APA style guide with apa essay example

APA formatting is a must for students and businessmen who study and work across the globe.

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APA style got its name from the American PsychologicalAssociation that developed standard citation and formatting rulesfor academic writing. Following APA standards requires time,nerves and practice but the good news is that once you havelearned how to write an APA paper, your skills will serveperfectly well for you further scholarly and postgraduate career.

7 steps to write an APA essay:

  • Choose a topic
  • Do research
  • Write a rough draft
  • Review, revise, reference the material following the rules
  • Write a final draft
  • Edit and proofread
  • If possible, ask another person to review your paper

Read this guideline to discover principle components of a goodAPA essay. For efficient practice click on the apa essay examplesection and start writing according to the structure and formatrequirements.

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Keep in mind that APA papers differ from other academic writingstyles by strict in-text citation rules and sophisticated visualformat.

There are many specifications as to APA papers. However, just abeginner should learn the essentials first. So if you want tobecome a good APA writer, do not skip these elements and payattention to some details:

  • Title Page. It contains: title, your name, subject, teacher/tutor, date
  • Running Head. Each page should have a short title of youressay written at the top left
  • Also, write "Running head:..." in the header on the TitlePage
  • Introduction. It goes under number 2 page. Start introductionwith a broad description of your topic smoothly designating thespecific information. In the last para write a concise statementthat tells about the purpose of your research.
  • Citation and References

These tips will make your essay more solid and powerful:

  • Supply your research with background information to give acomprehensive overview of the past research on your topic
  • Reference your paper extensively
  • Explain how your study will contribute to the past research
  • While reasoning use clear transitions
  • Restate the initial hypotheses throughout the research
  • If you describe an experiment or the experiment technique,use terms and acronyms of the related subject area. Use passivevoice when telling about the experiment.
  • Describe the experiment in a chronological order using timetransitions like then, next, after, etc.
  • Number illustrations and figures in the order you havementioned them in the paper
  • First, restate the hypotheses and then interpret the results
  • Conclusion shows the outcomes and their value in brief
  • Conclusion must contain suggestions for further advancementon the issue

Revise the order of elements in APA paper once again:

  • Title Page
  • Summary
  • Body Paragraphs
  • References
  • Appendixes (if specified by your professor)
  • Footnotes (if specified)
  • Tables and Figure Captions (if specified)

If it is your first APA paper, you cannot afford yourself miss asingle detail. We strongly recommend using as many apa essayexample papers as possible otherwise, your essays will leave muchto be desired.


This chapter contains an apa essay example regarding referencingand common citation patterns. References are an integral part ofyour APA essay, follow these tips to reference the materialappropriately:

  • Write references on a new page
  • Center the title “References” but do not underline it
  • Write last names and initials (no full first names)
  • Format the page so that it will be double-spaced
  • References include all sources that were cited in the paperand also secondary sources you actually used for writing (do notdrop a single one)

Everyone who has ever created an APA essay knows that the sourcesare arranged by category: books and reference literature,periodicals, audiovisual media, online media.

How to order materials within a certain category:

  • Periodicals: first list journals, then magazines andnewspapers followed by newsletters. Start with the full name,initials, year of publication, the title of the article, journaltitle, volume (issue), pages and doi. For example, Kim, Y., ZhouY., Matsusaki N. and Fujitsuka M., 4 (NOV 2017). OxygenGeneration: self-assembly of Anthrylphenylene and Fluorophore.Chemistry - A European Journal. 23(79), 145-153.DOI:12.1007/chem.20172379
  • Books: Last name of the author, initials, year ofpublication, title, location, publisher.
  • Audiovisual and online media: the name and initials of theproducer, director, year, motion title, country where the moviewas made: studio.
  • Reference YouTube video like this: YouTube screen name, date(YMD), the title of the video, retrieved fromhttp://youtube/xxx.com.
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When citing online sources, you should use headings or paragraphnumbers, if the publication has no page numbers.

When citing a secondary source, you have to name the originalpublication but use a citation from a secondary source. Forexample, Einstein supposed [paraphrased text] (as cited inFerguson, 1978) or Einstein supposed [a quote] (as quoted inFerguson, 1978).

When giving an in-text citation from Audiovisual media write likethis: paraphrased words (Anatoliy, 2015). Or: as said in thevideo, From kind people with love, (Anatoliy, 2015), [paraphrasedtext].

In-text citation from website begins with the name theauthor/authors or organization, year, the title of the web page,paragraph number.


One more essential skill to incorporate your research findings issummarizing. Summarizing technique is the writer’s skill to drawthe most important information and formulate the key ideas, thegist and major points. In other words, you distillate the dataand reduce the body of your essay in the ration of 1/10 or 100words.

Good summary elements are:

  • Present tense narration
  • Proper citation. There are no quotes in the summary, onlysome words or expressions of the author you refer to. That is whymake sure to enclose these words in quotation marks.
  • Concisely written sentences that exclude opinions orinterpretations
  • Statements that relate to the purpose of the paper
  • Conclusion that presents your own findings

You need a summary to tell in brief about most important sourcesyou have used. The overview of the main findings is good for thereaders as it gives a general understanding of the whole paperand enables them to grasp the material easily and fast. Writeyour abstract last to include all findings and if needed someexperimental data.

Format instructions:

  • Double-space the entire paper
  • Arrange reference in the alphabetical order
  • Indent each paragraph (a half-inch indent)
  • Write a page number in the top right corner
  • Type the text in Times New Roman size 12 font.
  • Make 1-in margins or 2.54 cm. Then customize the defaultsettings for headers in your Microsoft Word
  • Write each section on a new page

A common paper in APA format has 3 levels of headings; however,more than 3 are also accepted. The first header is centred andboldface typed in uppercase and lowercase. The second header istyped in boldface uppercase and lowercase but it is left–aligned.The third header is indented, lowercased and written in bold witha period.


  • All proper names should be capitalized
  • Titles are also capitalized if they contain words that arelonger than 3 letters. Eg. Indian Economy in Detail. All shortwords including pronouns, conjunctions, particles, etc arelowercased. Note: in the reference section only the first letterof the title is capitalized, eg. Indian economy in detail
  • If there are hyphenated words in the title, capitalize bothwords connected with a hyphen
  • Use a capital letter for words that follow colon or dash
  • Write the titles of long books, movies, documentaries ormusic albums in italics. For short titles of articles, TV seriesor songs use inverted commas


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