Now that you are just a few steps away from the completion of your studies, you must be feeling excited. But you need to focus on your thesis and final step. You are told to write the research paper yourself. Do you know which style you will have to follow? APA Style. This is one of the top most acceptable formats which is acceptable in writing in the United States. There are some people who are accustomed to use another type of writing style and format, therefore they may not know about it in detail.

Before you begin writing your research paper, you should familiarize yourself with the basics and fundamentals of APA format, so that you are able to create the APA format template seamlessly on your own. Let’s explore the ins and outs of the APA style.

Overview to APA Style Format

APA is the abbreviation of American Psychological Association. It is the famous form of writing format that is mostly used in academic documents such as books and journal articles. These guidelines were developed to ease reading comprehension in the behavioral and social sciences. It aids for clearer communication and reading. Also, it ensures about the reduction in biased language.

APA style was first developed in the year 1929. There were a lot of complexities found in the scientific reports. This is why subsequent Publication Manual editions were created. The latest one was released in July 2009. This style is primarily known for the referencing citation style. In addition to this, the general guidelines for reduction in bias of language, has also been updated over the years.

It provides practical guidance for ethnicity, gender, age, race, disability status, and sexual orientation. Nowadays, APA style is widely used. In fact, institutions follow this writing style for writing the scientific journals. This writing style is followed mostly over CSE, MLA, and AMA style.

The publishers set multiple rules to ensure consistency and clarity in presentation of written material. It includes some generic guidelines which are listed under. We have presented some basic elements as we will be explaining all of them with respect to research paper in detail below.

  • You should look over the length, tone and heading
  • Look over the presentation of statistics and numbers
  • Go through the abbreviations and punctuations
  • You should see the construction of figures and tables
  • You should also cite the references

APA Format Style Templates

Need for APA Style

APA writing style ensures about uniformity. It helps examining articles for key findings and key points. When this style is followed in writing, it aids in disclosure of all necessary information without any distractions. APA style helps us in choosing the graphic form that suits best to the analysis. It further expresses the key elements of qualitative results. Additionally, it also elaborates elements with accuracy and reports the critical details of research too.

Furthermore, when we follow the APA style in writing, we need to focus on the rules and guidelines of the writing style. This can help us in avoiding inconsistencies among the book chapters and journal articles. The use of APA style helps creating a seamless research paper with consistent flow of reading comprehension. This is why becomes more apparent to use APA style in complex writing materials such as things involving the use of statistics, facts, or tables.

Widely Accepted – APA Style

There are different kinds of writing style but there is something unique about the APA style in general that has made it acceptable worldwide. The best factor that separates the APA style is its ease of reading comprehension and reduction in biasness of words in text.

As the style referred by the research industries, APA research paper should be presented in a very neutral way. Additionally, the APA style uses particular framework of citation as well as page styles. In addition to this, the specifics of APA style ensure about thorough and systematic writing style. Here are specific characteristics of APA style that author should focus on for a smooth reading comprehension.

  • In text citation or references
  • Running head
  • Times New Roman or similar Font
  • Page begin from the title page
  • Paragraph indents
  • Double spaces
  • Very specific headings and subheadings style

APA Paper Templates

Basics to General Writing in APA Style

When you are told to follow the APA style in writing, you should ensure to follow the following basics in your APA outline template.

  • You should not use the impersonal style. This means that APA style does not follow the first person tone. For instance, you should use the phrase as, “The study focuses on” instead of “we emphasized the study on.”
  • You should also not include any anecdotes or persona statements. You should always cite the sources from where you are taking the ideas or quoting the statements.
  • You should also use a past tense when following the APA style format. For instance, you should write “The results derived that” instead of “The results derive that”
  • You should also not use the contractions. Try using the words in full form such as “It does not do.”
  • You should also be careful about the biased language. Ensure to be up to date with the appropriate term usage especially when you are writing a research paper.
  • Do not forget to cite your sources. You should also paraphrase as much as possible in order to avoid plagiarism and do not use the exact quote.

Basics to Write a Research Paper in APA Style

Normally, when authors are told to write a research paper, they have to follow the APA paper template. Let’s help you understand a few basics to the research paper and details as to how APA format is applied in each section of a research paper below.


