APA Writing Guide

American Psychological Association (APA) style was developed by a group of psychologists, anthropologists, and business managers who wanted a simple coded form of representing components of scientific writing. They aimed at enabling a profound acknowledgment of scientific work. APA style is applicable in writing term or research papers and is popular in the social sciences fields.

Page Formatting

APA provides a set of guidelines that are observed when writing and editing content. They apply in citing sources, punctuations, abbreviations, selection of headings, and other elements that form a manuscript in scientific writing. APA requires that a paper is in typed form, on a customary paper which is often in word processing computer software. However, since computers have taken over typewriters, the use of double spacing in the paragraphs is recommended.

An essay that has been written in the APA format comprises of four major sections. The first starts on the first page where the author writes down the title, their name, and the institution they are affiliated with. The title should be centered, and names of the author written in orthodox ignoring titles held such as (Dr). The institutional relationship follows the author’s name indicating where the research was carried out.


The abstract is the second section of the APA style, which starts on a new page. The word ‘abstract’ is centered at the very top of the page. The second line contains the summary of the research such as research topics, the methods of research, research findings, and the issues that the author views as those of contention in the study. The abstract is a single paragraph of about 200- 250 words. When listing keywords such as at the beginning a new paragraph, the word ‘keyword’ is typed and italicized.

Body Section

The body is the third APA style section and is the main part. Like the previous ones, it starts on a new page. It provides the details on the research, the findings, facts, and analysis of the research topic.


References form the last section of the paper, also written on a new page. The term ‘references’ is centered at the top of the page and is not formatted. The references provide direction to readers for easier access to the citations on the manuscripts. The rules that act as guides in this section include the indentation of lines that follow the first line of each reference, with the name of the author taking a reverse position. Titles of long pieces of works are italicized. Additional information on further use of the APA style on referencing and other sections is available on the internet.



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