrieved from http://psych.hanover.edu/aps/teaching.html
Movie Sher, S. & Hudlin, R. (Producers) & Tarantino, Q., (Director). (2012). Django unchained [Motion picture]. United States: Columbia Pictures.

That was all you need to know to make your APA essays just perfect. Good luck with your papers and see you!

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