How to Write My APA Essay

February 16, 2015

Content is it apa essay

APA Essay Writing and Writer’s Block – A Deadly Combination

So, here you are in a new course, perhaps Behavioral Psychology. Why did you sign up for this course? Perhaps you are a criminal justice major who is interested in the backgrounds and mental/emotional states that result in criminal activity. Maybe you want to understand the mindset of an individual who chooses criminal activity as a rewarding activity. Whatever the case, you are bound to receive an assignment that will require you to produce a piece of research using APA style. The problem is, you have only used the MLA format in the past. Now, you must not only come up with a good topic and thesis, you must learn a new style format as well.

Selecting a Topic

As a criminal justice major (this is used only as an example), you know that your future career will begin with aspects of petty crime – the more serious crimes are addressed by veterans with many years in the system. So, your topic should relate to the behavior patterns of these types of criminals – what motivates them; why do they see criminal activity as more valuable than pursuing legitimate and positive lifestyles? Now that you have your topic – petty, non-violent street crime, you need to stop. Before you conduct any research on that topic, you need to first do a bit of research on the APA style, because how your cite all of your references will be impacted.

Getting the Basics of the APA Style

First, you should understand that the term “APA” stands for the American Psychological Association, and the style is an attempt to have uniformity in the way that professional articles and papers, due to be published, are constructed. Thus, any psychology paper you may write in college will demand this style. (Some other departments will also require this style, so you may as well become familiar with it).

Your Research

Before you begin your research, learn how in-text citations must be formatted in the APA style. Doing this first allows you to use that format as you take your notes and designate your sources for the information, data, ideas, and concepts of authors you read. If you use the correct format during the note-taking process, you will “cement” that format in your mind, and you will not have to back-track to ensure that your in-text citations are properly formatted. Doing it right the first time through will save you lots of work on the back end.

Getting Educated on the Rest of the Details of APA Style

Constructing your research paper will be no different than it is for any other course or format style. Once you have completed your paper, and are certain that your in-text citations have followed proper APA style, you need to look at the other factors of this format. These include:

  • Title Page: You will discover things such as a “Running Header” and the information to include in the centered portion of the title page.
  • Pagination: You will learn that, unlike many other styles, your pagination begins with the title page, for in APA style, that is page one, and it must be designated as such in the upper right-hand corner of the page.
  • End-of-Text Citations: APA format has a very specific method for citing books, periodicals, Internet resources, published papers, etc. To comply with these formats, you had best consult a trusted APA format source

Sources for APA Format

The APA publishes a style guide, currently edition 6. You may purchase this style guide, but why waste your money? If you simply Google” APA style, you will find a large number of free, public guides that will give you a comprehensive guide to APA formatting. It is also quite possible that professors will have their own APA style guides, because they may want small variations themselves. Take some initiative and ask!

Summing Up

No one should find the APA format style difficult or cumbersome. Actually, it is pretty straightforward and logical. Using it takes only a little bit of research and attention to detail – don’t be lazy about this. If your professor wants APA style, it is your job to deliver just that!