The APA citation style is widely used to write term papers, essays, research reports, and dissertations etc which are related to social sciences. Introduced back in the year 1929, it was an entire seven-page guideline that appeared in the Psychological Bulletin back then. Since then it has evolved into a complete format, even though writers generally do not find it too easy.

The APA format benefits both writers and readers. How so? Simply because of the fact that it enables writers to organize their papers in a specialized manner. This is done with the help of in-text citations as well as a separate bibliography page which presents complete information about all the sources used. On the other hand, readers can easily use this information to look up the original sources in case they want to conduct extra research.

Components of Academic Papers Written in APA Format

All papers that are written using the APA citation style have the following components:

  • Title Page
  • Abstract (this is optional and depends on your mentor’s choice)
  • Body of the paper
  • Bibliography or Reference List

Basically, the abstract presents a summary of your academic paper. It is meant to provide your readers with a general idea of what your paper is all about. It is the abstract which can compel the reader to continue reading your entire essay. It generally does not exceed 120 words, so you need to make it so interesting in these 120 words that the reader cannot stop just there.

Then comes the introduction of your paper, which aims to introduce the topic to the reader and exactly what your paper will deal with. This has to be written with the notion that the subject is new to the reader.

The first page of all academic papers written using the APA citation style must consist of the paper’s title, the name of the author as well as the institution. These need to be centered on the upper half of the page. The title page must also have a header and a running head. Make sure that the header is no longer than two or three words as it is a mere short form of your title. Also, remember that you running head must be less than 50 characters.

If you have used someone else’s ideas or quotes in your term paper, then you need to provide an in-text citation to give credit to the original source. Basically, your parenthetical documentation or in-text citation must consist the last name of the original author and the year of publication. If the name of the author has been mentioned as part of your essay, then you only need to put in the publication year in parenthesis.

You further need to provide a separate bibliography which cites complete information about the sources that you have used in alphabetical order. The references should be listed in double space format with no space between them.

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