APA cover page, example, Abstract, format & paper style

What is APA?

APA is a writing style associated with the American Psychological Association.

All types of formal documents are written by following the rules of writing issued by APA.it is commonly used for citing sources within the fields of behavioral and social sciences.

This form of writing research papers is used in many fields like social sciences which includes anthropology, sociology, psychology and other educational fields.

What is APA style?

APA style maintains standards of writing communication concerning about the following:

·     Writing style of documents

·     Organization of content

·     Citing references

·     How to create a menu script for publishers in different sections of study. 

Why do we use APA style?

By using APA style in writing and creation of documents, it makes it easier for the reader to understand the whole content.

It creates interest in the mind of the reader because everything is clear and written separately in sections.

Abiding by APA standards as a writer will enable readers to: 

·     focus on ideas

·     follow your ideas more efficiently and clearly because it demonstrates an awareness of your audience


Who should use APA style?

APA style can be used for writing all types of formal documents such as proposals, research papers, or business content which include business plans, strategy plans and agreements.

Both teachers and students can use this as well as managers of big organizations.

APA style provides comprehensive guidelines for writing about all topics whether these are related to education, business or social sciences.

If you are a student, you should consult with an instructor to know what style your discipline uses before using an APA style in your document.

If APA style is suitable for your writing project then you should use it, otherwise, make the changes according to the given situation. 

What is the APA manual 7th edition?

American Psychological Association (APA) introduced the 7thedition of APA publication manual in October of 2019.

The previous version was the 6thedition, published in 2009 and this edition replaced certain things.

In that time a lot of things have changed, especially the technology used by researchers, teachers and students.

The 7thedition addresses these changes by providing better and more extensive guidelines.

What are the APA guidelines for writing?

Essays should be typed and double spaced on standard size of paper which is (8.5” x 11”) including margins on both the sides of paper.

The same font should be used throughout the entire document. APA recommends using sans serif such as Calibri font or Arial with 11 or 10 points, respectively.

However, APA also allows fonts like Times New Roman and Georgia. Standard font of the main heading or title is 16, 14 points the font of subheadings and 12 points must be the font size of all the document.  

The title of the content should not be bold.Use bold only for the headings of level 1 to 4. First section of each paper is an introduction.

According to the APA writing style, the heading Introduction is not used, because what comes at the beginning of the paper is assumed to be the introduction.

Every page must have a header at the top of the page which is also known as the running head.

This includes paper title and page number in the case of a professional paper. For students, academic documents only include page numbers on the right up corner.

To create a page header, insert page number flush right and after this type the title of your paper.

The title should be bold and use all capital letters. The maximum number of characters that title can contain are 50, including spaces and punctuation marks.

Write the table of contents in the start of any report or long documents like research proposals. Let us see an example in the following figure:

From this figure, it is obvious that there is a title name which is placed at the horizontally center of the page, starting with the capital first letter.

Above this title name, there is a running title along with page number. This will show on all the pages.

Do not write the words of the running title after the page number and give spaces to differentiate between two separate things.

This is a summary paragraph so it must not contain more than 250 characters. It must be in the range of 150 to 250 characters. Do not indent abstract the summary paragraph.

All abbreviations and important acronyms used in the paper must be defined at the bottom of the page. 

What is the format of an article in APA writing style? 

This is the most important question and often arises while writing or formatting the articles. The answer is very simple.

It is very common for a journal to give all the relevant information to the authors about the article like its length, highlight points and type of document etc.

So, the best approach is to check already published books and articles in the journal and get a rough idea in your mind about its content, styling and main headings.

Although authors use APA styling in their documents, it is a better option to check the pattern of already written articles on that topic, at least for basic requirements of formatting, styles, citation and references. 

What are the four major sections of a paper in APA format?

There are four major sections of any article or content in word document which covers the whole information about the topic and the reasons why this article has been chosen:

1.    Title page

2.    Abstract

3.    Main body

4.    References

Title page:

The purpose of the title page is to let the reader quickly know about the content that you are writing.

It includes the title name which is written at the start of page and should be bold enough so that people can read it clearly.

The title name should not contain more than 50 characters, and short names always attract the reader.

Information about the writer, logo and why he is writing, could be the part of title page.


As abstract is the brief summary of the content followed by the title. All of the relevant information about the article is written in this section of paper.

