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How to Format in APA Style

by Kathryn Hatter, Demand Media

    The American Psychological Association (APA) provides a standard and guidelines for writing style and format for writing and publishing written works. When you must write in APA style, you will need to format your writing, including headings, punctuation, citations, references and other components of a manuscript, according to APA standards. The overall impact of APA style lends a simple and consistent format, making it possible to focus on the content.

    Items you will need

    • Word processor
    Step 1

    Create a manuscript with four sections, including a title page, abstract, body and reference section. The title page provides the title, author name and institutional affiliation of the author. The abstract provides a simple summary of the research for the manuscript, including methods, participants, analysis and conclusions. The body is the main portion of the manuscript, and the references include all the information sources used by the author to write the manuscript.

    Step 2

    Make the title page of the document by placing the words "Running head:" at the top of the paper and then placing the title of the document in all capital letters as the header of the page at the left margin. Place the manuscript title in the center of the page using upper- and lowercase letters. Place the author's name beneath the title and the institution beneath the author's name.

    Step 3

    Begin each page of the document with a header that contains the title in all capital letters. Double-space the text and use 1-inch margins on all four sides. Select Times New Roman or another font with similar appearance and set the types size at 10 to 12 points.

    Step 4

    Formulate the abstract of the document immediately after the title page, with the word "Abstract" centered beneath the header. Write 150 to 250 words to summarize your research in one paragraph, without indenting.

    Step 5

    Place the title of the paper in upper- and lowercase, centered at the top of the paper beneath the header to begin the body of the manuscript. Indent paragraphs, place two spaces after periods and double-space the text. Place page numbers in the upper right corner of the pages.

    Step 6

    Include in-text citations to cite information you use in the manuscript. Place the author's name and the year of publication within the text.

    Step 7

    Create a separate page to list references used in the document. Center the word "References" at the top of the paper beneath the header. Alphabetize each reference by author name. List the publication date after the author name in parentheses, then the title of the article, the title of the publication, the volume number (if applicable) and the page numbers. Double-space each line and do not italicize or underline the title of the article.

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    About the Author

    Kathryn Hatter is a veteran home-school educator and regular contributor to "Natural News." She is an accomplished gardener, seamstress, quilter, crocheter, painter, cook, decorator and digital graphics creator and she enjoys technical and computer gadgets. Hatter's Internet publications specialize in natural health and she plans to continue her formal education in the health field, focusing on nursing.

    Photo Credits

    • computer keyboard image by Tom Curtis from Fotolia.com

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