Referencing sources used for a research is an important part of writing a good paper. Created by the American Psychological Association, the APA style allows for not only creating clear and academically correct references to scholarly sources, but also formatting a paper in a proper manner (American Psychological Association, 2014). Formatted in accordance with the basic APA rules, my final paper will contain the elements listed below.
- Front page. According to the existing APA standards, a front page must contain:
- The title of the paper centered three or four lines below the top of the page;
- The student’s name below the title;
- The title of the institution below the student’s name.
- Acknowledgements. It is rare that a student writes an academic work on their own; quite on the contrary, there is at least one person assisting the student:
- Academic advisor;
- Family (supporting relatives, close family members, husband/wife, etc.);
- Friends or any other people who are close enough to the researcher.
All these people deserve to be credited for their assistance in the paper. In the APA tradition, the acknowledgement page follows the front page.
- Pagination. Though instructions on numbering the pages may vary, page numbers are usually placed in the top right corner of the page in the APA style.
- Running head. Traditionally, a shortened version of the title is:
- Mentioned repeatedly in the paper;
- Placed in the top left corner of each page of a paper written in the APA format.
On the opposite side of the running head, the page number is located.
- Table of contents. As a rule, an APA paper has a table of contents apart from or together with the outline page. Listing all paper sections and subsections with the page numbers indicated, this index helps locating every single part of the paper, as well as its key information, including methods, analysis and results. Table of contents includes:
- Section titles;
- Subsection titles;
- Appendices titles;
- Page numbers.
- Paper sections. It goes without saying that each research is unique and has its own specific structure. However, according to the rules of the APA style, every paper must have:
- Thesis statement;
- Literature review;
- Body, the first part listing the key information, and the second part containing its analysis;
- Reference list. The section that the reference style has actually been created for, the reference list must include every single source mentioned in the body of the paper, i.e., all the resources that have been used in the course of the research. Depending on the instructions, this section of an APA style paper may be called:
- “Reference List”;
- “List of References” (APA, 2014);
- “Reference” (When only one reference is used, the caption runs at the top of the page, yet this is clearly not the case with such a massive research as mine).
- Appendices. Finally, the materials that cannot be listed in the reference section yet have been used in the paper will be provided fully in the appendices section of the paper. In the APA style, each of the appendices is labeled with a capital Latin letter, e.g., “Appendix A,” “Appendix B,” etc.
Conducting a research means carrying out impressive work, just like searching for the appropriate and credible sources is. However, quoting these sources in a proper manner and putting them down in the reference section so that other people could navigate in the paper just as easily as its author is also crucial for the author of an academic paper. Following the key principles of the APA formatting style will help an academic writer greatly.
American Psychological Association (2014). About APA.
APA (2014). Introduction. In American Psychological Association (Ed.), Publication manual of the American Psychological Association (6th ed.) (pp. 3–7). Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.