How to Write a Good APA Paper Every Single Time
APA is one style of writing you won’t escape if you’re taking psychology, education, or social science courses. It is the preferred style to write following the requirements of the American Psychological Association. Every student taking a related discipline is required to understand how to write a good paper in the APA format.
However, if you’re only familiar with styles like MLA and Chicago, APA may not be a walk in the park. The styles are quite different, and APA paper guidelines are quite specific. So what do you do? Do you wing it and hope what you can write is a proper APA format?
Certainly not. With this comprehensive guide, you should have no problem writing a good APA paper. We’ll teach you how to craft a good write-up on your next assignments. Let’s jump right in.
First Things First, What Is an APA Style Paper?
Before we get into how you should write a good APA assignment, it’s crucial to understand what this essay is. APA is short for the American Psychological Association. In academia, it is a style students write in that’s mostly used in behavioral sciences and social sciences.
You’ll mostly be required to write in this style if you have to take a psychology class. That is because it’s the primary assignment formatting style in this course. However, it’s quite common in other disciplines as well.
How to Start an APA Paper Correctly
Ask any scholar, and they’ll tell you that how you begin your essay determines the trajectory of the entire write-up. The same goes for an APA assignment. Before you set to write your essay, decide what you’ll write to hook your reader. Also, you need to write a paper that is good enough to get them thinking they should read to the end. This way, they can learn more about your findings.
That is easier said than done. You see, the person reading your paper, in this case, your professor, is an expert in all things you write. They’ve seen it all: the good, the bad, and the ugly. Therefore, you need to be good at what you write. That will convince them that you have something important to say.
However, it’s not impossible. The professor is not expecting you to express your ideas like a professional author. They want to see your ability to analyze your topic and write your thoughts. Also, they assess your ability to make the reader interested and invested in it as you are. Furthermore, they want to see how much research you’ve done on the topic. Also, they need to see how good you are at it as well.
The professor will be able to evaluate all this from your hook statement, the background information, and the thesis statement. Therefore, you should prioritize these sections the most when you write.
How to Structure an APA Paper – Get It Right Every Time
The structure of a good APA assignment will depend on the type of assignment you’ve been asked to write. For instance, a good lab report may contain sections like methodology, analysis, and results. On the other hand, a good essay may not contain such sections because you didn’t do any practical research.
Nevertheless, there are specific must-have sections in every good APA essay you write. These include the following ones.
Think of the title page as the cover page of your essay. It gives the reader a good idea of what the assignment entails and the author. In this part of your paper, you’re required to have a page header. Additionally, you should include the topic of the essay, your full name, and the institution you’re studying in.
This part goes right after the title page, and it’s a summary of the essay’s contents. However, it’s not uncommon for professors to give specific guidelines on this. So, familiarize yourself with the professor’s requirements before you write the abstract of your assignment.
The body paragraphs in a good APA essay, like other types of assignments, contain the flesh of your subject matter. Here’s where you provide the reader with your findings, opinions, discussions, and conclusions about the subject matter. The sections in the body will depend on the type of assignment.
This part of the paper should be on a new page after the concluding part of your assignment. Title the page “References” and have it centrally aligned. It’s on this page that all the different sources you cited in the paper should go.
How to End an APA Paper
It’s crucial to end your APA essay as strongly as you began. Doing so will leave a good lasting impression and hit the nail on the head. Ideally, the conclusion paragraph wraps everything up. However, it shouldn’t be just a matter of restating what you’ve already mentioned in the body. Instead, take this approach:
- Restate the topic of your APA essay and why you believe it’s important;
- Restate the thesis statement to remind the reader where you stand on the subject of discussion;
- Address the opposing viewpoints in your research and convince the reader to take your stand;
- End with a strong call of action or suggest possible future studies related to your subject matter.
A Good APA Paper Outline Goes a Long Way
When you write in APA format for the first time, it can prove to be a steep learning curve. You need to learn which fonts the association prefers. Also, learn the page styling and other details to knock the paper out of the park. That’s not all. Like any other paper, it’s crucial to do proper research to craft a good APA paper.
If you consider all the work required to make your APA assignment perfect, it can be overwhelming. But don’t through in the towel. As they say, practice makes perfect. And the good news is, there is a short cut to make the process way much easier.
To make things more manageable, try creating an outline. A good outline is a rough draft of your paper. You can create it to mirror how you want your final APA paper to look. Write down ideas for the different sections of the text and list good sources you’ll use to write these sections.
It also helps to have different formats of your intro and other standout parts, such as the conclusion. This way, you can narrow down to the best ideas when you finish the write-up. However, don’t submit the outline. You should submit a well-written and error-free final draft. The outline is just meant to guide you on how to go about the process and write a meaningful and persuasive paper.
How to Write an APA Paper Step By Step
Now that we’ve covered what this type of paper is, you may be wondering how to write a good one. If your goal is to write a phenomenal manuscript without any hurdles, don’t fret. We have some APA paper tips that will make creating a write-up for an APA paper effortless.
The first step is brainstorming good ideas for your paper. Take some time to figure out what the assignment is about and what your instructor needs. Also, decide which approach you’ll take and whether you’ll have sufficient information to go that route.
Next, make a good outline, making sure to list sections you’d like to include in your APA paper. Next, start your research, and ensure you keep a list of all the resources you’ve used. When you’re ready, begin to write your paper. You should only do the abstract page when you’re done with the write up of your project.
Lastly, go through your APA paper. It’s a good idea to ask a friend to go through it. This way, they can help you catch mistakes you may have missed.
APA Paper Introduction: Why Does It Matter Most?
Students think learning how to write an article title in a paper APA is the hard part, but it’s not. The introduction is what will make or break your work. Think of it as the window to your paper. If the reader doesn’t like what they see, they’ll probably not be interested in reading further.
For this reason, you should pay more attention to this section of your paper. Brainstorm good thesis statement ideas and stop at nothing to hook the reader to your project.
APA Paper Body: Proper Flow Is Crucial
It’s not enough to write a good introduction; you need to keep your reader’s interest throughout the paper as well. You achieve this in the body paragraphs. Each of your paragraphs should be a follow up of what you say in the previous paragraph. And make sure to build up in a good flow. That’s how you keep your reader interested.
The APA Paper Conclusion is the Cherry on Top
When you’re done discussing your key points in the paper, you should finish the argument with a catchy conclusion. Remind your readers why you wrote the work, your findings, and why they should support your stand. End with a good and strong call to action or invite them to possible future studies based on your subject.
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