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Teaching Writing: The Basics of APA Style

GENERAL APA GUIDELINES

  • Your essay should be typed, double-spaced on standard-sized paper (8.5″ x 11″) with 1″ margins on all sides.
  • You should use a clear font that is highly readable. APA recommends using 12 pt. Times New Roman font.
  • Include a running head at the top of every page. . The running head is a shortened version of your paper’s title and cannot exceed 50 characters including spacing and punctuation.

MAJOR PAPER SECTIONS

TITLE PAGE

  • The title page should contain the title of the paper, the author’s name, and the institutional affiliation.
  • Type your title in upper and lowercase letters centered in the upper half of the page.
  • APA recommends that your title be no more than 12 words in length and that it should not contain abbreviations or words that serve no purpose.
  • Your title may take up one or two lines. All text on the title page, and throughout your paper, should be double-spaced.
  • Beneath the title, type the author’s name: first name, middle initial(s), and last name. Do not use titles (Dr.) or degrees (Ph.D.).
  • Beneath the author’s name, type the institutional affiliation, which should indicate the location where the author(s) conducted the research.

ABSTRACT AND MAIN BODY

  • Begin a new page.
  • Your abstract page should already include the page header
  • On the first line of the abstract page, center the word “Abstract” (no bold, formatting, italics, underlining, or quotation marks).
  • Beginning with the next line, write a concise summary of the key points of your research. (Do not indent.)
  • Your abstract should contain at least your research topic, research questions, participants, methods, results, data analysis, and conclusions. You may also include possible implications of your research and future work you see connected with your findings.
  • Your abstract should be a single paragraph double-spaced. Your abstract should be between 150 and 250 words.
  • You may also want to list keywords from your paper in your abstract.

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