Writing a research paper is not an easy task, yet it might seem to be more difficult than it really is. There are several generally accepted standards of writing, one of which, the APA (American Psychology Association) formatting standard will be discussed here.
In order to write a successful research paper in APA format, it is evident that one needs, among other things, to follow the rules. Here are prompts and tips on how to use APA format for research papers and the things you need to know to feel confident about the work you are doing:
Compress the main object and/or topic of the paper into your title and show logical connections tying one to another. Type it in the Times New Roman font, 12 pt., don’t make it bold, italic, or underlined. The title is an important part of any written document, because it conducts the main idea of the paper. It can describe the problems solved in the course of the research, as well as the main question sometimes, and it does so, while being very short.
The first part of the main body is introduction. It describes what is being researched and what needs to be solved in the research paper. Talk about relevance and scale of the problem and the object of your research, as well as previous research attempted in the field. If authors are cited directly, include the authors’ names in the citations along with the publication year and page number. If quoted indirectly, be sure to mention page numbers.
Provide titles for both, center them and make them bold. If you have subtitles in discussion, also make them bold and in first caps, and flush them with the left margin. If there are third level subtitles, indent those by 0.5. The conclusion restates the problem and summarizes all that you have done and found. You can leave open questions and help direct the readers towards future research.
The abstract contains the essential description of the whole paper and it usually occupies up to several pages. Center its title, do not indent the first line by any amount of distance. The abstract is normally 150 to 250 words long. Include definitions of all the abbreviations and acronyms used in the paper in a form of a list of keywords, with the word “Keywords” italic, followed by a colon.
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