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Suggestions on how to write an APA format research paper


The APA format research paper just means that you are to write a research paper that is put into APA format. It does not necessarily change the research or your writing. It really has more to do with the aesthetic appeal.

If you are writing a generic research paper, such as what effects second hand smoke has on children, you will need to include the following sections:

  • Cover page
  • Abstract
  • Introduction
  • Body
  • Conclusion
  • References
  • Appendix

If you are writing a literature review style research paper then you might include the following:

  • Cover page
  • Abstract
  • Introduction
  • Body
    1. Background
    2. Literature review
  • Conclusion
  • References
  • Appendix

If you are writing a research paper that is intended to present the results of your recent experience or study, then you will have a few more sections to cover in your research paper should include the following:

  • Cover page
  • Abstract
  • Introduction
  • Body
    1. Background
    2. Literature review
    3. Methods
    4. Results
    5. Discussion
  • Conclusion
  • References
  • Appendix

That being said, it is important that you have a separate page for your cover page and for your abstract. Both items get an individual page. Beneath that you can start with your introduction and just list each of the sections beneath where the last sentence ended.

For APA style papers all of your content should be in Times New Roman or Arial font. Everything in your paper should be size 12 font. You should have one inch margins around the entire paper. You should use double spacing for all of the content. Your reference page at the end should be titled “References” which should be centered at the top of a new page. If you used any tables, graphs, charts, images, attachments, etc… in your paper you will need to consult with the APA guide as to where to place them within the text, or how to reference them in the text and where to place them in your appendix. Some figures and tables get a unique section.

You should also consult with the APA guidelines as per the American Psychological Association for all of your citations. The information can be found on their website. You will need to cite your sources in the text and in the reference page. But each style of source is cited slightly differently in the reference page. This is based on the source type and the number of authors.

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