While it might seem like something you can just gloss over, most instructors, as well as publication editors, have strict guidelines when it comes to how your format your writing. Not only does adhering to APA format allow readers to know what to expect from your paper, it also means that your work will not lose critical points over minor formatting errors.
The main heading of any essay is the most important and crucial part of the document. Even if the essay has been composed nicely, you might still not be able to capture the reader’s attention if there is no proper heading for an essay. Learning how to write a good essay heading is very important.
Putting a proper essay heading is applicable to every type of an essay irrespective of the topic, structure and citation format. It is used for an essay on science or a persuasive essay or a comparable one. The type of essay does not matter as the heading lets the reader know what the essay is all about.
If your instructor has asked you to write an APA format essay, it might at first seem like a rather daunting task, especially if you are accustomed to using another style such as MLA or Chicago. Before you begin your essay, familiarize yourself with some of the basics.
These OWL resources will help you learn how to use the American Psychological Association (APA) citation and format style. This section contains resources on in-text citation and the References page, as well as APA sample papers, slide presentations, and the APA classroom poster.
Remember that writing an outline in APA format is quite different from writing an outline in MLA format. You should use parallelism in the outline structure, which will help in maintaining uniformity and consistency between the headings and subheadings. Coordination, subordination and division between the headings and subheadings are also an important element to be kept in mind while writing an outline in APA format. Writing an outline in APA format can be a lot easier if the above steps and guidelines are followed.
APA allows for five levels of headings, though it's unlikely that you'll use all five. There are a few general rules to keep in mind when creating subsections for your 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 a clear font that is highly readable. APA recommends using 12 pt. Times New Roman font.
The sections named above are considered major elements of your paper, so these sections should be treated as the highest level of headings. Major levels (highest level) titles in your APA title are centered on your paper. They should be formatted in boldface and the important words of the heading should be .
After consulting with publication specialists at the APA, OWL staff learned that the APA 6th edition, first printing sample papers have incorrect examples of Running heads on pages after the title page. This will take you to the APA site where you can find a complete list of all the errors in the APA's 6th edition style guide.
Writing your first APA format essay can be a little intimidating at first, but learning some of the basic rules of APA style can help. Always remember, however, to consult the directions provided by your instructor for each assignment.
After you have prepared a rough draft of your essay, it is time to revise, review, and prepare your final draft. In addition to making sure that your writing is cohesive and supported by your sources, you should also watch carefully for typos, grammar errors and possible problems with APA format.
There are a few acceptable fonts that you can use for an APA paper. Usually you will want a non-true sized font. True size means that every letter takes up exactly the same space as the next. An example of true size is courier new, which is what this sentence is written in. A more accepted non true type face is Times New Roman which is what this sentence is written in. However, the most accepted type face is Arial. As you can see this entire paper is written in Arial. It is the easiest to read and see. As far as size you always need to in a 12 point font, such as this paper.
All margins for the paper need to be 1" (one inch). This is true of the sides, top and bottom. All indents are either the default "tab" key setting or five spaces. Whichever you prefer. Make sure that the entire paper is double spaced for ease of reading, as this paper is.
With page numbering use a header. In the header make sure that you are right justified, and then use a small section of the title (such as in the header above) and then five spaces and push the button in the window for sequential numbering (if you do not know how to do this consult the help menu.)
Summary: APA (American Psychological Association) style is most commonly used to cite sources within the social sciences. This resource, revised according to the 6th edition, second printing of the APA manual, offers examples for the general format of APA research papers, in-text citations, endnotes/footnotes, and the reference page. For more information, please consult the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association, (6th ed., 2nd printing).