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Some Peculiarities of APA Paper Format

One of the most common formats used in academic writing is APA (American Psychological Association) style. The format may require you to have certain measurements set on your page. You may have specific headers and content is expected to be presented in detailed manner. Some schools want their students to follow a certain standard when using this format. The following points provide insight on areas to pay close attention to.

  1. Elements of academic paper writing such as title page, reference pages, tables and sources used for research each have variations on how content is formatted with APA.
  2. Most research papers require APA formatting which makes them different from a term paper or other type of academic paper.
  3. Margins are often measured at one inch on all sides of the paper (top, bottom, left and right). But again, this may vary depending on guidelines students are given.
  4. Headings and subheadings may have specific structure. For instance, if a heading is centered it may be in all caps or uppercase. You can have another level or second heading appearing underneath the first and have the first letter of each word capitalized. The third level may be the same as the second, but with italics. This will vary depending on how many headings and subheadings your paper requires.
  5. When using a figure such as a chart, drawing, map or graph, your figure has a simple title with a number (example: figure 1). You will use Arabic numeral as you label each figure if you have more than one. This content is commonly flush with one side of the page and in some cases in italics.
  6. The most common font used is Times Roman at size 12. Your instructor may mention another type of font related to this one, but it is a standard font used by most students.
  7. Most papers are double-spaced when created on white paper. This is for improved readability. Some like to use the white space to write notes on how content can be improved.
  8. The cover page includes pertinent information such as your name, instructor name, title, date and course name. You will have a running header set as you present this information centered on the page and double spaced.
  9. References will be listed toward the end of your paper. Titles of sources may be mentioned if no author is listed. Author names are mentioned using abbreviation with sources used listed in alphabetical order.

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