Nova A.
Nova A.

How to Write in APA Format-for Higher Level Students

16 min read

Published on: Jan 3, 2023

Last updated on: Jan 3, 2023

APA Format

On This Page On This Page

When writing a research paper, it is important to follow the correct formatting guidelines. One of the most common formats used in academic writing is the APA format.

This guide provides writers with everything they need to know about how best to present their research in an organized and interesting way. It includes information on how to cite works of others without plagiarism and tips for formatting easily readable text without too many errors.

In addition, the guide will explain how to create an APA title page, cite your sources, and list references. It is important to be sure that you are following all of the correct APA guidelines.

Failure to do so can result in lower grades or even rejection of your paper. Sooner rather than later, make sure you learn how to format your paper using APA style!

APA Format Full-Form

The American Psychological Association (APA) style is a widely used citation format in the field of psychology. This citation style is also used to format papers of other subjects.

The original guidelines were established by an article published in 1929, which led to its development as we know it today- as APA. But it got expanded with new rules added on multiple times over time until 1955 when they became completely distinct from each other except for minor modifications such as curly brackets or capital letters at certain spots within sentences.

The following are the four main parts of an APA style paper:

  • Title page
  • Abstract
  • Main Body
  • References

APA Paper Formatting Basics

The following are the basics to edit your paper according to APA formatting style:

  • All text ought to be double-spaced
  • Utilize one-inch edges on all sides
  • All sections in the body are indented
  • Ensure that the title is fixated on the page with your name and school/foundation under
  • Utilize a 12-point textual style all through
  • All pages ought to be numbered in the upper right-hand corner
  • The APA publication manual suggests utilizing one space after most punctuation marks or quotation marks
  • An abbreviated variant of the title ("running head") ought to be set in the upper left-hand corner

General Paper Length

In science, it’s important to keep your paper concise and clear. You want the reader to trust in what they are reading so make sure that any information you include is relevant or necessary for their understanding.

Maintaining an APA style will help readers to quickly learn different types of information and content because of their concise sizes.

When one adds only relevant details to the paper then the paper will be shorter in length & easier for the reader to pick up ideas.

Margin sizes in APA Format

Keep your margins consistent across the left, right and top of a page. All four sides should be 1 inch from an edge or margin on paper.

You can also use large margins but you cannot use margins smaller than one inch. In addition, the margins should be equal in size on the four sides of the paper.

Making Title Pages in APA Format

A title page is an important part of any paper or essay. It’s the first thing people see when they open up your work, so it should be clear; stating who wrote it and what for them to understand why you were assigned this particular project in class.

The APA format title page includes these six important components:

  • The title of the paper
  • Name of the author
  • Name of the institution
  • Title and course number
  • Name of the instructor
  • Due date of paper submission

Only professional research papers require running heads. There is no need for the running head in student papers.

Here is how you can write a title page for your research paper:

  • The paper should have a title that captures the main idea but does not contain any abbreviations or words whose sole purpose is to serve as naming conventions. For example: instead of using "A Look at Reptiles From the Past," use just 'Reptiles from Past'.
  • The title should be centered and placed about 3-4 lines from the top.
  • The title should be capitalized, bolded and placed in the same font size as your other page text. Do not underline or italicize it either - just keep things simple by keeping all of this normal. Keep the rest of the text simple.
  • Keep your text double-spaced to keep things neat and organized. Check out the APA format examples paper given below that shows proper spacing for the title page.
  • Avoid using titles such as Dr. or Ms in the author’s name but rather follow their preferred names example: Sagar Parekh, PhD; Minako Asato and Nathan Ian Brown etc.
  • The title page also includes the author’s institutional affiliation as indicated in order to provide clarity regarding their precise location where they conducted research.

Sample of an APA format title page for a student paper:


Sample of title page for a professional paper:


Making Running Heads in APA Format

The APA format 7th edition says that running heads are not included in the papers of students. Students can add running heads in the paper if their instructor recommends doing so.

The APA format 6th edition requires that you include a running head in your paper, so be sure to confirm with an instructor which version is being used.

Running head is a page header added at the top of all pages. To make the process easier; set the word processor to add running heads on each page. You can find the headers in the ‘features’ section.

If you are writing a paper for publication, then it is likely that running heads will be required. Follow these instructions to learn how they're made!

There are two things that are included in a running head:

  • Paper title
  • Page number

Page numbers should be placed justified to the right-hand side of an APA format paper.

Write the ‘title of your paper’ in all capital letters and justify it to the left side of the page. If your tile is longer than 50 characters, then shorten it to make it part of the running head.


Making Outlines in APA Format

The outlining process helps writers stay organized and determine the scope of research that needs to be included. It also establishes headings such as subheadings within each chapter or section, which are then summarized in an outline form for easier reading later & help for easy editing of the paper.

