What Are Some Guidelines for APA Writing Style, Including an Outline?


Quick Answer

Writers typically use the American Psychological Association's official style to cite sources within the social sciences. APA style is appropriate for term papers, research reports, empirical studies, literature reviews, and theoretical and methodological articles, according to the official APA Style website. Case studies also use this style. Papers written in APA style contain four sections: the title page, abstract, main body and references. The main body is subdivided into the introduction, method, results and discussion.

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Full Answer

The title page should include the title, author’s name and institutional affiliation. The abstract should be on its own page and no longer than 250 words. Alphabetize the references list using each author’s last name, and indent all lines after the first line 1/2 inch from the left margin. If a paper includes tables, figures or appendices, these should follow the references.

Double-space essays written in APA style, and include 1-inch margins, according to Purdue University’s Online Writing Lab. Type the essay in a 12-point serif font, such as Times New Roman. Include a header on each page of the essay, including the title page, that features a shortened version of the title followed by the page number. Ensure the header is in capital letters and doesn't exceed 50 characters.

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