APA style was created by the American Psychological Association in order to standardize the formatting of papers written on social and behavioral sciences. Its manual has rules defining all the aspects of writing, thus making it easier for the authors to both format their own papers and work with the works written by other people.
There are several widely accepted formatting styles, every one dealing with a particular set of sciences, and the APA style is one of them. So, if you plan to write something dealing with psychology or sociology, you should learn some things about it:
- The APA format paper should be typed with double spaces on the paper of standard size (8.5”x11”). Margins: 1” on each side. Font: 10-12 pt. Times New Roman.
- There should be a page header at every page.
- Quotations that are less than 40 words should be left in the body of text and placed into double quotation marks. Mention the author’s surname, year of publication and the number of page in the brackets.
- If quotation is more than 40 words, you should use a block quotation starting with a new line, indented five spaces and without quotation marks.
- If you use Internet sources, provide the author’s name, the year of publication and the number of page (if it is PDF), the number of paragraph and a heading.
- If you retell someone else’s text in your own words, mention the author’s surname and the publication year (in brackets). If you use the same source in the same paragraph, don’t refer to the year again.
- If there are two authors, mention their surnames and publication year.
- If there are three to five authors, mention their surnames and publication year for the first time, then you may stick to the surname of the first of them plus “et al.”
These are the most general guidelines for the APA style; here we have mentioned mostly the citation rules, but keep in mind that it has instructions for various other aspects of writing, so don’t forget to familiarize yourself with the Manual before you start writing.
It is very important to learn all the tricky moments before you start working, for if you put it off until the last day, you may suddenly face the perspective of remaking the whole of your paper. Don’t let this happen and use correct formatting from the stage of writing drafts. It is also recommended to write down all the information considering sources you take as a basis at the stage of literature research so as not to forget some important details.