General APA Guidelines

Summary: APA (American Psychological Association) is most commonly used to cite sources within the social sciences. This resource, revised according to the 6th edition of the APA manual, offers examples for the general format of APA research papers, in-text citations, endnotes/footnotes, and the reference page. Please use the example at the bottom of this page to cite the Purdue OWL in APA.
Contributors:Jodi Wagner, Elena Lawrick, Elizabeth Angeli, Kristen Moore, Michael Anderson, Lars Soderlund, Allen Brizee
Last Edited: 2010-05-05 02:17:47
General APA Guidelines
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 pt. Times New Roman font or a similar font.
Include a page header at the top of every page. To create a page header, insert page numbers flush right. Then type "TITLE OF YOUR PAPER" in the header flush left.
Major Paper Sections
Your essay should include four major sections: the Title Page, Abstract, Main Body, and References.
Title Page
The title page should contain the title of the paper, the author's name, and the institutional affiliation. Include the page header (described above) flush left with the page number flush right at the top of the page. Please note that on the title page, your page header should look like this:
Running head: TITLE OF YOUR PAPER
Pages after the title page should have a running head that looks like this:
TITLE OF YOUR PAPER
After consulting with publication specialists at the APA, OWL staff learned that the APA 6th edition sample papers have incorrect examples of Running heads on pages after the title page. This link will take to you the APA site where you can find a complete list of all the errors in the APA's 6th edition style guide.
Type your title in upper and lowercase letters centered in the upper half of the page. APA recommends that your title be no more than 12 words in length and that it should not contain abbreviations or words that serve no purpose. Your title may take up one or two lines. All text on the title page, and throughout your paper, should be double-spaced.
Beneath the title, type the author's name: first name, middle initial(s), and last name. Do not use titles (Dr.) or degrees (Ph.D.).
Beneath the author's name, type the institutional affiliation, which should indicate the location where the author(s) conducted the research.

Image Caption: APA Title Page
Abstract
Begin a new page. Your abstract page should already include the page header (described above). On the first line of the abstract page, center the word “Abstract” (no bold, formatting, italics, underlining, or quotation marks).
Beginning with the next line, write a concise summary of the key points of your research. (Do not indent.) Your abstract should contain at least your research topic, research questions, participants, methods, results, data analysis, and conclusions. You may also include possible implications of your research and future work you see connected with your findings. Your abstract should be a single paragraph double-spaced. Your abstract should be between 150 and 250 words.
You may also want to list keywords from your paper in your abstract. To do this, center the text and type Keywords: (italicized) and then list your keywords. Listing your keywords will help researchers find your work in databases.

Image Caption: APA Abstract Page
This article originally appeared on http://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/560/01/

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