Mastering APA style #1: Formatting and Referencing

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Is it possible to master the APA (American Psychological Association) style?  Yes; however, it takes time and patience.  Even myself, with more than 10 years of using APA style in my studies and now at work, do check the above manual once in a while.

Hopefully this series of "Mastering APA style" will help you understand how to do APA style, and maybe master it in your future career!

Let's start from the very beginning:
In APA style, basically for beginners, there are two main parts to take note of: a) Formatting, and b) Referencing.  Students usually do either essays or reports.  Formatting is the style of which a paper is presented to your lecturer, marker, or the reader.  Referencing is the style of bibliography of how the references are presented at the end of the paper, and how authors are cited within the paper.

Formatting mainly consists of: (typical rule)
  • Margins (1 inch all around)
  • Running head and page number (on headers portion of page)
  • line spacing (double line)
  • font size and type (size 12 Times New Roman)
  • headings (differentiated by the different levels of headings)
  • numbers and percentages (see below)

Referencing consists of:
  • In-text citations
  • Reference list 
I would usually recommend to visit this Purdue OWL website on help for citations and referencing methods.  I will also cover them in future posts.

Note to students:  As APA style is the easiest to check in a paper, some lecturers might actually assess it first before reading the rest of your paper.  It would be good to make sure that the APA style in your paper is 100% correct before your submission.