APA Format for Academic Papers and Essays


If you are not familiar with the APA Format, the formatting rules and guidelines may seem a little daunting at first. Being used to other writing styles like Chicago and MLA, it might take some time for you to getting the hang of writing an APA style paper.

Apart from the guidelines for citation in APA format, there are formats and guidelines for writing academic papers and essays.

(Do you need an APA editor for your paper! Click here)

Basic Formatting Rule in APA Format

  • Font type – Times New Roman
  • Font size – 12pts
  • Page Margin – 1 inch
  • Paragraph indentation – half an inch
  • The pages in an APA paper or essay must have a running head
  • Line spacing – double spaced
  • Every page must include a page number at the top right corner
  • Leave only one space after a period and any other punctuation marks

Guidelines For Writing Academic Papers and Essays in APA Formats

Academic papers and essays should have the following

pointing handRunning head

Every page of your paper should include a running head containing the title of the paper or the essay. If the title of your paper or essay is longer than 50 characters, the shortened version of the title should be used as the running head. The running head on the title page must be preceded by the words “Running head.” The text in the running should be written in all caps and flushed to the left

For example



pointing handTitle page

The title page in APA format is also referred to as the cover page. It is the first page of your paper that contains the running head, page number, paper’s title, author name, and institutional affiliation. Note the title should be written in title case at the center of the page. The title of the paper can extend to two lines but should not be more than 12 words

For example





O.A Morgan

University of California, Berkeley

pointing handAbstract

An APA paper is expected to have an abstract. An APA abstract is expected to be one paragraph, which should be about 250 words. An abstract it’s a summary of your paper that introduces the objective of the paper, the method, findings, and conclusion of the research. The heading of the abstract should be centered.

The first line of the paragraph of your abstract should not be indented. At the end of the abstract, the keywords that are relevant to the paper. Keywords are important to improve the findability of your paper in a database. The line of the keyword should be indented, starting with the word “keyword:” in italics, followed immediately by the keywords.

pointing handBody

The body of your paper or essay can have as many sections and paragraphs as possible. Each section should have a heading. Each paragraph should have a 5-space indentation. Space should be kept after a period, colon, semicolon, and exclamation mark. All text must be left-aligned and not justified. All periods and commas should be inside the quotation when quoting. For example .” ,”

pointing handReference page

The reference page of an APA paper, which is also called a reference list, is where all the sources used in the paper are listed. The citation style is dependent on the source type, aside from the guidelines for the references, the reference page has its own specific guidelines, they are as follows

  • The entries in the reference list should be listed in alphabetical order according to their last name.
  • The first line of each source should be flushed to the left, while all additional lines should use a hanging indentation.

Also read How to Write a Descriptive Essay!

Chicago Format for Academic Papers and Essays


academic revising master thesis

Photo of author

By Andy Xavier

Andy is an avid content developer and writer. He is experienced in creating engaging articles that are entirely unique and insightful. He has written lots of articles for Scientific Editing since 2019.

Leave a Comment

Related Posts

APA table of contents

APA Table of Contents; APA Format for Table of Contents

The APA (American Psychological Association) created a writing style that helps create consistency in the format of papers submitted within the field. The style has served as a guide for formatting the papers of researchers and students alike within the field. APA format does not necessarily require a table of content. However, you might need…
APA headings and subheadings format

APA Headings and Subheadings – APA Format Heading

Introduction APA Headings and subheadings are required to help organize and provide structure to papers and essays. Just like MLA, APA has guidelines for APA headings and subheadings which offer a premise on what each section should entail. This is important for the easy navigation of readers all through the literary piece. APA or American…
numbers in APA format

Numbers in APA Format

Introduction When you are writing an academic paper or essay, there is a very high probability that you would need to use numbers in your text. For example, having to report numerical information about the demographics of participants or the results of the statistical analysis carried out in the course of the research. Furthermore, writing…
APA running head

APA Running Head – A Clear Guide

A running head, especially in APA style, refers to the short title that usually appears at the top of every page of your paper or essay. Also, the APA running head helps to identify the pages in case the pages of your paper or essay get separated. Plus, in the case of publication submission, it…
Tables and Figures in APA Format

Tables and Figures in APA Format

Visual materials like tables and figures are needed in a paper to quickly and efficiently present a large amount of information to readers. It is used to assist communication and not a means of using up space or hiding significant results amidst a pile of complicated data. However, there exist some specific guidelines for formatting…