APA (American Psychological Association) is a specific format of citing sources in papers within the broad field of social sciences, including psychology. Formatting papers according to the mentioned style is necessary in an academic environment since the quality of the papers depends on the properly implemented and cited evidence in order to support adequately the stated thesis. The general APA guidelines include technical requirements about the design of the paper; it should be double-spaced with a margin of one inch on all sides. Likewise, the students need to insert a page header in the upper right corner of every page, consisting of a part of the title and the page number.
APA style papers contain four main sections, such as the Title Page, Abstract, Body and References. The Title Page has to contain a name of the student, a name of the academic institution and the title. The students have to center all this information in order to be clearly presented. Regarding the Abstract of APA format papers, they need to present a concise summary of the major points of the written essays. Moreover, this kind of format is important with its in-text citations, paying attention on the author-date method of citing the necessary information. The students must cite the last name of the author and the year of publication of the respective source.
There are also certain requirements in relation to the in-text citation capitalization and underlining. For instance, the students need to capitalize author names and proper nouns. Referring to the title of a source requires capitalizing of the words in the title if they are not longer than four lines. In the other case, when the titles are longer, as in books, literary collections, films, it is necessary to underline or italicize the titles. The students have to put quotation marks in the titles of shorter works as journal articles or song titles.
In APA style papers, there are two main types of citations: short and long. The short quotations require not only the last name of the author and the year of publication of the source but also the precised page number for the reference. It is essential to introduce the citation with a phrase that contains the name of the author. If the quotations are longer, which means more than 40 words, APA format requires putting them in freestanding blocks, as the quotation marks are omitted in this case. In addition, there is another method of citing information, summary or paraphrase. Paraphrasing definite ideas requires only identifying the name of the author and the year of publication in the in-text reference.
One of the most important parts in APA format essays, term papers or research papers in APA format is the References Page because it makes sure that all the evidence is properly cited throughout the essays and the information could be easily found due to the detailed references. The reference list needs to appear at the end of the paper. A basic rule for the technical design of the references of the paper is the so-called hanging indentation, which means that the students need to indent the entries in the reference list one-half inch from the left margin. There are subtle differences in relation to referencing the various types of sources, whether print, electronic, articles in periodicals or books. However, APA formatting style characterizes with preciseness and clearly presented information that cannot confuse the readers; on the contrary, it orientates them properly in the right direction of retrieving the information in the easiest possible way.