How to Write an APA Paper

how to write an apa report

By Kendra Cherry. Psychology Expert

Kendra Cherry is an author and educator with over a decade experience helping students make sense of psychology. She is the author of the Everything Psychology Book (2nd Edition) and she has published thousands of articles on diverse topics in psychology including personality, social behavior, child therapy, research methods, and much more.

If you are taking a psychology class, it is very likely that your instructor will ask you to write an APA paper at some point. What exactly is an APA paper? It is simply a written paper that follows APA format. the official writing format of the American Psychological Association .

If you’ve never written an APA paper before, the formatting rules and guidelines can seem daunting and difficult at first.

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While your instructor may have other specific formatting requirements for you to follow, here are some general guidelines for how to write an APA paper.

General Rules for an APA Paper

First, start by observing some of the standard rules

of APA format. Use standard-sized paper of 8.5 inches by 11 inches, and always use a 1-inch margin on all sides.

Your paper should always be typed, double-spaced and in a 12-point font. Times New Roman is one recommended font to use, but you may also use similar fonts.

Every page of your paper should also include a page header on the top left of the page as well as a page number on the top right of the page.

Sections of an APA Paper

The exact structure of your paper will vary somewhat depending upon the type of paper you have been asked to write. For example, a lab report might be structured a bit differently that a case study or critique paper .

No matter what type of APA paper you are writing, there should be four key sections that you should always include: a title page, an abstract, the main body of the paper and a reference section.

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Final Tips for Writing an APA Paper


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