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Essay Format, APA Reference Style

Essay Format with APA Reference Style

Aug 21, 2012 - Posted to  Essay Writing
APA stands for American Psychological Association. It is one of the most commonly used citation methods. Before beginning to cite your essay using APA style, it is important that you review the general APA guidelines.
Make sure your essay is double spaced. Use a standard sized paper (8.5" x11") with 1" margins on all sides. Use a clear font that is easy to read. APA recommends Times New Roman 12pt. A page header is a must at the top of every page. Your page header also known as running header and must not exceed 50 characters including spacing and punctuation.


Four major sections should be apparent in your essay - title page, abstract, main body and references.


The title page should contain the topic of the paper, name of the author, name of the institution. APA recommends that the title of your paper should not be more than 12 words. It should not contain any abbreviations or fluff words. Titles like (Dr) or Degrees like (Ph.D) are also discouraged.


Use a new page for your abstract. Remember that all the pages of your essay should already have a page header. The word "Abstract" should be at the center of the line. Remember, no bold, formatting, italics, underling or quotation marks here. Starting from the next line, write a clear and concise summary of the key points of your research.


Do not indent. Your abstract may be between 150 and 250 words. This is not the time to explain all your research work or analysis. There will be enough time for that later. The basic elements of your abstract should be your research topic, research questions, participants, methods, results, data analysis and conclusion. Highlight on these major points and your abstract is ready. You may also want to inform your readers of the implications of your research. If there is any future work as a result of your current findings, now it is the right time to mention that. Do not use paragraphs for your abstract.


In-text citation is done in the body of your essay. It shows to your readers the exact source you quoted from as well as page number. When citing in-text the authors surname should come first, for example:
Apathy is a big challenge to mankind (Drew 2012 pg 12, para 3)


The basic format for referencing books is as follows:
Author (year publication) title of work. Location: publisher.
Drew, C.C. & Moore, A.V. (2012). A marketer's guide for success. New York, NY: Best Press.
If you are referencing an edited book without a known author, it should take this format:
Leslie, A O. & Oaks, L.J (Eds). (2008). Common consensus in a growing economy. Washington, DC. Salvage foundation incorporated.
To reference an edited book with known author(s), the format should be like this:
Platini, N.K. (2010). The secured economy. Q.U. Queens (ed.) New York, NY: Desert News.
To reference an article or chapter in an edited book, follow this simple format:
Author, Z.Z. & Author A.A. (Year of publication) Title of chapter. In Edition & A. Editor (Eds), title of a book (pages of chapter). Location: publisher.
In reality, the above reference should read like this:
O' Neil, J. M., & Egan, O. (2002). Beijing 2000 Olympics: The Journey ahead to create a friendlier game. In O.J. Thomas (Eds), The role of fair play in common wealth games (pp. 52 - 107). New Carolina, NC: Better Sprint Media.
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