According to the format of APA, abstract contains words from the range of 150 to 250 words but it depends on the nature of the content.

If the topic content is extremely broad, the abstract will also exceed this limit.

Main body:

The main body is the core of the content of the article. It contains all the explanations of why this content has been chosen, as well as its importance.

The main body contains the theme and functionality of the article. In the case of script writing or novel writing, the story is written in the main body along with the information of characters.

The main body has a main heading which contains many subheadings, for example, in the case of writing a report, the main body section is divided into four major subheadings: introduction, methods, discussion and results.


References are the source of writing and it can be the name of a person or links to other websites from where information has been taken.

It is the last section of paper and usually written at the bottom of the page. It includes all the references and sources which are used in writing about a particular topic.

One handy rule of thumb to remember is that any source cited in your paper needs to be included in your reference section.

References which are written must be followed by the name and year.

If you are writing about sources, these must be provided complete information or the name of the website from which you are copying or using as a source to avoid any copyright issues.

It is good practice to write the full reference.

Notable differences in 6thand 7thedition of APA

There are lot of differences in both editions of APA formatting and some of them are highlighted below:

Running heads:

Student papers are not required for running heads as it was required in the 6thedition. There are 2 types of titles:

1.    Professional menu scripts

2.    Student course work

In professional menu scripts, running heads are required but in student course work, it is not.

Now it contains only a page number with a title which should not be too long.

Author’s names:

The first in-text citation of a work by more than two authors should list only the first author, followed by “et al.”

The 6th edition included up to five authors before going to “et al.” For example:(Cornell, Sun, Berry, & Harlow, et al. 1993). In the 7thedition, after two authors, list the first author’s last name followed by et al such as (Jones et al., 2020).

Book references:

In the 6thedition, book references disclosed publisher location whereas in the 7thupdated edition, book references omit publisher locations.

Font specifications:

Times New Roman 12 point was preferred in the 6thedition but the 7thedition gives more flexibility over fonts and sizes.

Use of pronouns:

A pronoun should reflect the same number as the noun it replaces and now the use of singular “they” is endorsed.

Double space:

In the older version of APA, two spaces after a period that ends a sentence is acceptable but 7thedition allows the use of only one space after a period.

New standard:

Writing inclusively without bias is a new standard. The new edition contains a separate chapter on this topic. 

The following graph helps us to understand the changes between 6thand 7thAPA editions.

Important tips:

The following are some helpful tips for writing formal documents:

·      Always use the next page to start a new topic or new headings like table of contents, reference page, and bibliography.

·      Set the title in the center of the page by using center alignment.

·      All entries should be in alphabetical order.

·      In the previous edition, double space is used at the end of every sentence but now in the latest edition, every sentence is separated by a single space.

·      Title of books, journals, newspaper and articles should appear in italic font.

·      The first line of reference should be flushed with the left margin instead of the right margin.

·      All the items which are mentioned in reference must be written in the text of the main body.

·      Use bullet points for highlighting the main points.

·      Draw tables and graphs to explain the things more clearly.

·      It is important to include citations in your text to identify where you found the information you are referencing. 

In this blog article, we discussed how to write articles using APA style formatting. 

Many people incorrectly use the word deep seeded issues Therefore, to improve your language skills, practice more English worksheets.

Frequently asked questions (FAQs) about APA: 

1.    What is APA format? 

APA format is the official style of the American Psychological Association (APA) and is commonly used for articles in psychology, education, and the social sciences.

The consistent style allows readers to know what to look for as they read journal articles and other forms of psychology writing. 

2.    What is an APA format example paper? 

Your essay should be typed, double-spaced on standard-sized paper (8.5” x 11”) with 1” margins on all sides.

You should use 10-12-point Times New Roman or a similar font.

Every page should include a page header at the top. 

3.    What is a heading in APA format?

APA style uses unique headings to classify and separate different sections.

Headings are used to help guide the reader throughout a document.

Headings are organized in levels of subordination

Concise Guide to APA Style: Seventh Edition (newest, 2020 copyright)

This is an easy-to-use pocket guide for students or new writers looking to learn to use APA style formatting.  


APA Formatting and Style Guide.Purdue Writing Lab. 2020 

Was this helpful?

Thanks for your feedback!