How to Construct a Paper in APA Format

good afternoon this is dr. Barney and during today’s session I’m going to be showing you how to complete a paper in APA format we’re going to be doing this in Microsoft Word in the 2010 edition so begin by opening up a copy of this software once your blank document has been open one of the first things that we need to do is we need to make sure to include what’s known as a running head so at the very top left hand side or top left hand corner of the page you’re going to click on the insert tab and you are going to select the header drop down menu and here we’re going to insert a blank header okay now before we start typing anything at the very top of the page under the header and footer tools under the design tab I’m going to click on this little selection box here which says different first page my first page should be some different from all the other pages in terms of the running head next what I’m going to want to do is type in the words running head only the first letter of the word running should be capitalized here next I’m going to include a shortened title of my paper this shortened title should be all in caps lock and you need to make sure that this includes 50 characters or less which includes spaces and all other special characters so you want to make sure to count your letters and your characters through so what you see here is 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 that falls below the 50 characters are less requirement for a running head title now move your cursor to the far right-hand side of this particular title and on your keyboard what I’m going to want you to do is press your tab button twice this is going to move your cursor over to the far right hand side of the page next on the insert tab I want you to select on the drop down menu for page number current position plain number and now what we see is our page numbering has begun for the paper you want to make sure to close out the running head section and move your cursor down to about the middle of the paper and you want to make sure to Center this information here we are going to be including the full title for the paper you don’t have to include the author’s name as part of your full title or as part of your short title this is just being done as an example now after the title of your paper you are going to want to make sure to include your name again this example paper is being written by Jane Doe so this is jane doe’s paper and then finally third line should include the author affiliation case it is going to be the Richard Stockton College of New Jersey and that is the entirety of your title page now to move us down to the next page I’m going to click on the insert tab page break and this moves us to page number two but before we begin typing anything here we are going to want to make sure to include our next running head now what makes the second page different from the first page is that we do not include the words running head this is only included on the first page of this particular paper or of any APA style paper for that matter so what I’m going to do is I’m going to paste in my shortened title and again it’s all in caps locks caps locked and then I’m going to hit my tab button twice move the cursor over to the far right hand side I click the insert tab and I’m inserting page numbers in the current position in plane number and then I can close this out and I can begin work on the second page of my academic paper now the second page is traditionally going to be what’s known as the abstract page now the abstract looks very different from the rest of the paper and that is because you want to make sure that the abstract is flush and to the left there’s no indentation your paragraph here so on the paragraph drop-down menu you are going to click on first line in the indentation special category that’s what it would normally be but make sure that it’s set to none so we have none set and then in terms of line spacing we want to make sure that we have double spacing or before and after should be set to zero and I click OK this information under the paragraph category should be aligned to the left and that we can begin typing our paragraph all right after I have included my information for the abstract I’ll go to the next line down and once again I’m going to insert another page break all right now the abstract of the paper is basically a short summary of what’s included in the rest of the paper or in the body of the paper page 3 is really where the body of your paper begins and the first thing that we need to include here is the full title of the paper and this is going to be copied from the first title page I’m going to paste it and it needs to be in the center of the page without any sort of bolding or additional features all right immediately following the full title of the paper I want to make sure that I’m also including the headers where the headings for the paper and this is different from the running head the running head is basically the title of your paper included at the very top of every page but headers are really just ways of putting titles for each one of the different sections included in your paper these headers are formulated very specifically in APA format and I’m going to show you how to do two levels of these headings so the first level is going to be centered and in bold so I select this under the Home tab at the top of my page and some of these headers may include things like introduction it could include literature review aims and hypotheses research design and methods and limitations and discussion so that’s what we call the first level of heading but let’s say that one of your sections is going to be quite lengthy and you could actually break this up even further into what we call subheadings what you would want to do is start creating these subheadings flush and to the left they should also be included in bold so my subheadings in this section are going to include sample research design instruments and measurement techniques and data collection if you found as part of your paper that even more subheadings are needed you will need to make sure to refer to your APA manual for additional help on how to complete that now after this information has been typed in and included you will want to make sure to start typing the actual body of your paper now the body of your paper needs to be aligned to the left and in the paragraph drop-down menu you want to make sure that you are selecting a special indentation first-line again this is different from the abstract of your paper now you also want to make sure that this is not included in bold so I’ve deselected that and this is what your paragraph structure should look like not just for the first section but for all subsequent sections of the paper and I’m just actually copying and pasting this information below as an example of what your paper will actually look like and what you’re going to notice is that this begins to take on the format of a traditional APA formatted paper so it looks exactly the way that it should when you’ve done it correctly and I’m going all the way down to my limitations in discussion section and this is the end of the body of the paper now after this information has all been included I will want to make sure to include another page break so I go to the insert tab I select page break and this takes me down to the next page included in my paper which is the reference list this should just be listed as references this information should not be included in bold so it’s just in normal format now I am NOT going to show you as part of this section session excuse me how to create this reference list instead what I’m going to do is copy and paste this from a previous paper that I have worked on make sure to refer to my previous session on how to create a reference list for further details on this particular section now one thing that needs to be highlighted here is that your reference list should not be included with first line indentation instead what I want to make sure to do is include what’s called a hanging indent so on the paragraph drop-down box under the Home tab I am going to select hanging indent under special indentation hanging indent basically means that the first line is flushing to the left but all other lines included in a paragraph are indented to the right and this is what your reference list will traditionally look like using this hanging indentation now there is one additional component that can be included in an academic paper and I’m going to show you how to include that right now for this I’m going to want to make sure to include or insert a page break after my references and then I’m going to include a title for this particular section and the title is an appendix this title should not be bolded it’s just listed as appendix and then under the word appendix you want to make sure to include the title for your actual appendix so when would you actually want to use an appendix as part of my research classes I will require my students to include lists of survey questions as part of an appendix in my policy classes I will require students to include letters to a congressional representative as part of the appendix this is because this information is often quite extensive but it’s too extensive to actually talk about it right about in the body of the paper so you have to do this parenthetically at the end in the form of an appendix so you can include tables here or whatever it is that you want the formatting for the appendix takes on a very special character of its own this information should be aligned to the left the first line of the paragraph should be flush and to the left so under the Home tab I’m selecting the paragraph drop down menu under special indentation I’m selecting none and I’m clicking okay alright that first paragraph should have no first line indentation however subsequent paragraphs should be indented on the first line so I’m just copying one of my example paragraphs from the body of the paper and this is what the paragraphs in your appendix should look like but again you may have bullet lists here you may have lists of questions yours may look slightly different from this particular appendix but when you’re writing text in the appendix this is what it should look like alright let’s take a moment just to summarize what it is that we have included in our sample paper written in APA format we have the running head and the title page which is unique for page number one page number two includes the abstract pages three and beyond include the body of the paper starts out with the title page as well as some of the different headings included in the paper as well as some of the different subheadings that we had talked about a little bit earlier after this section or after the body of your paper you are going to want to include your references using hanging indents and then your final section should be the appendix again like the abstract not all of your professors are going to require an appendix as part of your paper so just rely on their instructions and your own discretion as to whether or not you should include this information

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