How to Format a Research Paper in APA 7th Edition: The Complete Guide

By eContent Pro on Oct 31, 2023

Formatting a research paper in accordance with the American Psychological Association's (APA) style guidelines is a fundamental skill for academic and professional writers. The recently updated APA 7th edition has brought some changes and refinements to the formatting rules.

In this comprehensive guide, we will walk you through the step-by-step process of formatting a research paper in APA 7th edition, from the title page to the references section. By the end, you'll have the knowledge and skills to create a polished and professional research paper that adheres to APA guidelines.

Section 1: Title Page

The title page is the first impression of your research paper. It's important to get it right. Here's how to format it:

  • 1.1 Title: The title should be concise and informative. Center it four or five lines down from the top of the page, bold it, and use title case (capitalize the first letter of words consisting of four or more letters, as well as all major words, i.e., nouns, verbs, adjectives, adverbs).
  • 1.2 Author Information: Below the title, list the author(s) by their first name, middle initial, and last name. If there are multiple authors, separate them with a comma.
  • 1.3 Institutional Affiliation: Right below the author information, include the name of your institution. This should be followed by the author note (if applicable) and the running head.
  • 1.4 Running Head: In the header, align the title of your paper (in uppercase). This should be left-justified, with no more than 50 characters (including spaces).
  • 1.5 Page Number: Insert the page number in the top right corner.

Section 2: Abstract

The abstract provides a concise summary of your research. Here's how to format it:

  • 2.1 Heading: Center the word "Abstract" at the top of the page in bold.
  • 2.2 Length: Your abstract should be between 150 and 250 words.
  • 2.3 Content: Summarize the key points of your research, including the research question, methods, results, and conclusion.
  • 2.4 Keywords: Below the abstract, list a few keywords relevant to your research.
  • Section 3: Body of the Paper

    The main body of your research paper should be organized and structured correctly.

    • 3.1 Headings: Use clear and consistent headings to divide your paper into sections and subsections. Use APA heading levels (Level 1, Level 2, etc.) to indicate hierarchy.
    • 3.2 Font and Spacing: Use a 12-point readable font, such as Times New Roman or Calibri. Double-space the entire paper, including the abstract and references.
    • 3.3 Margins: Use 1-inch margins on all sides.
    • 3.4 In-Text Citations: When referencing other works within your paper, use parenthetical in-text citations. Include the author's last name and the year of publication.
    • 3.5 Quotations: For direct quotations, use double quotation marks. Include the page number if quoting directly from a source.

    Section 4: References

    The references section lists all the sources you've cited in your paper.

    • 4.1 Heading: Center the word "References" at the top of the page, in bold and plain text.
    • 4.2 Alphabetical Order: List your references in alphabetical order by the author's last name. Use a hanging indent for each reference.
    • 4.3 Author Names: Invert the first author's name (last name, first initial) and use an ampersand (&) before the last author's name in multiple-author references.
    • 4.4 Title: Italicize book and journal titles. Use sentence case (only the first word and proper nouns capitalized) for book and article titles.
    • 4.5 Online Sources: Include the DOI (Digital Object Identifier) for online articles when available. For webpages or websites, provide the URL.
    • 4.6 Journal References: Include the volume, issue, and page numbers for journal articles.
    • 4.7 Book References: Include the publisher's name for books.

    Section 5: Appendices

    If you have supplementary materials like tables, figures, or questionnaires, include them in the appendices. Make sure to label them appropriately.

    How eContent Pro Can Help

    Authors often find the task of formatting their manuscripts to meet the stringent requirements of APA 7th Edition guidelines to be a daunting challenge. That's where eContent Pro steps in as a valuable partner to alleviate these formatting woes.

    Our experienced team understands the intricacies of APA 7th Edition formatting, and we are well-equipped to assist authors in meticulously aligning their manuscripts with these guidelines. Here's how we can help:

    • Expertise in APA Guidelines: Our professionals are well-versed in the latest APA guidelines, ensuring that every aspect, from the title page to the references section, is formatted correctly.
    • Ensuring Consistency: We maintain consistency throughout your manuscript by adhering to APA style requirements for headings, citations, in-text references, and more.
    • Precision in Citations: Authors can trust our team to accurately format in-text citations and reference lists, minimizing the risk of errors.
    • Efficiency: We save authors valuable time by expertly handling the formatting process in an average of 1 to 2 business days at no extra cost.

    Contact us today to learn more about our editorial services and how we can help you achieve your goals. With our team of experts by your side, you can be confident that your manuscript will be polished to perfection and ready to stand out in the competitive publishing landscape.

    About eContent Pro

    Based in Hershey, PA, eContent Pro offers high-quality editorial services with the fastest turnaround (1-2 business days, sometimes the same day, at no extra cost) and exceptional customer service. Since our inception, we have provided copy editing services to scholars in 90+ countries to achieve successful publications, and we have supported publishers, university presses, and organizations by streamlining their publishing workflows.

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