If you have been asked to write the paper in APA format then you should definitely go through APA guidelines. APA guidelines are step by step rules for formatting a paper in APA format. White paper of the size 8 ½ x 11” should be used and make 1-inch margins on the top, bottom, and sides. The first word in every paragraph should be indented one-half inch and Times New Roman font size 12 should be used. There should be double space in the entire research paper.
A header is known as the “running head” should be included at the top of every page. To create the running head/page header, insert page numbers justified to the right-hand side of the paper (do not put p. or pg. in front of page numbers). Then type “TITLE OF YOUR PAPER” justified to the left using all capital letters. If your title is long, this running head title should be a shortened version of the title of your entire paper.
There are four major sections in the APA formatted paper. These are – Title Page, Abstract, Main Body and References. Now let’s talk about each section individually. First one is Title Page, there are four parts on this page: the title of the paper, running head, the author’s name, institutional affiliation, and an author’s note. The way to create a header/running head is already described above. The ‘Running Head’ words before the title in the capital should only be included on the title page. It should not be included on the other pages. The main idea of the paper should be shown by the title of the page but the title should not include any unusable words. The title should be at the center of the page and should not be underlined, bolded or italicized. It should not be more than 12 words in length. No title like Dr. or Ms. should be added with the name of the author.
Begin the Abstract page with the running title and on the first line of the page, center the word “Abstract”. The abstract should include the brief about the research topic, the things that will be discussed, the process was taken and the conclusion drew from that research paper. The summary should be less than 250 words.
Now comes the body of the paper, start it with the running title and write the title in the next line (the title should not be bold, underlined or italicize). Then the introduction of the paper should be written, it presents information about the topic researched. The next section of the body is the method, it shows the method of the study conducted. In this section, describe the method used to collect the data. Another section is results which should be shown with the help of graphs. The next section is Discussion, in which analysis and interpretation of the results are done. Finally, draw a conclusion and related the conclusion with the data presented by you.The last page is used for References (quotation marks, underline, or italicized title should not be used). Start with a running title, center and bold the title “References”. All the lines should be double-spaced. All the articles/sources stated in the document and used in research should be referenced. It ends the research paper and APA guidelines for it. All these guidelines must be followed while formatting a paper in APA format.