Menu top image


Ultimate Tutorial on Composing a Research Paper in APA Format

APA (American Psychological Association) Style is one of the most popular styles of writing, the other one being MLA (Modern Language Association). The style APA is mostly used in social sciences. There are two main ideas which govern how to make a research paper in APA format.

  1. A paper should show something which has been proven true, and thus it calls for the use of the past or present tense when citing the works by other authors or writers.
  2. Year of publication of the cited works is very important, and should be featured after any source you cite in the text.


  • Albert, (1975) found that almost always, people who do not exercise at young age suffer lifestyle health condition at adult age.
  • Maier and Williams (1996), have defined new theory of autism development in new born.

Present tense in the APA format should be format should be used for personal comments and generalizations. Only use the present or perfect tense when introducing the work of sources cited in the paper.


There is evidence of the increasing use of heroin for all age groups, including in children. Brice and Borroughs (1997) reported eight heroin overdose incidents in children under the age of 10 years.

Basic facts about APA

  • Use double spacing all the time: in the text of the paper, in the quotations, in the notes, and also in the reference page.
  • Leave margins of not less one-inch on all the sides of the paper, that is, at the right, left, top and bottom of each page.
  • Parenthetical citations should be used for acknowledging the indirect quotations, direct quotations and all the ideas you may have sourced from another person.
  • Reference page should be used for referencing the parenthetical citations.
  • In the text of the paper, the titles of recordings, television programs, films, periodicals, pamphlets, plays, and books should be underlined.
  • Titles of titles of lectures, book chapters, essays in anthologies, and articles should be put in quotation marks.
  • The page numbers should be positioned on the upper right hand corner.
  • Include running head on the top of each page.

Learning how to write paper in the styl

The secret of learning how to write papers is by writing, not by reading how to write. What does this mean? It means, you need to get example of a research paper done in APA format, see how it is done and then write the paper yourself.

In addition to knowing how to cite sources and how to format and layout the paper, you should learn how to avoid plagiarism. One way of avoiding plagiarism, is properly quoting the sources of your ideas or information. The in text citations should show name of the author, the title of the book or source, the year of publication and the place of publication.