How to Write in APA Style

hi my name is Tamara from servicescape comm and on this episode we’ll discuss how to write and format a paper in APA style or American Psychological Association style we’ll discuss what APA style is and why we use it what your paper should look like from fonts to margins to line spacing and then we’ll explore the finer details like in-text citations and formatting your title abstract and references page by the end of this tutorial we should be able to confidently write an APA style paper using correct formatting and citations now let’s begin our lesson in APA style APA style is most commonly used in scientific writing and social sciences writing in subjects like criminology anthropology and psychology in 1929 a group of psychologists anthropologists and scientists got together and decided that they should write down style rules for scientific writing so that readers could better understand what they were trying to say from these rules APA style was born it’s no secret that many writers struggle with minut details of writing / style guide such as APA MLA or Chicago Manual of style they may often wonder why it matters that things are formatted just so the reason why it’s so important to get the formatting and citation Styles correct is so that the writer can build a rapport with the reader if you are presenting facts especially if they are controversial facts then it’s important to establish a sense of credibility with the reader so that they are more likely to trust the information that is presented for example if your research about voting patterns among women between the ages of 18 and 25 has resulted in some new findings but you chose to use a font that’s difficult to read and your in-text citations are incomplete so that the reader can’t check where your facts are coming from they’re not going to be convinced of all the facts that you’re writing about this isn’t the desired result for you as the researcher so it’s crucial to get these small details right before you begin writing the body of your paper you should make sure that your paper is formatted correctly in APA style you should always write on a standard eight-and-a-half by 11 page using 12-point font double spaced with one-inch margins on all sides use an easily readable font APA recommends using the standard Times New Roman font you should also have a running header on your paper this consists of your paper title in all caps which is flush left and the page number which is flush right the paper title in the running header should not be longer than 50 characters including punctuation and spaces for all APA papers you should have four sections a title page an abstract a main body and references abbreviations are one of the trickier punctuation rules because they change depending on what style of writing you’re doing because APA style was written with highly technical documents in mind the abbreviation rules are very important to pay attention to in APA style it’s best to only use abbreviations when it will lend to the readers understanding if you have too many abbreviations the text will read more like code which isn’t useful when you’re trying to decipher complicated subject matter always spell out the abbreviation on first reference and then follow with the abbreviated spelling in parentheses there are exceptions of course in the cases of well-known abbreviations such as PhD or DNA there’s also no need to spell out standard measuring units like foot or pound generally do not put periods in between letters of abbreviations unless abbreviating US or UK or if it is a Latin abbreviation such as eg ie or etc presenting data is one of the hallmarks of APA style whether you’re writing for the Social Sciences or the hard sciences it’s likely that you will be introducing some sort of data set within your paper at one point because of this it’s important that you know the correct way to present it per APA style rules charts and figures must be between two and three point to five inches wide if one column and be between four point two five and six point eight seven five inches wide if two columns all text within charts and figures should be in sans-serif font meaning that you would have to choose a font like hell medaka area or Geneva the font size must be between eight and fourteen point so that the audience can easily read the text you must also caption any figures within your paper the caption consists of a figure number and a short sentence explaining what the figure is and how it relates though having charts and graphs within your paper is a great tool for your readers you need to discern with great care whether or not the chart or figure is applicable and would lend to the readers understanding in other words don’t just have a chart for the sake of having a chart now we’ll move on to the formatting of the title page the title page is the first page of your paper it should have your running header at the top and then centered in the upper half of the page should be your paper title the author’s name and the institution’s name listed in title caps try to keep your title as concise as you can it’s best to not have it go over 12 words or two lines if you can help it your title page should not include any abbreviations unless it is absolutely necessary for length reasons it is always best to spell out all words within a title after your title page is the abstract which is one of the most important pieces of an APA paper the abstract is on its own separate page before the main body of the paper it summarizes in one paragraph what your papers purpose is the main points in the text what methods you used and any conclusions you came to because you have to be so sick synced in writing the abstract it’s recommended that you wait until you have the rest of your paper written to complete it as far as formatting goes the word abstract will be centered at the top of the page and the actual abstract paragraph written out below in double-spaced lines and 12-point font if you choose to list any key words from your paper start a new line and type the word keywords in italics followed by a colon the keywords are listed afterward but are not italicized as you write the main body of your paper you will undoubtedly be citing a lot of sources to back up claims that you make when you are citing or quoting something from a journal newspaper magazine or book then you need to format it appropriately APA uses the format of author or author’s last name seems followed by the year of publication in all in-text citations there are specific rules depending on how many authors wrote the original source if you are citing or quoting something with two authors use both of their names with every signal phrase or citation if you are citing or quoting something with three to five authors list all authors in the first reference but write the first author’s name and then add out in subsequent references if you are citing or quoting something with six authors write the first author’s name and then add out in all references if your author is unknown use the title of the source followed by the year once you have written the entirety of your paper you’ll need to make a reference page so that readers can learn more about your sources and verify your information if needed there are some basic formatting rules you’ll need to follow for your reference page the word references should be centered at the top without bold italics or underlining reference lists should be alphabetized by the last name of the first author in every entry after the first line of every entry there should be a half-inch indent for readability periodical names and book titles should be italicized lastly use a DOI or a digital object identifier in reference instead of a URL whenever possible as URLs can change easily as you can see there are a lot of rules and formatting issues to pay attention to when writing a paper in APA style if you have any questions on the specifics of APA style be sure to refer to the publication manual of the American Psychological Association 6th edition this manual contains everything you will need to know about APA style and formatting these formatting and citation rules are crucial so that the reader has trust in the writer and researchers work thank you for watching I hope this short tutorial helps you to write a properly formatted APA style paper with confidence subscribe to our channel to get updates on new videos and check out service scape com for your freelance editing and writing needs