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The majority of higher learning intuitions require their students to submit most of their academic papers in conformity with the APA style guide. APA is an acronym for America psychological association, and this formatting guideline is associated with citing the social sciences like education, humanities, and sciences. When composing a research paper using the APA format, you must follow a specific guide.

How to write a research paper in APA

Basic guidelines:

Make sure you follow the APA format style when citing a research paper

One of the greatest tip for anyone intending to compose a research paper is to be familiar with the APA style and compose all your academic papers according to the guidelines. Once you do this, any specific medication that your research paper might require will demand minor changes to your draft before you hand over the entire paper.

Use the standard organization sections

The primary segments of a research paper include the abstract, introduction, approach which includes experimental and hypothesis, the outcome, and conclusion. Bear in mind that every section has basic format guidelines and the requirement for the research paper. An evaluation of every section will let you plan on your research as you prepare yourself to report it correctly.

While formatting an APA research paper, you must follow these guidelines below:

The heading should be placed at the first of every page and incorporate a shortened titled of the paper that must not exceed 50 characters.

Make sure you use a clear and readable font. Many professors recommend the use of 12 pt. Times New Roman.

Your page number should be placed on the right side in the paper header

A research paper that is composed in an APA format is divided into four primary sections that include, the title page, abstract, body, and bibliography. In this case, the first page of your research paper should be a title page, and then an abstract should follow. The next part in your paper should include the body on the third page while the bibliography page should come last.

Title page

This is also a cover page, and a good title page should have your name and the name of your institution, a page number placed on the right and a page header on the left side of the paper. Make sure you use a double-space text, and this must be used in the entire paper. Incorporate your title at the center of the paper, and must be strategically placed in the upper half of the page. Ensure that your title page is precise and not more than 80 characters. Additionally, your title page should not have any abbreviation or words that have no meaning.

Just below the page title, pen down your full names, and start with the first, the middle and then the last name. you must write your middle name with initials. Avoid using initials and place the name of the institution right below your name.


This is the preceding page after the title page and it must have a header on the top left. The word abstract should be incorporated in the opening line and centered. Avoid using other formats such as bold, quotation marks, underlining and italics. A good abstract must have research questions, methods, participants, outcome, data analysis and conclusion. Bear in mind that a good abstract must not go beyond 250 words. An abstract of your research paper must be designed to showcase what the paper is talking about and offer a brief summary of the outcome obtained. Additionally, your abstract must have a basic description of the work that is reported.


A good introduction must include an wide-ranging review of the literature concerning the subject matter of your research paper and attempts to deliver the info about the topic that is being discussed. Additionally, your introduction must explain the basics of the subject matter descriptively and accurately of what will be done to investigate the topic further. Note that a short discussion of the suggested findings in a context of what is currently acknowledged is undertaken. Conclude your introduction by declaring the hypothesis of the research.

Method and results

The method segment is also known as the experimental section, and it describes how the research was conducted and what was used during the research process. Make sure that you include enough information that can help your professor replicate the results of the findings without difficulties.


This is where the analysis of the data is undertaken, and this section evaluates the information as it compares it with previous results.

Conclusion and references

This sections explains whether the experiments supported the hypothesis. Bear in mind that the reference that is used in your research paper must be cited using the APA format guide. Since there are specific formats designed for books, online sources, and articles, make sure that the correct format is used when citing your sources. Additionally, try to list your reference in an alphabetic sequence according to the citation.

Key issues in APA format guide

There are some basic things you need to know about the APA style format:

  •  The research paper must be composed in an impersonal style and make sure you avoid including personal anecdotes or statements.
  •  Write your research paper in past tense since you are reporting a work that was performed previously.
  • When referencing an external source, you can use the source within the specific sentence or cite it at the end of the sentence by incorporating a parenthesis.
  • Avoid using contraction such as don’t

Bibliography page

The bibliography must appear at the end of your research paper and can also be referred to works cited or reference. The primary role of style reference is to help your reader locate the origin of your findings.

The term bibliography must be centered at the top of the page, and avoid including any extra formatting to this word.

This page should be double-spaced and make sure that any line below the opening line in the reference list has a hanging indent of ½ inch from the left margin.

Using the APA guide, use the last name of the author followed by the first name. in case you have used more than one source, you must include their names as initials.

Optimistically, the above writing guidelines for APA- style research papers will be helpful for you when you are required to submit a good research paper.