There are a handful of pitfalls students face when citing in APA style. The most common mistakes include improper in-text citations, not including the appropriate sections, and simple errors with spacing, indentations, bold typeface, and italics. Thankfully there are many great ways to avoid these simple mistakes. They are listed below.
APA style papers are typically typed in Times New Roman font, size 12, and double spaced. Additionally, the paper should have one inch margins along all sides.
The paper should start with a page header, and for the APA style this page header is referred to as the “RUNNING HEAD” which is listed as such on the first page, followed by a shortened version of your title. This shortened version should not exceed 50 characters. For all subsequent pages, the words “running head” are removed, but the shortened version of the title remains.
There are four main sections in any APA paper:
- The title page
- The abstract
- The body
- The references
On the title page, you must include the title of the essay in its full capacity, your name, and the academic institution to which you are submitting the report. This should all appear in the center of the page, directly in the middle. The title should be one or two lines and contain the appropriate upper and lower case letters.
Proper Abstract Page
The abstract must begin on a new page with the word “Abstract” located in the center of the page. The following line is not indented and in it, you introduce your topic, your methods, your results, your analyses and your conclusion. You should allocate one sentence for each key section of your paper. This abstract should be no more than 150-250 words, contingent upon the requirements set forth by your teacher. Directly beneath the abstract you can place keywords related to your content, but in order to do that you must italicize the word “keywords” and place the list of keywords separated by commas in normal typeface after that.
Proper Body Pages
The following page is where your title must appear centered at the very start of the page. Beneath this is where the introduction and subsequent sections of your paper go. Each of these paragraphs should be indented. For every new section (such as the literature review, results, or methods) you can place the corresponding word, for example “Literature Review”, in bold text in the center of the line. Beneath that, you should begin each new paragraph with an indentation.
With regard to citations, it is best to refer to the aforementioned APA handbook for guidance on in-text citations and reference pages because the proper format for each item is contingent upon the type of source it is and how many authors the source has. The in-text citations should all be placed within the text, at the end of the corresponding sentence in parenthesis with the author(s) name(s), the date of the publication, and the page number.
Still have problems with APA citation style? Don’t worry; you just need to practice more because it is not an easy task to format the paper in this style. Or you can simply try our free APA Citation Generator and enjoy the automatic markup of your paper for free!