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Simple tips that explain how to write essays in APA format

When you are asked to write an essay, you will be given a particular format to use. This format dictates how your paper is set up and how you cite your sources within the paper. If you are asked to write a paper in APA format you will need to include the following:

  • A cover sheet that functions as your title page. It should include a running head at the top left hand corner of the paper with your title. It should also have your title, your name, your university, and your course (in some cases) centered in the middle of the page.
  • You need to have your pages numbered with the first two or three words of your title before the number, situated at the top right hand corner of the paper.
  • Your first page (second page total) of the report should have your title centered at the top followed by the indented introductory paragraph.
  • Every paragraph should be in Arial or Times New Roman font at size 12. It should also be double spaced.
  • Some teachers require the sub-headings within the paper to be in bold.
  • The sub-headings should not be intended, but the paragraphs beneath them should be.
  • You should have all of your sources properly cited in accordance with the APA requirements both in the text and in the reference page at the end.
  • Your sources need to be placed in the reference page and that page should be a separate page at the end of your essay with the centered title “References”.

Take the time to talk with other students about the writing assignment. Chances are, if you have questions or concerns someone else in your class shares in those concerns too. Perhaps you can create a study group and as a group review each other’s drafts anonymously. You can exchange research tactics or plans for drafting the paper. If you are struggling, do not be afraid to speak with your peers and/or professor. If you only talk about positive progress, it will make it decidedly more difficult to come to them when you are frustrated or facing a setback. You would be surprised how many other students and teachers have written big projects before and understand the pain you are feeling. They have likely found ways to work through similar problems in the past and can prove to be a valuable tool.

Of course, on that note, do not let it be the end of the world if other classmates or your professor refuse to help or cannot relate to you. You are going to have to move forward with your writing assignment in spite of what they do.