APA Essay Style Format

What Are APA Style Papers?

The acronym APA stands for American Psychological Association. The APA style reference format is the most frequently utilized when citing papers on social disciplines, like education, humanities or sciences. When writing an essay using the APA format, you need to abide by the guidelines we’ll explain in this article.

General Requirements for the Structure

In general lines, you must follow the requirements listed below when formatting your paper:

  • Use a plain font. In general, you are advised to use Times New Roman 12pt with double spacing
  • Your margins must be of 1”
  • Each of the pages of your essay must have a heading, written on the top. The heading must be made of the shortened general title of the paper (less than 50 characters)
  • The page number should be written on the right.
  • Furthermore, the APA paper structure includes the following sections: Cover Page, Abstract, Main Body, and Bibliography. Your essay should begin with the title page. Next, deal with the abstract and the main body. The last part of APA paper is the bibliography (or, the citation section).

Title Page

  • On the title page, also referred to as the cover page, you must add the title of the essay, your name and the college you’re attending.
  • On the left side of the page, add a header. Towards the right, write the page number.
  • You must use double spacing for your entire essay, including the cover page.
  • The title of the paper ought to be placed in the upper section of the page. When writing the title, use centering. According to the APA recommendations, your title should be brief (<12) and should not include any acronyms or meaningless words.

Here are a few title examples: The instance of an incorrect header: In Which Way Does the AE Affect the College System in the US? The instance of a correct header: Alternative Education in United States Colleges

The incorrect instance includes thirteen words and two acronyms. The correct instance has less words and doesn’t include any acronyms.

Once you write the title, mention your whole name as follows: first name, middle initial(s) and surname. Steer clear of mentioning titles, like Dr., or diplomas, like Ph.D. After writing the name, mention the institution you belong to, like your high school or college.


The abstract must be written on a separate page, after the cover page. The header ought to be placed in the upper left side of the page.

The first line should include the word “Abstract”. Use centering. Do not include any extra format styles, like bold or italics. The next phase is writing the abstract itself, which represents a brief resume of your study. The abstract must include the following:

  • Study query
  • Partakers
  • Techniques
  • Findings
  • Information examination
  • Conclusion
  • Write between 150 and 250 words
  • While this is not mandatory, it would also be a good idea to enumerate keywords. If you choose this option, add a new paragraph. The keywords should be written using italics.

Remember that the majority of teachers have their specific requirements, which might deviate from those that are generally required for APA papers.

How to Use References

The last section of the essay is the reference page. Here are the most typical reference examples:

  • Books: Author [surname], A.A [first and middle initial]. (Year of Publication). Title of work. Publisher City, State: Publisher.
    • For instance: Johnson, J.(2002). Educational Methods. London: Elite Media.
  • E-Books: Author [surname], A.A [first and middle initial]. (Year of Publication). Title of work [E-Reader Version]. Retrieved from {link}
    • For instance: Johnson, J. (2015). Educational Methods [Kindle Edition]. Retrieved from {link}
  • Movie: Producer [last name], A.A. [first name middle initial] (Producer), & Director, A.A. (Director). (Release Year). Title of motion picture [Motion Picture]. Country of Origin: Studio
    • For instance: Tarantino, Q. (Producer & Director). (2007). Death Proof [Motion Picture]. United States: Troublemaker Studios.
  • Photograph: Photographer, A.A.. (Photographer). (Year, Month Date of Publication). Title of photograph [photograph]. City, State of publication: Publisher/museum.
    • For instance: Johnson, J. (Photographer). (1959). Panoramic view of San Francisco (1959) [photograph]. London, United Kingdom: London Photography Museum.
  • Website: Author [last name], A.A [first and middle initial]. (Year, Month Date of Publication). Article title. Retrieved from {link}
    • For instance: Johnson, J. (2014, November 26). The Emergence of Social Media. Retrieved from {link}
  • Journal: Author [last name], A.A [first and middle initial]. (Publication Year). Article title.Periodical Title, Volume(Issue), pp.-pp.
    • For instance: Johnson, J. (1983). Entertainment Industry: History and Evolution. Number One Hits: Best Artists of the 70s. 25(5-6), 187-192.
  • Newspaper: Author [last name], A.A [first and middle initial]. (Year, Month Date of Publication). Article title. Magazine Title, pp. xx-xx.
    • For instance: Johnson, J. (2012, February 11). How to Devise a Flawless College Application. Elite Essay Writers, pp 15-17.

How to Add In-Text References

When adding in-text references in an APA style essay, you must stick to the requirements described below:

  • The author’s name and initial must be capitalized.
  • If you want to cite the title of the source, all of the letters must be capitalized.
  • When citing titles of lengthier sources like publications, films, documentaries, songs or TV programs, use italics or underline.
  • When mentioning article titles, TV programs episodes, songs or albums, use quotation marks.
  • When it comes to brief citations (less than 40 words), you need to start the sentence with the author’s surname and add the date of issuing in brackets. When you finish the citation, include a page number for reference.
  • In case the author is not mentioned, insert the author’s name, year of issuing and page number in brackets after writing the citation itself.
  • When it comes to citations that exceed 40 words, you need to utilize block quotations. When adding the citation, ident it ½ from the left edge. Add it in a distinct paragraph. The quote must be preceded by a punctuation mark.
  • If you want to sum up or rewrite a source, you must insert an in-text quotation (author and year of issuing). You can also add the page number.

APA Essay Structure

When writing an APA style paper, it’s recommendable to always record the sources you use. To do so, list an idea by introducing data (author name, page number, link) in the subheading.

APA Style Model

Don’t forget that when drafting a structure, the data you introduce in headings ought to be equally significant.

  • The primary idea of the first paragraph From: [insert source] Secondary idea of the paragraph From: [insert source]
  • The primary idea of the second paragraph From: [insert source] Secondary idea of the paragraph From: [insert source]
  • The primary idea of the third paragraph From: [insert source] Secondary idea of the paragraph From: [insert source]

Bibliography Section

Once you finish writing your essay, you need to include a reference section. In other types of formats, this part is written under the title of “Bibliography” or “Works Cited.” In APA essays, citations aid you in pinpointing your sources.

  • The word “References” must be written in the upper part of the page. Additionally, it must be centered. Do not use bold, capital letters, underline or quotation marks.
  • In the reference section, use double spacing. All rows following the first row in your bibliography section ought to include a hanging indent. The indent should be placed ½” from the left edge.
  • When mentioning the name of the author, write the surname first. If the source has multiple authors, only write their initials.
  • The references must be listed in alphabetic order.
  • Volumes and periodicals must be written in italics. When listing articles and papers, use quotation marks.

Still Having Trouble Writing an APA Style Essay?

Writing a paper using the APA style format is definitely not a walk in the park. If, after going through our guide to writing an APA essay, you’re still not sure you can pull it off, we’ll be happy to help you further. Elite Essay Writers only employs paper writers who have a long experience of drafting papers in this formatting style. You can hire us for all types of essays. We can also proofread of edit your paper. Simply access our website and tell us what you need!