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apa reference paper outline

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APA Paper Formatting

APA Paper Formatting & Style Guidelines
Your teacher may want you to format your paper using APA guidelines. If you were told to create your citations in APA format, your paper should be formatted using the APA guidelines as well.

General guidelines:

  1. Use white 8 ½  x 11” paper.
  2. Make 1 inch margins on the top, bottom, and sides
  3. The first word in every paragraph should be indented one half inch.
  4. APA recommends using Times New Roman font, size 12.
  5. Double space the entire research paper
  6. Include a page header known as the “running head” at the top of every page. (To make this process easier, set your word processor to automatically add these components onto each page)
    1. 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)
    2. Then type “TITLE OF YOUR PAPER” justified to the left using all capital letters
    3. If your title is long, this running head title should be a shortened version of the title of your entire paper

Sample running head/page header

apaheaderyo

APA Paper Components

Your essay should include these four major sections:

  1. Title Page
  2. Abstract
  3. Main Body
  4. References

Title Page

This page should contain four pieces: the title of the paper, running head, the author’s name, institutional affiliation, and an author’s note. Create the page header/running head as described above.

*Please note that only on the title page, your page header/running head should include the words “Running Head” before your title in all capitals. The rest of the pages should not include this in the page header. It should look like this on the title page:

aparunninghead

  • The title of the paper should capture the main idea of the essay but should not contain abbreviations or words that serve no purpose
  • It should be centered on the page and typed in 12-point Times New Roman font. Do not underline, bold, or italicize the title.

 

  1. Your title may take up one or two lines, but should not be more than 12 words in length.
  2. All text on the title page should be double-spaced in the same way as the rest of your essay
  3. Do not include any titles on the author’s name such as Dr. or Ms.
  4. The institutional affiliation is the location where the author conducted the research

Sample Title page:

apatitlepage3

Abstract

On the following page, begin with the Running title.

  1. On the first line of the page, center the word “Abstract” (but do not include quotation marks).
  2. On the following line, write a summary of the key points of your research. Your abstract summary is a way to introduce readers to your research topic, the questions that will be answered, the process you took, and any findings or conclusions you drew.
  3. This summary should not be indented, but should be double-spaced and less than 250 words.
  4. If applicable, help researchers find your work in databases by listing keywords from your paper after your summary. To do this, indent and type Keywords: in italics.  Then list your keywords that stand out in your research.

Sample Abstract page:

apaabstractyo

The Body

On the following page, begin with the Body of the paper.

  1. Start with the Running title
  2. On the next line write the title (do not bold, underline, or italicize the title)
  3. Begin with the introduction. Indent.
  4. The introduction presents the problem and premise upon which the research was based.  It goes into more detail about this problem than the abstract.
  5. Begin a new section with the Method. Bold and center this subtitle The Method section shows how the study was run and conducted. Be sure to describe the methods through which data was collected.
  6. Begin a new section with the Results. Bold and center this subtitle.  The Results section summarizes the data. Use graphs and graphs to display this data.
  7. Begin a new section with the Discussion. Bold and center this subtitle. This Discussion section is a chance to analyze and interpret your results.
    1. Draw conclusions and support how your data led to these conclusions.
    2. Discuss whether or not your hypothesis was confirmed or not supported by your results.
    3. Determine the limitations of the study and next steps to improve research for future studies.

** Throughout the body, in-text citations are used and include the author’s/authors’ name(s) and the publication year. In APA format page numbers are not used in in-text citations.

    Ex: (Wilkonson, 2009).

 

For more information about how to cite properly please see EasyBib’s guides for APA citations based on the sources you are using.

Sample Body page:

apamethods

 

References

On a new page, write your references.

  1. Begin with a running title
  2. Center and bold the title “References” (do not include quotation marks, underline, or italicize this title)
  3. Alphabetize and Double-space all entries
  4. Every article/source mentioned in the paper and used in your study should be referenced and have an entry.

Sample Reference Page:

apareferences

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  1. Columbia College (BC)

  2. LibGuides

  3. APA Citation Guide (6th edition)

  4. Reference List & Sample Paper

APA Citation Guide (6th edition): Reference List & Sample Paper

This guide shows you how to cite using APA 6th edition

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  • Reference List & Sample Paper

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Sample Paper & Reference List


  • APA Sample Paper Template

This sample paper includes a title page, sample assignment page and references list in APA format. It can be used as a template to set up your assignment.

Headings

If your instructor requires you to use APA style headings and sub-headings, this document will show you how they work.


  • APA Headings

    This sample demonstrates and describes how to use different levels of headings in APA format.

Appendix

If you are adding an appendix to your paper there are a few rules to follow that comply with APA guidelines:

  • The Appendix appears after the References list
  • If you have more than one appendix you would name the first appendix Appendix A, the second Appendix B, etc.
  • The appendices should appear in the order that the information is mentioned in your essay
  • Each appendix begins on a new page

  • APA Sample Paper Template – with Appendix (Seneca example)

  • APA Sample Paper – with Appendix (Purdue OWL example)

APA End of Paper Checklist


  • End of Paper Checklist

Finished your assignment? Use this checklist to be sure you haven’t missed any information needed for APA style.

How to Create a Running Head in Word 2013 (54 second video)

Seneca Libraries. [SenecaLibraries] . (2015, October 2). Create an APA Running Head in Word 2013 [Video file]. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aHiYDWJ_rUU

Quick Rules for an APA Reference List

Your research paper ends with a list of all the sources cited in the text of the paper. Here are nine quick rules for this Reference list.

  1. Start a new page for your Reference list. Centre the title, References, at the top of the page.
  2. Double-space the list.
  3. Start the first line of each reference at the left margin; indent each subsequent line five spaces (a hanging indent).
  4. Put your list in alphabetical order. Alphabetize the list by the first word in the reference. In most cases, the first word will be the author’s last name. Where the author is unknown, alphabetize by the first word in the title, ignoring the words a, an, the.
  5. For each author, give the last name followed by a comma and the first (and middle, if listed) initials followed by periods.
  6. Italicize the titles of works: books, audiovisual material, internet documents and newspapers, and the title and volume number of journals and magazines.
  7. Do not italicize titles of parts of works, such as: articles from newspapers, magazines, or journals / essays, poems, short stories or chapter titles from a book / chapters or sections of an Internet document.
  8. In titles of non-periodicals (books, videotapes, websites, reports, poems, essays, chapters, etc), capitalize only the first letter of the first word of a title and subtitle, and all proper nouns (names of people, places, organizations, nationalities).
  9. If more than one place of publication is listed give the publisher’s home office. If the home office is not given or known then choose the first location listed.

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  • Last Updated: Jul 31, 2018 12:45 PM
  • URL: https://columbiacollege-ca.libguides.com/apa
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Subjects:
Citing

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APA