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APA Guide

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Written by
Dr. Emily Norton
  • Icon Calendar 16 May 2024
  • Icon Page 524 words
  • Icon Clock 3 min read

The American Psychological Association (APA) style is comprised of detailed guidelines. Basically, these rules dictate the formatting of the paper and citation method. Moreover, there are core aspects of the style, which all writers must internalize. In particular, a brief APA guide focuses on four fundamental aspects of the style: title page, abstract, in-text citation, and reference list entries.

Title Page

APA guide

Firstly, an APA paper has a title page. For example, the title page contains the essay’s title, names of authors, and their institutional affiliations by considering the APA guide. Also, the individual elements of the title page appear on separate lines. In this case, people create a page header on the title page, which consists of a running head and a page number. Besides, the title placed in the running head is usually a shortened. As a result, the standard format of the title page is:

Running head: TITLE OF PAPER                                                                               1

Title of the Paper


Institutional Affiliation

APA Guide on Abstract

Secondly, the second page of an APA style paper holds the abstract. In this case, the abstract exists on a separate page with the title “Abstract.” Also, the title of the second page is not subjected to additional stylings, such as bolding or italicization. Then, people align the first line of the abstract with the left margin. In this case, an abstract appears as a single paragraph. In turn, there is a 250-word limit imposed on the abstract, covering the APA guide. Besides, the constraining of the abstract’s word count ensures that the author develops a concise summary of the paper. Finally, people put keywords at the end of the abstract. As a result, the format of the second page:

TITLE OF PAPER                                                                                                         2


The text begins here.

Keywords: the first word, the second word

Guide on APA In-Text Citations

Thirdly, parenthetical in-text citations and a reference list are employed for reference purposes in the APA format. For example, a parenthetical in-text citation provides the author’s surname, date of publication, and a page number. Basically, in-text citations inform the reader that an idea is borrowed and present the identity of the sources’ authors. In turn, the following illustrations demonstrate various techniques for incorporating in-text citations in a text.

According to Turner (2019), the . . . completion (p. 27).

Turner (2019) argues that . . . completion (p. 27).

The completion . . . building (Turner, 2019, p. 27).


Finally, people place a reference list on a separate page at the end of the essay with the title “References.” For instance, entries in the APA reference page include all the necessary bibliographical information that a reader requires to locate source materials. As a result, a sample reference list that follows the main requirements of the APA guide is:


Smith, D., & Jones, M. (2019). Contemporary society. New York, NY: Livingstone Publishers.

Holmes, F. (2018). Academic writing. Journal of English Studies, 32(12), 34-56. doi:1099882/eng23.sss5

World Health Organisation. (2017). Prevalence of malaria. Retrieved from https://who.org/globalthreats_malaria

Summing Up on APA Guide

In conclusion, a proper academic paper should adhere to the APA guide concerning the title page appearance, abstract presentation, citation, and reference. However, this guide is not comprehensive.