Нow to Write a Research Paper in APA Format + Free Example

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20 Mar 2019

Right from the get-go, let us dispel a common myth about a citation format for a college research paper. There is a popular misperception that APA is the devil’s cousin whose existence is predicated on the consumption of student suffering. It is not true. APA is not the embodiment of evil; its 6th edition, on the other hand, is. But worry not! We will provide you with an up-to-date format template that can be used for writing perfect APA papers on all topics.

Buckle up: things are about to get super-duper nerdy.How to Write an APA Style Research

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APA Style Research Paper Example

Writing a research paper proposal in APA format feels like having a baby (Yes, out of a gazillion examples, I’ve chosen the most ridiculous one, but bear with me). Many days of pondering and preparation culminate in a stressful event filled with agony. And when it’s over, you wonder why the heck you did it.

If your pain threshold is not high enough, you would be better off inviting the assistance of research paper writers. If, however, you are not ready to buy research papers yet, then finish this didactic article. Useful tips and examples are ahead!


APA Style Research Paper Format General Guidelines

APA Style Research PaperBefore considering how to write in APA format, one must create a blank document and tweak it in accordance with the established requirements. Below are the basic guidelines for APA style research paper format:

  • Set one-inch margins on all sides of a document;
  • Select Times New Roman font, size 12 pt.;
  • Double space the whole document;
  • Create a page header at the top of each page;
  • Indent the first word of every paragraph.

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When Writing a Research Paper APA Style, Include These Essential Components

Now that we’ve covered the general format guidelines let’s discuss the essential components of a research paper in APA style. Using the following sections is A MUST for this type of writing:

  1. Title Page

The first page contains these important elements: the running head, your name, and your institutional affiliation. Wait! I’ve just had an urgent phone call with Captain Obvious, and he informed me that the title page must feature the title of your paper. So, please, don’t forget to include it.


  1. Abstract

An entire page should be dedicated to an abstract. The first line of the page should feature the word “Abstract.” The rest of the page must have a summary of your paper’s contents. Make note that the first line of the summary itself should not be indented. Also, make sure not to exceed the 250-word limit for this page.


  1. Outline

In APA style research paper outline, Roman numerals are used for main headings. When structuring sub-headings, use capital letters. If there is a need to create additional sub-headings, use lower case letters.


  1. Paper’s Body

Write the paper’s title at the center of the page. IT SHOULDN’T BE bold, italicized, or underlined. Include as many paragraphs as you wish in the paper’s body; however, make sure the first line of each paragraph is indented. If you don’t know how to write an introduction for a research paper APA style, use the embedded link.


  1. References

Citation policies of the APA format are discussed later in the article.

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APA Style Research Paper Template

APA Research PaperAll sections of your research paper should have requisite headings. The following template shows how to place and ident headings levels of your APA document.

Title (Up to 12 Words)

Indent the first paragraph. Note that there is no need to supplement it with the word Introduction.

Heading 1

The first heading should be centered. Furthermore, a paragraph under the heading must be indented, as shown here.

Heading 2

Align the second heading left. If your text editor is not set to be left-aligned by default, select the heading and click Align Left on the Home tab.

Heading 3

Include a period at the end of the third and all consecutive headings.

APA Style Research Paper Title Page

As you may already know, in APA style, separate title page is required for a research paper or an essay. But what you probably don’t know is how to format the said title page (otherwise, why would you be reading this?). The teeny-tiny gap in your understanding of the arcane formatting/citation style can be filled quite easily. Just use the following example whenever you have to create an APA style cover page for research paper:


Running head: SHORTENED TITLE UP TO 50 CHARACTERS                                1





Title Up to 12 Words

Your Name

Your Educational Institution






Professor’s Name

Month, Date, Year

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APA Style Research Paper Sample You Can Use

Get inspired by the following excerpt from an APA style research paper about the utilization of hyperbole for bolstering the argumentative discourse in advertising.


Hyperbolized and Metaphorized Argumentation in Advertising

Hyperboles and metaphors are commonly utilized by advertisers to bolster their messages at the argumentative level. Rhetorical studies conducted in the last decade suggest that, rather than being used as ornamental verbal devices, hyperboles and metaphors are widely employed in the advertising discourse to serve as the primary objects of communication (Beasly & Danesi, 2014; Goldenberg et al., 2013; McQuarrie & Phillips, 2013). This study aims to analyze the structure and influence of several successful ads incorporating the two rhetorical devices: hyperbole and metaphor.

Metaphor as a Pictorial Analogy

Goldenberg et al. (2013) have identified the underlying patterns structuring metaphorical information in advertising: pictorial analogy, competition, and dimensionality alteration. The scholars argue that the patterns or “creativity templates” fuel the artistic process, which, contrary to a popular notion, is not governed by “unbounded intuition” (Goldenberg et al., 2013, p. 23). They maintain that the employment of the tools allows connecting the universally recognized cultural symbols to the desired message, thereby nudging the addressees into the acceptance of thereof.

Visual Manifestations of Advertising Tropes

By applying the cognitive approach to metaphor analysis, it can be posited that a metaphor is the manifestation of basic cognitive processes that span beyond the purview of the linguistic domain. As such, metaphors are characterized by several modes of occurrence one of which is visual.


How to Cite SourcesHow to Cite Sources in a Research Paper APA Style

Referencing your paper can be tricky. There are a few things that have to be kept in mind. You shouldn’t cite sources in your abstract as it is a concise summary of your own research. The same applies to the Conclusion section. Information from primary and secondary sources appearing in your paper’s introduction and body, on the other hand, must be thoroughly referenced. Below is the example of the References section in an APA style psychology research paper:


O’Donohue, W.T., Fisher, J.E., & Hayes, S.C. (2004). Cognitive behavior therapy: Applying empirically supported techniques in your practice. New York, NY: John Wiley & Sons.

O’Sullivan, K., & Dankaerts, W. (2015). Cognitive functional therapy for disabling nonspecific chronic low back pain: Multiple case-cohort study. Physical Therapy, 95(1), 1478-1488.

Psychology Today. (2018). Cognitive behavioral therapy. Retrieved from https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/therapy-types/cognitive-behavioral-therapy


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