APA step by step guide from introduction to referencing
Abstract should be included in the paper only if required in the instructions. Otherwise, please, skip this page. If an abstract is required, note that it should briefly summarize the key points of the research, e.g. the research questions, methods, participants, findings, conclusions, possible implications etc. The abstract should be a single paragraph between 150 and 250 words. By default, neither direct nor indirect citations should be included here. Abstract is not counted towards the required word count.
Keywords: abstract, requirements, key points, word count
- Title of the Paper
Begin typing your introduction here. Please note that no separate heading (“Introduction”) is necessary. The introduction of a paper should end with a strong, debatable thesis statement and approximately take 10% of the required word count (“This paper will discuss/review/research…” is not a strong thesis statement. Please note that the title page, headers, reference page, abstract, and appendices are not counted towards the required word count.
Level 1 Heading
Unless required in the instructions, the headers should be used only in five-or-more-page papers. The first sentence of a paragraph is always a topic sentence. It states the main idea or argument presented in the paragraph. Topic sentence should be followed by supporting information from the reliable and up-to-date sources. Avoid plagiarism using direct and/or indirect citations followed by an in-text citation mentioning an author’s surname and a year of publication (Author et al., 2016). New in APA 7: use “et al.” for three or more authors in in-text citations. If a quotation is 40 words or more, use a block quote format:
new line, first word is lowercased, indent ½ inch, double space, no quotation marks. Cite the specific page number of direct quotes. Use page numbers for direct quotes and for paraphrases of information on a specific page. Otherwise, page numbers are optional for paraphrases. For block quotes, period comes before citation. (Author, 2020)
Do not leave a paragraph with a citation at the end. Every paragraph should end with a transition sentence serving as a bridge between two adjacent paragraphs.
Level 2 Heading
Use second level heading to specify the subpoints contributing to the topic mentioned in the previous header. It’s basically a subsection of Level 1 section. Regular paragraph indentation is required in this case. Please note that one paragraph should at least contain 3 sentences and should not exceed 200 words. Try to avoid generic and vague information, be specific and always refer to the thesis, i.e. the core argument of an essay.
Level 3 Heading
Level 3 is a sub-section of the Level 2 sub-section. Regular paragraph indentation is required. This type of a heading is applicable for the multiple-page papers, as it contributes to well-organization and cohesiveness of a huge (more than 10 pages) paper (Author et al., 2020).
Again, never end a paragraph with a quote or citation. You should write a concluding/transition sentence at the end of the paragraph.
Please note that there is no page brake before the conclusion, i.e. it should not be presented on a separate page. It should restate the thesis statement, summarize the key ideas presented in the paper, contain no new or outside information, and approximately take 10% of the required word count.
For more information concerning in-text citations of sources containing more than two authors, other types of references, as well as detailed APA formatting style requirements please visit:
References are formatted basically the same way as in APA 6th edition, except:
• Do not write place of publication for books
• Do not use “retrieved from” or a retrieval date unless the website content updates often by design (e.g., social media)
• Leave hyperlinks
Author, A., & Author, B. C. (Date of publication). Title of the book. Palgrave Macmillan.
Author, A., & Author, B. C. (Date of publication). Title of the journal article. Name of the Journal, issue number(volume number), pages.
Author, A. B. & Author C. D. (Date of publication). Title of webpage. https://www.someaddress.com/full/url/