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Apr 3rd 2014

You Don't Understand the APA-Style Research Paper Writing Principles? Follow These Rules!

The first page of your APA style research paper is the point where a lot of formatting takes place, and for obvious reasons it is the first place where any errors become glaring errors, so getting it right from the start is essential. 

The first page

A running head should be used and should go along the top of the first page. It should have a shortened title that should all be in capital letters. You should precede this with the words, “Running Head.”

Put your page number at the top right of every page. In the middle of the first page, you should start the first line with your full title. You can follow this with a subtitle, and then follow that with your full name. The school or academic institution should follow that. The middle of your page should look something like this:

Many colleges and academic institutions will prefer that you capitalize the first letter of most words. You will notice by the example that conjunction words such as “and” are not capitalized, but others often are such as “because” and “until.” you will also notice that article words are not capitalized, such as “the” or “a.” Unless they are at the start of the sentence. Article words are ones that introduce a noun but often limit it or clarify it. The word “and” is also an article word”.

At the bottom of the page, you will find any author’s notes that may include anything the author feels are relevant. Some professors will want you to list your class, others may want to you very briefly explain your work limits, such as specifying the time period in which you conducted your research, such as if you only read books published after 1980. Sometimes it may include your contact information, or simply acknowledge your professor. Near the bottom at the centre it should say “Authors Note” and then below you should place the note.

The second page

Your APA style research paper should show an abstract of your work. Along the top left of page two and all other pages there should be your title set out in the same way and same position at the top left as your first page. The only difference is that the words “Running head” are not present. An alternative way of adding in your running head may be in regular type (not capitals) and at the top right just before the page number. An abstract should be a part of your essay that you have lifted, and not be an introduction or paraphrase. Pick a part that almost explains your essay or at least gives a reasonable taste of it. Between half a page and a third of a page is all that is needed.

Subsequent pages of your APA style research paper

Centre any headings to make following the text a little easier. You may also use footnotes, but this are just to make understanding the work easier. Sometimes a writer will put things in parenthesis to help further explain something (in order to improve the clarity of the work), but some find parenthesis comments confusing or find that they break the flow of text. You may add a number next to the thing you want to clarify or prove and then add it in as a footnote on the page.

The reference section

Your college or academic institution is going to have its own specific rules on the reference section. Most will request that you put your references in alphabetical order and not the order they appear in your text. They should also contain the last name of the author, his or her initials, and then a date. There are a lot of rules concerning references, so you should research the right ones for your text with the resources given to you by your professor. 

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