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APA Essay Format

APA Style Essay Format

APA (American Psychological Association) style of writing was developed years ago by behavioral and social scientists to standardize their scientific writings. Today, it is utilized for case studies, methodological articles, theoretical articles, literature reviews, empirical studies, research reports, and term papers. When writing in APA style, students need to pay especially close attention to details, such as spacing of lines, the typeface, as well as page headers and margins.

Essay paper titles, headings, as well as subheadings in APA format
  • Title and Major Section – Centered and heading in caps (with boldface font).
  • First Level Heading – Centered and heading caps (with boldface font).
  • Second Level Heading – Flushed to the left and heading caps (with boldface and italic font).
  • Third Level Heading – Indented and sentence caps (with boldface and italic font). This heading is considered to be a run-in paragraph heading meaning that it does not necessarily have to be a full sentence, but must end with either a period or the appropriate punctuation, such as an exclamation mark or question mark.
APA Essay Format
APA format of the text pages of an essay paper
  • Fonts – There are no specified fonts or font size for the APA format.
  • Indentation – All indents should be half an inch from the margin.
  • Justification – This style prefers what is known as a “ragged right margin”. However, justified margin can substitute for the ragged margin when it comes to final documents.
  • Spacing – The text utilizing this format needs to be double spaced; however, abstracts, references, and block quotes should be single spaced. There should also be only one space after selected punctuation marks.
  • Numbering Pages – There needs to be a page number on all pages and the pages need to be numbered consecutively.
  • Emphasis – Words with an emphasis need to be placed in italics.
  • Citing Sources – Footnotes are not often utilized with APA style, except for times of contact information and author affiliations. Other than that, endnotes are commonplace.