The “APA format for outline” is not an official or recommended one. The writer must determine how they want their work organized and what characters will be included. They can use roman numerals, simple digits and both small or capital letters in the APA format outline.

We recommend you to use one; otherwise, it will make your outline look rough. Of course, you don’t want your paper outline to look unprofessional. Therefore, follow the writing style.

Your APA format outline will look like this:


Making Abstract in APA Format

An abstract is a summary of the article that allows readers to decide whether they want more information about the paper, before reading.

You might come across abstracts while researching a topic. Many databases display these in the search results and often show them before showing you the full text of an article or scientific study.

When writing an abstract, it is important to create high-quality ones that accurately communicate both purpose and goal. So the readers know if they should continue reading!

Abstracts are not written for simple class assignments. They are written only for long research papers, thesis and dissertations.

Furthermore, if you plan to publish your paper, check the journal’s website to see their requirements for abstract requirements.

You can make an abstract for your paper in the following way:

  • Abstracts are placed after the title or cover page.
  • Only the professional papers contain running heads on the abstract page.
  • Write the heading ‘Abstract’ in the center of the page.
  • Then from the next line and start writing a summary of the main points of your paper. As the abstract introduces the readers to the central idea of the research paper, so write things that are most important. Include ideas, main themes, used methodology and search tools. Also, write the conclusion in one line.
  • The summary should be double spaced and should not exceed more than 250 words.
  • Abstract also contains a few keywords that help other researchers to find your paper in the related papers, when searching a database.
  • Write the summary in active voice and avoid using passive voice.
  • Do not evaluate your project, rather simply report what you have done in your research.
  • If your thesis/paper is the extension of someone else's work, also mention that piece of work.

Example abstract APA format:


Abstract example:

A visual plan is a basic part of any page or UI, and its effect on a client's experience has been concentrated widely. Research has shown a positive connection between a client's apparent convenience and a client's appraisal of a visual plan. Furthermore, saw web quality, which envelops visual plan, has a positive relationship with both introductory and proceeded with purchaser buy goal. Notwithstanding, a visual plan is in many cases evaluated utilizing a self-report scale, which is helpless against a couple of traps. Since self-report polls are many times dependent on thoughtfulness and genuineness, it is hard to certainly depend on self-report surveys to pursue significant choices. This study means to guarantee the legitimacy of a visual plan evaluation instrument (Visual Esthetics of Websites Inventory: Short form) by looking at its relationship with biometric (factors), like galvanic skin reaction, pupillometry, and obsession data. Our review took a gander at members' appraisal of a page's visual plan and contrasted it with their biometric reactions while surveying the site page. Generally, we observed that both normal obsession term and student enlargement varied when members saw site pages with lower visual plan appraisals contrasted with site pages with a higher visual plan rating.

Keywords: usability, VisAWI, visual design, self-report, websites, pupillometry, eye tracking

Writing Body of an APA Format Paper

The body of the paper begins just after the abstract in a professional paper and in a student paper, it begins just after the title page.

APA paper body follows the next given format:

  • Page numbers should be added to all pages, including the title page, at the upper right corner.
  • Write the title in the center and bold it. There is no need to bold or italicize the titles.
  • Begin writing the body section by introduction. Intend all the body paragraphs.

Check out this sample paper showing body in APA format:


Here is a sample body section for a professional APA format paper:


Making Headings & Subheadings in APA Format

Headings are important parts in writing papers. They help to organize the paper and help readers to locate different sections of the paper.

Write headings for your paper by following these 5 levels:

  • Level 1
    • The heading is the title of your paper
    • Center the title and move it to the center of the page
    • Bold the title
    • Use the title case for your title
  • Level 2
    • Place the subheading against the left margin
    • Use bold font
    • Write the subheading in the title case
  • Level 3
    • Place heading against the left margin
    • Use bold font
    • Use title case
    • End it with a period
  • Level 4
    • Indent it from the left margin
    • Make it bold
    • USe title case for it
    • End it with a full stop
  • Level 5
    • Indent
    • Bold
    • Italicize
    • Use title case
    • End with a full stop

Check out this visual example template for the APA headings:


Use of Graphics in APA Format

Visuals like tables and graphs are added to the paper to help the reader easily absorb the information.

There are a few guidelines to add graphics to the paper in APA format:

  • All of the graphics are numbered, All of them are assigned proper numerical, like ‘Figure 1, Figure 2, Table 1, Figure 3’.
  • Graphic representation is only necessary if it supplements the text. If there's already material in your writing that you want to make more clear with an image, then use one.
  • Too much text can be overwhelming and difficult for the reader. Keep your graphics concise, but still, include enough information that they will make sense on their own.
  • Left align all the figures and tables.


Tables are the best way of showing off your findings. If you have tons or numbers, consider creating one instead if typing out long wordy paragraphs. You can easily make a table in Google Docs or MS Word.

