APA Formatting and Style Guide

APA can be deciphered as American Psychological Association; papers, formatted in the given style, are mostly scientific ones. In general, the formatting style is used by social (Sociology, Political Science, Archaeology, Linguistics, Geography, Economics) and behavioral sciences (Psychology, Neuroscience, Psychology).

The guide from EssayIvy provides general information related to the formatting of your paper.

Here are the basic things:

  1. The essay should include four major sections: the Title Page, Abstract, Main Body, and References.
  2. On the cover page, in the header you should insert the text running head: followed by the title of your paper in all capital letters. ONE inch from the top-right.

Then APA format title page includes

  1. A running head/page header includes two pieces:
  2. the title of the paper justified to the left using all capital letters and ONE inch from the top-right of each page.
  3. page numbers justified to the right-hand side of the APA format paper (do not put p. or pg. in front of the page numbers).
  4. The paper provided in this format needs to use Times New Roman Font, with the size set to 12, as well the line spacing to be set to double, and all extra spacing needs to be removed.

Abstract (if needed)

The abstract should be a single paragraph, double-spaced between 150-200 words and include such necessary parts as research questions, analysis of data, the topic of the research, participants (if any), methods used, results, etc.

In addition, some Keywords section may be added. Type Keywords (should be italicized) from a new paragraph.


APA formatting style demands the usage of references and in-text citations for all sources used while writing the paper. Thus, in-text citations cover the name of the author, date of publication, the title of the book (other sources used), location, publisher, and numbers of pages for content being cited.

The References page should start with the word References, put at the top of the page (arranged centrally). All sources have to be listed in alphabetical order.

***Longer works such as books should be in italics.

***In the case where the same author is cited multiple times for different works, you should list the references in chronological order, starting with the oldest reference and working your way up with the most recent one.

For Example

Book with an Author
Plath, S. (2000). The unabridged journals. K. V. Kukil (Ed.). New York, NY: Anchor.

Electronic Sources
Bernstein, M. (2002). 10 tips on writing the living web. A List Apart: For People Who Make Websites, 149. Retrieved from https://www.alistapart.com/articles/writeliving



Byard, R. W., James, H., Berketa, J., & Heath, K. (2016). Locard's principle of exchange, dental examination, and fragments of skin. Journal of forensic sciences, 61 (2), 545-547.
Cleary, H., & Warner, T. C. (2016). Police training in interviewing and interrogation methods: A comparison of techniques used with adult and juvenile suspects. Law and human behavior, 40 (3), 270.
Nawrocka, M., Frątczak, K., & Matuszewski, S. (2016). Inter‐Rater Reliability of Total Body Score—A Scale for Quantification of Corpse Decomposition. Journal of forensic sciences, 61 (3), 798-802.
Schuler, M., Mohnke, S., Amelung, T., Dziobek, I., Lemme, B., Borchardt, V., ... & Pohl, A. (2019). Empathy in pedophilia and sexual offending against children: A multifaceted approach. Journal of abnormal psychology, 128 (5), 453.

Now you have a general understanding of APA Formatting. For more in-depth knowledge, you can google or use your school, college, or university writing center.

For more examples, you can visit our Free Samples page.

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