APA sample essay and writing guidelines

In the majority of colleges and universities in the USA and other countries American Psychological Association’s (APA) technique of writing and citation is one of the most popular and commonly applied to writing all kinds of scientific and research papers. As a rule, this writing style is preferable in such scientific the areas as psychology, history, sociology, marketing, business, political science, mathematics, literature and economics. Even though this writing style sometimes can be difficult and challenging, we have some essential guidelines for you to deal with it appropriately.

At the same time, we recommend you taking a look at a well-written APA sample essay. This is especially a good idea for those students, who don’t have much experience in writing papers, including in this particular style, and don’t know how it needs to look like. As long as writing academic papers is a time and effort consuming process, requiring proper preparations and research, we also would like to offer you professional assistance to make this struggle easier for you. While reading the guidelines below, consider using help of professional and experienced writers or just getting a consultation.

What to begin with when writing an APA essay

First of all we would recommend you getting a copy of the APA’s Publication Manual. There are many sources to find this book. Either you buy it in the nearest bookstore, find it in one of your local libraries, or the easiest way would be, of course, to just find an electronic version of it on the Internet. This is the most reliable way to get specific information concerning writing essays and other papers in APA writing style. However, make sure you get the newest version of the book, because requirements can change from time to time, so using an old version would mean to follow the wrong guidelines. In fact, there are several various editions, so if you’re going to buy one of them, first of all check if it’s the most recent one.

Open Microsoft Office or other writing program you have on your computer and find out whether it provides users with APA templates or style guides. In most of cases writing apps have special features allowing to format your paper according to the APA requirements. In any case, if you have any doubts whether your computer or app can do proper formatting automatically, don’t rely upon it exceptionally. Instead, it’s better to do it on your own.

Understanding the format of your essay

Before you begin to write anything, you need to get acquainted with all the details in regard to the format of your future paper. You can take a look at an APA sample essay, but it’s helpful if you already know the essentials of this format. This particular writing style means paying special attention to technical details. They include typeface, spacing of lines, as well as margins and, of course, page headers. If you are aimed at getting high grades for your work, i’t important to follow these requirements.

  • The best way would be to use Times New Roman or any other similar to it 12-pt serif typeface. This is a perfect size, although sometimes using 14-pt is also appropriate.
  • All your paper from the beginning to the very end has to be double-spaced, including the title page and the references.
  • Apply left-handed alignment to the entire document.

Begin writing with the title page

When it’s time to writing itself, you’d better start with the first page, where the title should be provided. You need to locate the title 1/3 of the way down the page. Avoid making title longer than twelve words, which is the maximum allowed size of it according to the requirements of this particular style.

  • Provide your personal info, such as your name and surname, the name of the university or college, subject, date etc.
  • Remember about double-spacing and centering everything.
  • Make sure not to include into the title any abbreviations or shortened words.
  • In case if you want to provide additional notes, you may locate them down the page at the very bottom. This information may concern, for example, a specific matter or even person that your work is dedicated to.

Now that you started working on your essay, you can consider half of you job done, because the most difficult thing is always the beginning. Your next step is going to be writing and formatting the abstract, the guidelines to which are provided below in the article.

Working on the abstract of your essay

Considering the specificities of the formatting style you’re dealing with, in contrast to any other style you may have faced during your studies, you will have to develop an abstract. Some students get scared of the very name of this part, especially if they haven’t accomplished any assignment with an abstract before. But it’s not that scary as it may seem. If you look at a well-structured APA sample essay, you will wind a short part going right after the title page of the document. This is exactly what we call an abstract. It consists of minimum 150 and maximum 250 words and serves to provide a description of your essay. It concerns the ultimate purpose of your research, the methods you’ve used when conducting the research, the results of it and, finally, the conclusions. All this needs to be formulated in a brief and narrow manner. Therefore, you don’t have to go into details and instead, just give your reader an essence of what they are going to read about. Follow the next tips:

  • Provide your abstract on an individual page and make sure you located the title of the page called “abstract” in the upper central part of the page.
  • Avoid using any kind of serif other than you have already chosen. Also, don’t underline anything and don’t use bold or italics.
  • The header in this part of the document includes the title itself and the number of the page.
  • Make sure you provided all the required info in the abstract, which includes the name of the topic of your research, statement of the problem your writing is dedicated to, methodology and the results you’ve achieved by the end of the research and a few words to highlight the most significant conclusion.
  • A good idea would be to also include into the abstract your understanding of the importance of your research and how you think it may be used in that or another particular area of science.
  • If you want, you can also make a list of the key words and terms that have special meaning in terms of your research.

Proceed to writing the body of your essay

Now it’s time to begin writing the body of your essay. In fact, this is what your work actually is. You need to start it with a new page, write after the previous section where you provided the abstract. Just like you’ve done when dealing with an abstract, here you also need to write a header and locate it in the middle of the top of the page. Also, make sure you included the number of the current page. Here are some basic tips to consider when writing the body part:

  • Be very careful and make sure the text is double-spaced.
  • Provide every new paragraph with a new line and make sure your paragraphs are not mixed and run one right after the other.
  • The body part of your work is going to be divided into four essential parts, which are the intro part (to present your topics etc), the part dedicated to info on your methodology, the results and the development of the discussion itself.
  • Begin every new section of the body part right after the previous one. There’s no need to start it on a separate page.
  • For each section, no headings or additional titles except the name of the section are required.

Proceed to the final step

Now it’s only a matter of finishing your work as it should be. You will have to provide references on an individual page with the title “references” in the middle of the top of the page. The info should be provided in an alphabetic order, including the name of the author of the work used or cited, the date of the publication etc.
Once you get it done, it’s not the time for submission yet. It’s is highly important that you proofread your paper and edit it appropriately. When you look at a well-written APA sample essay, you may find it totally perfect and accurate. The thing is, the secret of every paper written in a good manner is that it’s been proofread many times and edited before someone else apart from the author had a chance to see it. Therefore, make sure to give enough attention to this final step. Be as careful as possible paying attention to every word and phrase and all the details. While checking formatting, proofread also the content and improve it, if necessary.

Having said that, we are glad to offer you professional assistance with writing any kind of academic papers according to any formatting style. Our experienced writers can provide you with all the needed consultation, give you a pro advice and help you write an outstanding essay.