How to Write an Introduction in APA Format

You may know have written in AP style but do you know APA format? If APA format is specified, knowing that the acronym APA refers to the American Psychological Association (APA) is important information in determining the assigned writing style. APA format is a specific writing style that is used to cite references within the social sciences fields. High school and college students, as well as career professionals, often use APA format when writing research papers or literature reviews. APA style specifically refers only to the formatting of content and not the content itself. Guidelines on writing an introduction are helpful in getting started on the introduction for a paper written in APA style.

Explain

Start your introduction with an explanation of the problem you plan to explore within the paper and also state the paper's purpose. The APA format requires that you clearly and concisely let your readers know what they can expect from your report or paper. In the introduction, explain the significance of the study within the paper. Include any relevant background information to support your claims and discuss the rationale behind your research. For example, if your paper is about the effects media violence may have on children, start your introduction by explaining how studies have shown that violence on TV can lead to aggression or addictive behavior in children.

Compose

Next, create a thesis statement that identifies your major point, claim or argument. Clearly articulate your side or stance on the argument so that there's no question in the reader's mind where you stand on the topic. Using the previous example, you might develop a thesis, such as, "Children who spend several hours a day watching violent acts on TV, such as fighting or killing, become desensitized to aggressive behavior and think it's an acceptable way to resolve conflicts." Place this thesis statement near the end of your introduction so it directly leads into the body of your paper.

Format

Write your APA paper in the past tense, unless you're referring to common knowledge or established proven facts. Your paper's abstract should stand alone on the page directly after the title page. If you include an abstract with your paper, begin the rest of the paper on a new page after the abstract with the body of your paper following the introduction on that page. Remove any information from your introduction that doesn't help readers follow your argument or better understand your point of view. Use leading statements, such as, "The evidence suggests ..." or "The study indicates ..." rather than the words "proof" or "proves," according to Purdue University.