  • A research paper following APA style in specific is different from the term paper, composition-style paper, or a creative writing paper.
  • Research paper that is following the APA style requires you to leave the personal information, and just emphasize on the research findings and results that have been explained in the introduction section, discussed in the hypothesis and methods sections. Then the findings are discussed in the results and discussion section.
  • Information to write the research paper in APA style has been changed from edition to edition in Publication Manuals, but the latest way to write the research paper in APA style is explained below.

Title Page

The title page is the first page of the research paper. Following the APA style in the rest of the content and sections, you also need to follow the APA style format on the title page. Check out the guidelines for your APA title page template.

  • The title page should include a short title. The tile is called as the running head. It should not be longer than 50 characters. Also, it should include all necessary capital letters. Along with this, the title page should also have a page number, author’s name, title, and double space.
  • The title should be centered about half-way down the page.
  • The name of the author should also be named under the title and in centralized form.
  • You should also mention the name of your institute, you are attending. That should again be centered under your name.


Abstract is a very short paragraph that would include the details of what you have written in your research. You have to cover all the necessary details such as brief introduction, hypothesis along with the results. You should also include this paragraph in APA format.

  • The ideal abstract following the APA style template would have one sentence from each section to cover all the details.
  • The abstract should not be more than 150 to 250 words. There are some instructors who suggest covering the study’s abstract in just 100 words.


The introduction of the study includes the overview to the study. It is the beginning of the research that should be provided in detail.

  • The introduction should be explicit and clear. The information will be clear only if you would investigate about the properly. So, ensure to thoroughly study about the topic first.
  • After you are done researching, ensure to write about all the constructs. Make sure that they are defined clearly.
  • Literature review will highlight what you have researched about the construct and investigated.
  • Make sure that the introduction you write is written from a professional journal.
  • The literature that you are using for your introduction should also be accurate in ideas.
  • You should also present logical ideas and do not write statements that sound illogical. Make sure that you provide a rationale to every statement you make.
  • You should elaborate about the hypothesis in this section too.


This is the section where the reader will get the idea of research in numeric. This section focuses on the practical application of the hypothesis.

  • It elaborates about the participants involved in the research. Under the section of participants, you need to elaborate about the demographics such as race, ethnicity, gender, mean age etc. You can include other demographic information too, but that should be relevant to the study.
  • In this section, you also have to describe about the materials or apparatus that you have used. Also, include the information on the scale of measures as well as reliability and validity, if available.
  • Then comes the procedure. You describe the process of conducting the research study. In the method section, you should include how to order the procedures, how participants participated, and briefly explain each and everything in the section.


This is the section where the hypothesis is proven. The results section determines the outcome of the research.

  • You should include appropriate statistics in the results.
  • You should also present the statistics appropriately. This means that you should use the appropriate method that actually applies to your study. You can consult the APA Manual in this regard to determine which method is applicable to your research.
  • You should also interpret the statistics that has come out after applying the method. Ensure to explain the meaning of your results accurately, so that the readers are able to determine what the outcome of your research is.


This is the section where you can openly discuss about what you have found from the research.

  • This section can either be in support or not in support of the hypothesis.
  • This part can be the differences and similarities between the present findings and what others have studied.
  • This section can also be followed by the alternative explanations and limitations.
  • You should comment on the implications and importance of the findings in this section too.


This is the last section where you have to give reference in APA style format. This is where you will have to write all the references from where you have taken help, or did your research from.

  • This section should be in alphabetical order.
  • The APA referencing style follows the name of the author first, then the year of the research being conducted, the title of the research, journal title, volume, and range of the pages.
  • You can also consult the APA manual in this regard.

Graphs and Tables

This is the section where you have to present the graphical representation of the method applied for your research.

  • All the graphs and tables should have a title, labeled with number and included in the appendices.
  • The graphs should be made appropriately to the scale being used such as interval, ordinal or nominal.

APA Style Templates

Final Thought

While writing an APA style research paper may seem difficult to you, you should start by breaking down your work into manageable steps. Make sure that you follow all the APA guidelines. For help, you can also download templates focusing on APA styles for your research.

TemplateLab May 4th, 2019