APA Term Paper Format Guidelines
The APA term paper format is based on the American Psychological Association (APA) style of writing which is generally used for social sciences. Formatting guidelines are clearly given in the style guide, which should form the base for beginning a project. If students have not compiled an APA essay before, it is imperative that they begin by understanding basic guidelines. While the APA formatting rules keep getting updated, some basic elements remain the same. Students must know how to implement them in all their projects.
Begin Formatting With The Title Page
Students can apply the APA term paper format to the title page. It forms the basic format which can then be used in the main term paper document.
- The title page should include the title located around one third down the page, center aligned. If it occupies more than one line, single space should be used.
- A unique feature of the APA system is the running head. It is part of the title but appears on the top right hand corner of the page.
- Next to it appears the page number.
- Closer to the bottom of the page, center aligned, appear the name of the author, course details, guide or teacher’s name, and submission date.
It is important that students verify the format with specific guidelines issued by teachers. The same style of writing in terms of spacing, page formats, and other details would follow in the main document and reference list.
Basic APA Style Essay Guidelines
- The term paper should consist of an introduction, abstract, body, and references.
- Use a 10 – 12 size format and a one-inch margin on each side of the page.
- Make a habit of using active voice. Ensure that the sentence structure makes sense to the reader. Ideally, short sentences should serve the purpose.
- Comments should be made in the third person.
Essential In-Text Formatting Guidelines
A research paper outline APA format can be prepared first, which could then be extended into the final term paper draft. Some essential in-text formatting guidelines have been listed below.
- Proper nouns like author names are always capitalized (D. Brown)
- The title of a source included in the text would be capitalized if it exceeds four letters (Pride and Prejudice). The rule does not apply to verbs, pronouns, adjectives, nouns, and adverbs (Moving Old Furniture).
- In a hyphenated title, both words have to be capitalized (Faith-Building Scriptures).
- Use underlined or italics text for long titles as in documentaries and quotation marks for short titles as in songs or articles.
- Short quotations can be included in the text within quotation marks starting with the author’s last name followed by year of publication.
- Long quotation should appear on a new line five spaces away from the set margin.
- If an idea from another work is paraphrased, reference has to be made to the author and year of publication within the text. Though not compulsory, providing a page number helps in locating the source page faster.
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