A general format of a table includes table number, title, table, and a note. Check out this table written in APA format:



Figure drawings are a lot more than just pretty pictures. They're also an easy way to present information in the form of visuals that will be memorable and interesting for your audience.

Figures are interesting because they contain color, icons, circles, and boxes. You can use multiple figures like pie charts, drawings, photographs, hierarchy charts and maps.

A general figure format to add in APA is:

  • Figure number
  • Title
  • Figure
  • Note

Here is a for at to add a figure in APA style of writing:


Writing Style Tips

Unlike English, science papers are not creative or opinionated. They demand clarity and directness, which is what makes them different from other types of writing assignments.

Verb Usage in APA

Use past tense to: elaborate on the procedure, and discussion of the results, conclusion and future recommendations.

Proper Tone

Your writing should not be boring or dull to read. The Publication Manual suggests thinking about who is the audience/reader of your work and writing in a way that educates them. So they can understand what you are trying to say!

How to Reduce Bias & Labels

APA strongly objects to any bias towards gender, racial groups or disabilities in the publishing process. If you’re unsure whether your writing is free of these labels and descriptions then have a few individuals read through it for approval before releasing anything into public view!

Spelling in APA Format

Use standard spellings used in the American English language or written in the Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary. If you are confused about the spelling of any words, you can also consult the American Psychological Association’s Dictionary of Psychology.

Abbreviation do’s and don’ts in APA Format

If the word is written more than three times in the text, then you can use the abbreviation for it. However, when writing the word for the first time, write it fully, following the abbreviation in the brackets.

You don’t need to give full forms of the words, for example, words like AIDS.

Punctuation in APA Format

  • One space after most punctuation marks: USe one space after completing each sentence or using a period.
  • Commas: Commas will be placed when writing multiple things together.
  • Apostrophes: Use apostrophes when showing possession.
  • Dashes: Dashes will be used between when joining two words like ‘custom-built’. They will be used in between numbers also.

Number rules in APA Format

Numbers are used in papers to display data, tables and experiment information. The golden rule when it comes time for you to write out these numbers is that anything less than ten should be written as text while any number over ten will need numerals.

For example:

  • 37 kilograms
  • Five individuals
  • 65 years old
  • Ninth grade

APA Format References

The bibliography displays all of the information about your sources – their titles, authors' names and years published. It’s usually found on one page at the end of any research paper.

APA format citation is actually an APA in-text citation which is found everywhere, whenever you quote or paraphrase someone else's work. Follow the given points when adding references:

  • Structure or organize each reference.
  • Add the source in the references section like this:

Author’s Last name, First initial. Middle initial. (Year published). Title of source. URL.

APA Format In-text Citation

If you want to give credit where it's due, place the author’s name and year of publication nearby. This way your readers can see that this information came from somewhere reliable.

You can use either parenthetical citations or narrative citations to cite the journal, article, books, etc.

Parenthetical Citations

Harlem had many artists and musicians in the late 1920s (Belafonte, 2008).

Narrative Citations

According to Belafonte (2008), Harlem was full of artists and musicians in the late 1920s.

References Page in APA Format

  • Open a new page.
  • Write ‘References’ in the center. Make it bold.
  • Add all the cited courses in alphabetical order.
  • Use font Times New Roman, Calibri, Lucida or Arial.
  • Your reference page can also exceed one page.
  • Make sure the references added on this page have been properly cited in the text.

Check out this sample to write a reference list for your paper:


Final APA Format Checklist

  • You have properly cited texts and added it to the APA references.
  • Adjust the font to 12 pt. Otherwise adjust it according to the following sizes:
    • 11-pt. Calibri, Arial, Georgia
    • 12-pt. Times New Roman
    • 10-pt. Lucida, Sans Unicode, Computer Modern
  • Write an abstract for your paper.
  • Add a running head to all pages of your paper.
  • Check if you have properly formatted all the heading and chapter titles.
  • Align all the figures & tables.
  • Check abbreviations.
  • Double place the whole document.
  • Format all the numbers.

After this, submit your paper to your professor. So now you know: how to do APA formatting of your research paper? In case you need help with your document, you can consult a legal essay writing service like

They have professional writers who are experienced & highly qualified. They will write the best papers for you, following any format style.

So don't waste your time. Contact us & place an order to hire our essay writer for your search paper today!

Frequently Asked Questions

What is typical APA format?

A typical APA paper includes five major sections:


  • The title page
  • Abstract
  • Main body
  • Paper format
  • References and citations.


Nova A.


Nova A. (Literature, Marketing)

As a Digital Content Strategist, Nova Allison has eight years of experience in writing both technical and scientific content. With a focus on developing online content plans that engage audiences, Nova strives to write pieces that are not only informative but captivating as well.

As a Digital Content Strategist, Nova Allison has eight years of experience in writing both technical and scientific content. With a focus on developing online content plans that engage audiences, Nova strives to write pieces that are not only informative but captivating as well.

Keep reading