APA Research Paper Format

Writing a Research Paper Using APA Research Paper Format

A proper format is an essential aspect of any written work. This is especially so when it comes to writing formal academic papers such as research papers. It ensures inclusion of required information and content and placement of all in accurate order. Generally, the requirements of formatting is the most stringent when it comes to research paper assignments, compared with the essays and term papers. The research papers are assigned to be written in certain formats, depending on the study discipline. One of the common formats utilized in research paper writing is the APA research paper format. This is the most widely used format for research papers and as a result, when assigned, students should ensure that they have a good knowledge of the requirements.

Although many elements in all research paper formats are similar, there are some which differ. As research papers are common to all students, it is beneficial for them to have a basic understanding of all types used as format of research paper. It is important that students are familiar with the formats as writing a research paper is a time consuming task. Lack of knowledge about formatting rules will make students insecure in their writing. It will also take time away from conducting research, brainstorming on ideas and the actual writing of the research paper. With knowledge of the formatting rules, students will be able to identify any discrepancies in the edited work.

Provided are some rules of APA research paper format. However, students are advised to go through the proper APA style manual to obtain a better understanding of their requirements.

  • All sentences should be double spaced throughout the entire paper and written using font type Times Roman and size 10 -12.
  • One to one and half inch margins should be allocated on all sides of the research paper.
  • The research paper consists of front matter, body and appendices. The front matter includes the title page, the table of contents and the abstract.  Some comprehensive degree level research papers may include acknowledgement and dedications in the front matter as well.
  • Some formatting styles do not require title pages but a research cover page is a must for APA style papers. The title key words of the research paper cover page should be written on the top header and aligned one and half inches from the top of the page and flush with left margin. This is termed as a running header which is repeated in every page which follows. Next item in the cover page is the title which is centred and typed in title case. This is followed by the student’s name and academic institution.
  • The page numbers are placed at the same level as the running header, on upper header flush with right margin. All page numbers in the front matter will be numbered in Roman numerals while the body page will be numbered in Arabic numerals. Pages that contain illustrations or art work should not be numbered.
  • The reference list is formatted with second line of each reference entry beginning with a hanging indent. This is achieved by placing 5 spacing or a tab before beginning the second line.

There are many more rules which need to adhered to when following the APA research paper format. Students are advised to go through a relevant sample format of research paper before proceeding with the formatting. Referring to a formatting manual with illustrated explanations of each formatting standard can also be useful.

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