research paper tips

Professional Tips on How to Write an APA Style Research Paper

The APA style is used to cite sources within the social sciences. When being asked to write in an APA style, it can initially seem like a daunting task to undertake if work in the past has been presented in different styles. The below tips will offer some guidelines to ensure your paper is formatted correctly.

The Basics

There are a few simple pointers to remember when writing a research paper in the APA style.

  • Writers should ensure that their paper is double-spaced.
  • The pages should have a running head at the top-left, which is no more than 50 characters. The running head is a shorted form of the title.
  • Writers should ensure that the title is also in the APA style. This normally means the paper should include the title, the writer’s name, and the affiliated school. The teacher may make other recommendations as well.

Choose a Good Topic

This may seem straightforward, but it is always worth remembering that a good topic will give the writer plenty of information to work with.

  • The topic should be specific enough for research, but not to the point where it is difficult to cite the information effectively. The writer is looking for a subject that has a nice balance in relation to the information that is available, while providing a strong structure for the research paper.
  • Writers should ensure that research begins as soon as possible. The writer should start with the basics and then research further once they are confident with the subject.
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Ensure You Are Keeping Track Of Your Sources 

This is essential when writing an APA style research paper, as all sources must be cited in the writer’s reference section.

  • The writer should ensure that the sources listed within the references section should be cited within the body of the paper.
  • They should also ensure that writing is cohesive and supported by the sources cited.

Ensure You Have a Good Introduction

The introduction can be the most difficult part of the paper to get right. However, do not let this dishearten you.

  • When researching, the writer should think about information that gained their attention, they should apply this to the paper.
  • Writers can also foreshadow their study within the first paragraph.
  • The hypothesis should be introduced via a logical flow of ideas.
  • Brainstorming can be an effective way of ensuring that the necessary ideas are included within the introduction.

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