If there is one thing that bothers many student minds – it’s probably related to referencing and endless rows of citations. If you are a sophomore or junior student, you might already have some ideas on how a Chicago-style paper would differ from an MLA one.
You might have already heard good old letters – A, P, A, even as a fresher. In this article, we aim to cover the basics for getting the hang of how to write an APA-style assignment. So if you want to spend fewer hours working on your academic papers – read on without hesitation!
What Is APA Format in Assignment?
First things should go first – let’s stop for the sake of definitions. “A” stands for American, “P” equals Psychological while the last “A” is Associations. This is a short answer to who imposes all the guidelines for millions of students worldwide. There are several editions of the Manual, of which the seventh one is current.
So if you wonder how to write an assignment in APA format, you’ll need to know the seventh Edition almost by heart to get the highest grades. This format is common for a wide range of subjects and disciplines, such as:
- for sure, psychology – and many others, mostly social sciences.
If you want to get more insights on APA format in an assignment, the following sections will be of interest as we are going to delve into all aspects of preparing the paper.
APA Guidelines Checklist
Surely, it is highly likely that you’ll be receiving some specific guidelines from your tutor on how to approach a certain assignment. We’ve gathered the essential format guidelines if you ever find yourself in need of following APA format in an assignment.
- You are not to invent the wheel when it comes to the paper size (and margins, if we are honest.) You will need to use standard 8.511-inch paper (the color option is exclusively white.) The margins are simple to remember (1111) – all sides are similar.
- Regarding the line spacing requirements – stick to double-spacing. There are at least three options when it comes to fonts (such as Arial and Calibri 11-point ones or TNW (Times New Roman), 12 points.
- If you wonder how to write an assignment in APA style, here’s the info regarding headers: it should be placed at the top of every page. Plus, there should also be a running head and the page number on the page’s top left side.
Speaking of APA format in an assignment, one thing is worth noting. As with every aspect of being in academia, you’ll have to keep abreast of all changes. We’ve already mentioned that the 7th Edition is in effect now. Yet, it had only been accepted in 2019. You can imagine the speed of alterations by mulling over the fact that the 6th Edition was in place for ten years only, between 2009 and 2019.
Particular APA Paper Sections
In order to be good at it yourself or even go as far as spread the knowledge of how to write an assignment in APA format, you’ll need to know about some specifics. Surely, among them are all the important sections of an exemplary APA formatted paper.
Of course, the list below will highly unlikely apply to all the tasks you may face. Yet, if we exclude some special types such as a lab report, the structure of a paper will be something like the following:
- Title Page – as with many academic assignments, this one goes without saying.
- It is followed by an Abstract. If you happen to find the key to writing good abstracts in your early years in college – suffice it to say this skill will prove worthy in no time.
- The main body of the paper (particular assignment structure types may vary.) Of course, as this part is the core of the whole paper. Yet, in terms of adherence to specific formatting rules, the next section is probably the most demanding.
- Yes, we talk about References here. Although there are certainly such odd learners who enjoy compiling this page, it’s in more instances than it causes headaches among students.
Conversely, if you want to not simply have a theoretical base of how to write an assignment in APA style, you will have to ace in all those building blocks of a great APA paper.
Some Working Tactics
Of course, we are not going to just reiterate what has already been shared in many forms. You can consult the latest edition of a manual itself when the need occurs. You might like our working tactics of writing an assignment in APA format and being good at it more!
Here’s what you’d better do before the deadline for an APA paper runs out:
- Brace yourself and prepare. Some in-depth research at first is a sure way of coming up with a good paper. Notwithstanding the format, you’ll still have content somewhere in there, right? Still, regardless of the style, you will have to adhere to, some basic browsing of the actual Manual will not hurt at this stage.
Pro tip: Always care about your references starting from Day One of preparation. You’ll be more than grateful to yourself in the long run.
- Better not start with the Abstract. Sure, some learners consider it as a first step in preparing any given assignment. However, a smarter approach would be working on this part when you’ll have at least 70 % of the main body done. Surely, then, you’ll see the whole picture, and summarizing will be a piece of cake. Who knows, maybe you’ll even get pretty creative with keywords and have some real fun!
Pro tip: Always give yourself enough time to work on an Abstract. You’ll be surprised at how many people this part will be the only one read!
- This is a note for those learners who care about tense usage in academic texts greatly. When you work with APA, don’t think twice – use Past Simple or Past Perfect wherever possible.
Pro tip: If you want to sound solid and credible in your papers, care about all the little details. For instance, a simple contraction here and there might spoil the whole reading experience for someone knowledgeable.
- As for references, you might already understand how important it is to keep track of everything you work with. Basically, you’ll need to approach this part most responsibly. If you’d like to know how to write an assignment in APA format someday, you’ll need to check every entry before hitting the Submit button with your text.
Pro tip: You don’t have to do everything manually. There lots and lots of citation tools that might prove handy in your work. Don’t hesitate to use those – in addition to consulting the APA manual, of course.
- Finally, never omit the editing stage. Consider this stage as the one responsible for filtering all the weak parts of your text. This is a pro tip in itself. If you are good at editing, any paper will become better in its final version!
Hopefully, you did not feel bored while reading this article. Now you know more about the APA style. So, maybe this type of paper will be a little more fun to work with.
Keep our working tactics and all the tips in mind – and I hope you reach all the heights in academic matters!