research paper tips

What Are the Basic Requirements of APA Format for Research Paper

I have always had trouble writing papers in fixed formats. Even in high school, I had trouble formatting my papers according to the instructor’s requirements and because of that, my grades always suffered. Unlike my high school times, now every kid has free access to the internet – the source of unlimited knowledge. You may have come across several articles over the internet guiding you about APA formatting. Therefore, here is another one, equally helpful and easy for you to follow:

Research Paper 101

By now, you have all become well acquainted with the basics of writing a research paper. Anyhow, for those who still find it confusing here is a brief over view:

Components of a Research Paper:

A standard research paper has a fixed pattern all around the world. You start with an abstract, which should not be more than 150-250 words. Always remember to keep your abstract brief and intriguing. Do not disclose your findings here it will kill the mystery. Now you can proceed with the body of your research paper. It usually comprises of:

  • Introduction
  • Main Contextual Body
  • Analysis
  • Findings
  • Recommendations
  • Limitations

It is your job to make sure that each one of these components fits perfectly with the rest. Depending upon the type of your research, you can always skip on component or add more headings to make your paper more interesting and organized.

APA formatting

Okay, so now talking about the main issue here, how to format your paper according to APA standard? APA formatting is like any other formatting style. There are however a couple of things that you need to take care of:

  • Font Style – Times New Roman
  • Font Size - 12
  • Line Spacing – Double line spacing
  • Alignment – Left alignment
  • Quotations – Block
  • Margins – 1 inch margin on all sides of the document
  • Page Headers – Top left corner with the title of the paper.
  • Active voice – the document should be in traditional active voice
  • Page Number – 1 inch from the right corner

Final Review:

Now that you have formatted your paper according to APA standard, proof read your paper for a final review. Add bibliography, and supporting text/data in appendices at the end of the paper. Add a cover page with the title on it followed by a separate page with a comprehensive table of contents.

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