The APA format is the standard format for research papers. Its design covers all aspects of the page set up (margins, spacing etc), how the content is structured, the referencing style including citations and font, well, really everything. The design is so exacting that there are books developed to teaching you how to use the format. Some web sites will offer u-tube type presentations that talk you through the process with demonstrations. The format is updated regularly make sure that if you are using the APA format on your current piece of work that you check out the current status of the format.
Check out samples. Look at websites that give illustrations as well as list the requirements of the APA format. Preferably check out samples that show you how the document has been changed to the APA format.
Always keep a APA guide close at hand. If you buy a book (as referred to above), you will need to a) spend money on it, b) read it. All you really need to do is check out a few reliable websites and see what they have to offer (for free). Keep your APA guide and the samples that you identified earlier close at hand, a very useful resource.
Templates. There are templates that are available for you to use as part of your word processing package. The document template will make sure that your margins meet the APA requirements, the document will automatically double spaced etc. The best aspect of the template is that you can add the references and bibliography with minimum effort and stress, and you can add the whole list in the correct format at the touch of a button. Magic! The template will also open up the appropriate sections for you so add your work, again less stress as the work is formatted as you go along.
Never write in the 1st person. Remember that you are writing a research paper and even if you are relating to information about personal experience find another way of writing about the situation.
Cite Everything. Make sure that you give credit for other people work. If you don’t give the credit where it is due you risk jeopardizing your work due to plagiarism. The other side of the argument regarding Citing work is that if you don’t make reference to how your research paper fits in with other scholarly work, you risk your work not being taken seriously by other academics.
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