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APA Research Paper Documentation Style

An APA research paper is written according to the guidelines that are developed, maintained, and periodically revised and updated by the American Psychological Association. APA documentation style is widely used by the writers in the social sciences, education, business and psychology.

The basic rules for writing an APA research paper are as follows:

  1. The APA research paper should be double-spaced and typed on standard 8 ½” x 11”, 20-pound white paper.
  2. All four outside margins should be set at 1 inch.
  3. Every APA research paper should have the following sections:
    • Abstract
    • Text
    • References
    • Appendices
    • Author identification notes
    • Footnotes
    • Tables
    • Figure
    • Captions

Each section should be on a new page.

  1. In the APA research paper, the manuscript title on the first page should begin about 1/3 of the way down the page. The title block on that page should include: full title, writer's name, course name and number, instructor's name, and the date - all centered on double-spaced lines.
  2. A running header with consecutive page numbering should appear on the upper right-hand corner of each page.
  3. In-text documentation format should use the author-date style of citation, with the author's name, followed by the year of publication, cited within the body text of an article. The complete details on the source documents should be included in the "References" at the end of the paper.
  4. The reference list should be arranged in alphabetical order, by author's last name.

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