APA Essays – The Citation Format Explained

This citation format is generally used for essays, research papers and theses particularly relating to social sciences. This citation was first introduced in 1929. At that time it appeared as a seven page guideline in the Psychological Bulletin. However today it exists in the full fledged format. Not all writers consider the format easy to use.
That said the APA format is advantageous to both writers and readers. It is beneficial to writers because it enables them to arrange their paper in a more professional manner. This citation format automatically qualifies a paper for publication in a psychological journal. This citation format has an in-text citation and reference system that makes it absolutely easy for readers who want to refer to the sources cited and do additional research.
An essay or research paper under the APA citation format generally has the following components. The paper has a title page. Then there is an abstract of the paper. This is however optional and left up to your mentor. This is followed by the body of your paper. And finally at the end of the paper on a separate sheet is the reference list.
The abstract is a summary of your paper. It gives readers an idea of what your paper is about. Based on this abstract a reader normally decides whether or not to read the whole essay. The abstract does not normally exceed 120 words. You have to make these 120 words so interesting that the reader is compelled to read the whole paper.
Under the APA citation format an essay normally has an introduction. The purpose of the introduction is to acquaint the reader with what the essay will be dealing with. It is written on the basis that the reader is new to the subject.
The first page in an essay under the APA format must meet the following requirements.
It must have the paper’s title, the name of the author and the institute of affiliation. These should appear centered on the upper half of the page. The other elements of the title page are the header and a running head. The header is a short form of the title and should be no more than one or two words. The running head should be within 50 characters.
In addition to this there are a few requirements that are basic to the APA citation format. It requires that the essay or research paper is typed on paper that is 8.5 inches by 11 inches. It also requires that the all-around margin be 1 inch. The line spacing should be double. All the pages of the essay should have a header and a page number. These should appear in the right hand corner. This detail should also appear on the title page.
When you quote someone or use an idea that is someone else’s the APA citation format requires that you use parenthetical documentation method for in-text citation. The way in-text citation is done differs a little if the work cited is by one or more authors or from a secondary source or is a direct quote. In APA the parenthetical documentation should include the last name of the author and the year of publication. If the name of the author forms a part of the essay text the year of publication is alone mentioned in parenthesis.
As per the APA citation format the reference page should be a separate page with the works cited arranged in alphabetical order. References should be double spaced with no space between references. If a reference runs to more than one line, all subsequent lines should be indented.
APA essays that conform to the APA format are invariably more professionally written. Hence this format is recommended for essays that relate to research papers and social sciences essays.

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