APA style, or APA format are the terms commonly used to describe the writing style guidelines which are developed, maintained, and periodically revised and updated by the American Psychological Association (APA) .
The American Psychological Association came into being in its current form through the 1945 amalgamation of a number of different psychological societies and organizations which existed in the U.S.A. at that time, at both the national and state levels. The APA currently has almost 160,000 members and is the largest association of psychologists in the world.
Over the years, the APA has developed a standard for writing style that is now widely used by writers in the social sciences, education, business and psychology. Accordingly, the APA documentation style is now used throughout the world, in both business and academia.
The APA's writing style is documented in its manual entitled:
Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association, Fifth Edition (2001).
The APA's Publication Manual covers all aspects of the writing and publishing process including: organizing, writing , formatting, keying, and submitting a manuscript for publication. It provides detailed guidance on editorial style as well as on the appropriate standards for publishing research in accordance with ethical principles of scientific publishing.
APA documentation style (similar to the MLA style) calls for "in-text" citations of sources of information to be listed within the text where they are referenced, rather than in footnotes and endnotes, as some systems call for.
The publication mentioned above covers literally thousands of technical details for the writing and publishing of papers , and should be consulted if that level of detail is required. Nevertheless, there are a number of overall rules and general guidelines, which are normally sufficient for the preparation of most APA papers at the undergraduate level:
Overall APA Format:
- The paper should be typed and double-spaced, on standard 8 ½" x 11", 20-pound white paper.
- All four outside margins should be set at 1 inch.
- As many as applicable of the following sections should appear in the paper, each one beginning on a separate page: abstract, text, references, appendices, author identification notes, footnotes, tables, figure captions, figures. Each section should have a running header on the first line of the page, flush right.
- The manuscript title on the first page should begin about 1/3 of the way down the page. The title block on that page should include: full title (one or more lines), writer's name, course name and number, instructor's name, and the date - all centered on double-spaced lines
- A running header with consecutive page numbering should appear flush right in the upper right-hand corner of each page, including the manuscript title page. This running header will appear one-half inch from the top of the page, and should contain a short version of the manuscript title, followed by the page number.
Continued APA Formating Style