APA, mla citation builder

An Easy Guide to the APA Format

APA Format and Grades

When it comes to essay or dissertation writing, correctly formatting your work could be
the difference between you getting a good grade and a great grade!

The Basics:

●  The top, bottom and sides of your page should have a 1 inch margin!
●  Every new paragraph should start with an indent, typically about half an inch!
●  Use Times New Roman Font in size 12!
●  Double space the entire paper! This means that the space between lines of text
should be set to 2.0.
●  In the APA format the page header is known as the ‘running head’. Every page
should contain a running head, text editors will usually have an option for you to
automate this! The running head should be your papers title. If it is very long then
make a shortened version! This should appear in the top left of your page


APA Essay Sections

All essays in APA format should have these four components (dissertations will vary):
1.  The title page
2.  The abstract (an essay overview / summary)
3.  Main body


Title Page Break Down


An APA format title page will always have the essay title, a running head, your name and the institution or university that you study at. The running head on your title page should be prefixed with the words ‘running head’. Every other page should simply state the title of your project.

The title itself should convey the overall concept of the essay and should not contain any abbreviations or useless words. Essentially it must be direct and to the point! The title should be in the centre of the page and in size 12 Times New Roman. It must not be underlined, bold or italicized!All text on the title page should be double spaced. Do not include any titles such as Dr. or Mr. before your name! Simply put your first and last name. In the end your title page should look something like this:

APA Title

Easy Right?


In an APA format the abstract page should always begin with the running title, however from here onwards, drop the ‘running title’ prefix! That’s only required on the first page! From here you can simply keep the essay / study title.

Your page title should simply be the word ‘Abstract’, placed in the centre of the page and in size 12 Times New Roman. The abstract itself will be a summary or overview of your research process, the questions that you tackled, and the general conclusions of your research. The abstract should not be indented and should contain a maximum of 250 words. Remember! Use double-spacing throughout your paper! Including in the abstract! Your abstract should look something like this:

APA Abstract

The Body

Once again, start with the running title and page number, although by now you should have it set up to appear automatically. The page should contain the essay title at the top and in the centre of the page (this is in addition to the running title). Then, when beginning your introduction, make sure to use a 0.5 inch indent! A 0.5 inch indent must in fact be used for all new paragraphs!


APA Body


If you are writing a dissertation, the section to usually follow the introduction is the Literature Review. If you are writing a regular essay you can skip the rest of this section!

When beginning a literature review in a dissertation, maintain the format, however this time the title can be in bold and centred. Follow these steps for every stage of your dissertation, including the methodology, discussion and conclusion. Or for whatever sections you may decide to use in your paper.

For a simple guide on APA Style referencing, click here.

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