This is the "Introduction" page of the "APA Style Guide" guide.
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APA Style Guide  

Last Updated: Jul 16, 2015 URL: Print Guide RSS Updates

Introduction Print Page

An Overview of APA

What is APA Style?

Developed by the American Psychological Association, APA Style refers to a set of guidelines and conventions used by individuals to format research papers, in-text citations, and bibliographies.  By applying these rules, you can ensure that your instructor will focus on the content of your paper, rather than the manner of presentation

Benefits of using APA Style:

  • Your work will be easier to read and understand
  • Using rules on mechanics and style will improve your written communication skills
  • You will have more time to concentrate on the content of your paper
  • APA Style is widely accepted in the business world and is commonly used in professional publications
  • Given its widespread use, it is easy to find help on how to format a paper, citations, etc., in APA Style

General Rules & Guidelines

Here are some things to keep in mind when formatting your paper:

  • Use the default margins (1") from Microsoft Word.
  • All research sources cited within the body of the paper need to be included on the References page. There are a few exceptions to this rule, such as when referring to an entire website or citing communications that would not be accessible to readers of your paper.
  • Font should be 12-point for the body of the text. Use Times New Roman or a similar font type
  • Double space everything, including indented quotes, title page and Reference list.
  • Use italics, not underlining, for whole works, books, and websites.
  • Direct quotes need to be enclosed with quotation marks. Long quotes of 40 words or more should start on the next line and be indented one-half inch from the left margin (double-spacing still applies).

An APA paper generally consists of three or four parts. The abstract portion may or may not be included depending on your instructor's requirements. The parts go in the following order: Title Page, Abstract, Main Body, References.

***Note: See the APA Formatting, In-Text Citations, Reference List, and Citation Examples Tabs along the top for more information and examples on how to format your paper.

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