Everything You Need to Know about the APA Essay Format

The APA style format sets rules for presenting information in any essay or any other type of academic document within the field of psychology. Generally, style guides are really helpful because they allow students to work on an assignment without having to memorize all of the details when writing their first drafts, after which they can simply make style corrections to fit APA requirements. Here is everything you need to know about the APA essay format:

The Simple Format:

No matter what type of assignment you have, all papers should be double-spaced and have one inch margins all around. There is no need to add an extra line space between paragraphs or section headings. Use a standard 12 point font that is easy to read both in print and in electronic form. Start each paragraph with a half-inch indentation (tab key or five spaces), and be sure to have just one space after the period marking the end of a sentence.

Using Section Headings:

Section headings are tremendously helpful and encouraged in longer academic documents. They tell the reader exactly how your work is organized and can make navigating through it much easier. Decide on how many levels of headings and sub-headings you will need. Always consider your audience when doing this, as you should keep your work organized logically as well as efficiently.

Quotations and Citations:

In order to support your arguments and claims you should use evidence and examples from government or academic sources. Quotations and citations are standard ways of providing this information. You need to let the reader know that you have borrowed or copied this information clearly or risk facing accusations of plagiarism. Generally, this means stating where the information came from and indicating who said the information originally. Page or section numbers help to show exactly where a reader can find the content within the original source.

Including References:

The reference list a place to provide publication information for all the sources used in your essay. This is extremely important as it ensures that you give credit to any information that is borrowed or copied, and works to give your work academic credibility. All references should be double-spaced, arranged alphabetically by the author’s last name and including all publishing information. There are different rules for how to list books, journals, dissertations, etc. so be sure to double check in the appropriate guide and be consistent.

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