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APA Formatting Tips for Your Paper

If your teacher or professor has asked you to perform an APA format essay and you have no ideas how to write it properly, then you definitely need our free assistance. At first sight, it might seem like very difficult assignment, especially if you used to work with MLA or Chicago styles. Before you start your paper, find out about basic elements of APS essay.

The tips below present you some helpful guidelines that will help you to cope with such kind of paper and ensure that it is structured perfectly.

What is Exactly Essay in APA Format?

APA is abbreviated from American Psychological Association that is an organization of professional and high-qualified psychologists. APA format is often used by students and experts in a large number of various disciplines including education, psychology, and other social sciences.

If you have some specific questions about this essay format, you may find the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association which tells you how to prepare the paper including spacing, margins and the structure of content.

But if you prefer to quickly learn the main elements of the correct essay, just keep reading!

What Are the Main Writing Aspects of APA essay format?

Set up the page properly

  • Take care of setting your margins to 1 inch at the top, bottom and right sides of the paper.
  • Choose the right and readable font. The APA usually offers 12-pt Times New Romans, you are able to use other ones.
  • The whole document from the title page to the reference list should be double-spaced.

Running head and page numbers

Running is an integral part of the APA format essay, it is usually located at the top left of the page. What is it? It is the first few words of the title, in other words, its short version and it should include fewer than 50 characters with spaces. Take care of making your running head more explanatory to provide the readers with some idea of the content.

Let’s talks about page numbers, they are usually placed in the top right corner opposite the running head.

How Does Cover Page Look Like?

You are definitely required to provide your essay on the cover page. So, the title page should include the following things:

  • title of your paper
  • your full name
  • school/university affiliation

All these items are located in the center on the top half of the page and are also double-spaced. Sometimes, a teacher can ask you some additional information e.g. course title, the date, and instructor’s name.


The abstract is the brief version of your paper that goes after your cover page. Under APA essay requirements, your abstract should include 150 to 250 words. Find more here

The main purpose of the abstract is to help the readers to decide whether the essay is helpful and suitable to their own explorations. This writing part is a short description of your topic, aim, methodology and conclusion.

Don’t forget to add some relevant keywords underneath the abstract that are separated by commas.

Main body

Title and introduction

Let’s move to a new page where we should place our title and intro. You need to write the title of the paper again; it indicates the beginning of the essay.

It’s time for the first part of the paper which is called introduction. In this section, to introduce the topic to the potential readers, provide the general overview of tentative investigations on the topic and determine your own hypothesis.


In APA, there 5 levels of headings exist, see below:

  1. A “main” heading (“Methodology” or “Literature review”)
  2. Subheadings of level 1 headings
  3. Subheadings of 2 level headings

Each heading is formed in a specific way.

Block quotations

Maybe, sometimes you’ll find a perfect quote that you want to add to the paper. But you have to remember if your quotation includes more than 40 words in length, it is necessary to provide a block quotation. See more examples here:

You begin the quotation on the new page, intending it by ½ inch. Quotation marks should be placed on it.

Reference list

The following points help you to format the reference list in a right accurately:

  • write the word “Reference” in the middle at the top of the page
  • put your list in the alphabetic order according to the authors last name
  • the list should be double-spaced

So, you’ve studied the entire process of formatting the APA essay and you may start writing right now!

To make all these rules clearer and more understandable, we give the helpful sample to show you how complete essay in APA format looks like. Click the link below and use it when needed.

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