Do you have to use APA formatting? Everything you need to know is right here. 

If you’ve never used this format before, you may notice that it differs significantly compared to many of the writing styles and guidelines you’ve previously employed.

Although APA formatting and citation are not challenging to follow, it does take some time to become used to. This article will chew this over for you and make it easy for you to format your paper using APA formatting.

What is APA format?

The American Psychological Association’s (APA) standard style is extensively used to reference sources in psychology, education, and the social sciences. The essential criteria for the APA style were outlined in a 1929 paper published in Psychological Bulletin.

Researchers and academics writing on psychology can express information about their theories and findings in a consistent way by utilizing the APA style.

Unless you’ve taken a psychology or social science class previously, you’re certainly used to sticking to a different style guide, such as MLA or Chicago style. Furthermore, transitioning from MLA or Chicago style to APA might be difficult yet achievable.

APA formatting basics

Everything you need to know about APA Formatting

  • The text should be double-spaced throughout the paper;
  • All sides should have one-inch margins;
  • All paragraphs must be intended;
  • The title goes in the middle of the page, with your name and school/institution beneath it;
  • Use a 12-point font;
  • Pages must be numbered in the top right corner;
  • Punctuation signs should be followed by one space;
  • A shorter version of the title (called “running head”) should go in the top left corner.

General APA format sections

Title page

Your paper’s title page takes up the full first page. On the title page, the “running head,” a shorter version of your title, will come before the title, along with your name and the name of your institution, at the top of the page. The name of the supervisor or mentor, course, and department are included at the bottom of the page.


Everything you need to know about APA Formatting

According to APA style, an abstract is a summary of your paper that should be between 150 and 250 words long. It is essential to remember that the length of an abstract varies depending on the needs of the journal or institution.

Body text

The body of your paper it’s the actual content, which must be 8.5 inches by 11 inches, written in Time New Romans, size 12, double-spaced.

Everything you need to know about APA Formatting
Example of a professional paper in the APA format


A reference list at the end of your paper should provide essential information about the sources of your in-text citations. All mentioned sources, as well as bibliographies, must be included in the reference list.

Everything you need to know about APA Formatting

Tips on writing a paper in APA format

Choose a good subject

Choose a subject that is particular enough to allow you to completely explore and study it, but not so specialized that you have difficulty finding sources of knowledge.


Begin your research as soon as feasible. Start by reading some essential publications and articles on your subject. Then, make a list of potential sources for the content.


Maintain a precise record of the sources you cite. Ensure that any quotations and citations used in the text are included in the reference list. 

Make a draft and revise it

Make a rough draft and revise it as many times as needed. Remember to ensure that your paper is coherent and supported by all utilized sources. Double-check for types, spelling mistakes and any other APA format issues.

High impact and greater visibility for your work

Increasing the impact and visibility of your work can be as simple as picking the appropriate template on the Mind The Graph tool. Add illustrations and infographics to improve your work and take it to the next level, or create eye-catching posters; easy to learn, and easy to make.

Everything you need to know about APA Formatting


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