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How To Write An APA Research Paper For College: A Professional Guide

Academic papers are often written in the APA (American Psychological Association) format. In order to meet all the requirements, follow these formatting instructions:

  • The width of margins is 1 inch on all sides.
  • The font requirements are as follows: 12 pt., Times New Roman.
  • The whole text must be double-spaced.
  • Align text flush left.
  • Each page must contain a running head. This is an abridged version of the title, located flush left at the top of the page.
  • Active voice is required. Avoid impersonal forms.
  • The structure of a typical APA research paper must be as follows: Title Page, Abstract, Body, References, Appendices, Footnotes, Tables, and Figures. Write the page numbers on each page and place it as required.

Title Page

The essential elements of the title page are the title of the research, your name, and the name of your college. Remember that the title page is regarded as the first page of your paper, and thus, must contain the page number. Remember to double-space the information as required. The author’s note is not a required element of the paper.


The abstract is a short overview of the whole research paper. The generally accepted length of this section is 150-200 words. You must write the abstract on a new page and type it in block format. As it’s a summarization of the work, write all numbers as digits.


Keep in mind that the basic elements of the body are as follows: the method, the discussion, and the conclusion. Begin the body on a new page and remember to justify it flush left. You must also write the title of the paper at the beginning of the body. Remember to center the title and do not use any special formatting.

Citations and References

In order to avoid plagiarism, you must cite all the sources you used in the course of the research. This encourages you to recognize the thoughts and ideas of other people. The references section is where you make a list of all the sources you cited. References must include the author of the source, year of publication, the title of the source, and the URL if it’s an electronic source.


The appendix is a section where you are supposed to present any supplementary materials or extra information.


Use footnotes to support or explain some of the ideas within your paper.

Tables and Figures

Add some supporting information using tables and figures, if necessary.

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