How to write an APA style research paper

The first thing you need to worry about while dealing with a research paper is the style which has been asked for. Each subject has its own preferred style of documentation and sometimes it also depends on the preferences of the instructor. However, you will have to prepare your research paper in the style which is indicated in your research paper guidelines. APA style of documentation, developed by American Psychological association, is not only used for documentation of psychology researches but it is also highly preferred for the documentation of social sciences. It is important that all students know how to prepare APA style research papers, if they are pursuing any o these subjects for their higher studies.

There are certain key points to remember while framing a research paper in APA format.

• The main feature which distinguishes the APA style is the use of a ‘running head’. It will appear on the top right hand side of all pages, along with the page number. It would be the most informative portion of the title of your research paper.

• APA format requires in-text citations or parenthetical references. These are to be given in the order of “surname of the author, year of publication”. This should appear in brackets next to the cited information. If it is a direct quotation, remember to give the page number also in your parenthetical reference.

• Footnotes are not allowed in an APA style research paper, for citing the sources. It is strictly forbidden in APA style and hence you must make sure that you don’t accidentally use them. The exception would be when you wish to give some additional background information on any term or point mentioned in your research paper. For that purpose, footnotes are permitted even though not encouraged.

• The sources are to be cited in detail in a separate page with the heading of ‘references’. The sources are to be cited in the alphabetical order of the surnames of the authors.

• Use 1 inch margins on all sides and 12pt font for typing. Times New Roman or any of the similar fonts which are preferred for official documentation can be used.

APA style research papers are quite common in humanities and social sciences. Hence, it is mandatory for students of those subjects to know how to format their research papers using APA style. It is also necessary to have a style manual in hand for reference while you are dealing with a research paper in APA style. It is not easy to remember every single instruction in the manual. Remember to refer to your assignment guidelines also to see if any alterations have been asked for.

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