How to Format an Essay, APA Style

this video is intended to show you the basics of what we call APA style and and teach you how to apply those basics to an academic paper so we’re gonna walk through what these basics of APA might be and then we’re actually going to apply them to a paper I’ll take a paper and I’ll actually format it according to APA style so what is APA style to begin with well first of all APA means the American Psychological Association and APA style establishes standards of written communication within an essay why the American Psychological Association developed this style while they developed it because they wanted standards of written communication but I’ll explain that in just a second but why do you use the style determined by the American Psychological Association I don’t know just happened that way but anyway it it established the standards concerning in-text citation right which is source introductions and parenthetical citations and it also establishes standards concerning listing your references right how you do that what style it’s in how you format it and punctuate it and it also concerns how do you format the paper as a whole and that’s actually what we’re gonna focus on if you want to learn more about in-text citation and listing references you can check out a video that I created called how to avoid plagiarism okay so again these standards concerning written communication right well there’s a lot of different approaches although the three main styles at most US universities use one of them is called APA style one of them is called MLA and one of them is called the Chicago style and these three different styles again they’re just different ways of establishing standards to written communication why standardized written communication well it makes it easier for your instructors to grade your work across courses within a discipline and disciplines within a university so everybody is giving more fair and objective grades based on how things are presented it also makes it easier know how your instructors want you to present your work because there’s some sort of standard across disciplines what this allows your instructors to do is focus more on the content of their ideas the strength of your ideas and less on how all of this looks in the form of a paper so who uses APA well obviously it was established by the American Psychological Association so it was established to standardize psychology research papers right but then it’s grown far beyond it obviously because you’re using so it APA style describes rules for writing in this and the social sciences or what we might call the soft science it’s not the hard sciences like physics and and chemistry and mathematics but psychology linguistics sociology etc it’s also expanded beyond that into fields such as business and nursing and other disciplines to the point where it’s actually standard practice and many undergraduate programs in the United States it’s not the only style used by undergraduate programs these all three of these are used pretty broadly but it’s definitely used quite widely which is also why you’re using it today so now we’re gonna turn our attention to an actual paper and how if I was using APA style how I would format that paper so let’s take a look first of all so this is this is a completely written paper it’s got all of its citations in it it’s got all of its analysis it’s got a strong thesis statement it’s got paraphrases from from outside sources it’s got quotations it’s got all of the things that the paper needs from a Content perspective all it needs now to be in accordance with APA is to be formatted properly so let’s go ahead and walk through that step by step so let’s go ahead and start with your heading this is what’s at the top of the page that identifies the paper yours there are clearly other things that you can do that are even in accordance with APA style that I’m not gonna ask you to do today but as far as I’m concerned you’re heading needs to be right justified it needs to be formal it needs to have the following contents of the name the course label there’s name in the dates of them so let’s go ahead and do that okay first of all right justified and for them it okay so I’m gonna zoom in obviously so we can we can focus a little bit more on what you see here okay let’s hit enter and I’m gonna right justify this by clicking on that right justified that second thing is it has to be formal so I’m gonna go ahead and add a formal version of my name so Michael and the next thing that it asks for is the course labeled in the instructors name and the date that it was submitted so the course label was F D 101 you could all you’ll even say section o then the instructors name in this case mr. Shawn yeah and then the date that it was submitted in a formal capacitor so December 14 2007 let’s say okay so that’s the first section of this is to add your your heading and that would be the full heading right don’t list it as a twelve fourteen twenty seventeen or twelve fourteen twelve seventeen or anything like that it should look a lot like this in a formal way okay the next thing we want to want to do is add a title right and this is what we want to look for in a title you always use title case right so most of the words at this title case are capitalized the only things that aren’t or prepositions like on or through articles like a and the and conjunctions like but and or also if a preposition an article or a conjunction starts your title then you should capitalize it as what kind of like D is capitalized here because it’s the first word in the title of this slide you also do not want to bold do not want to underline or write sighs any parts of your title it should be centered right and it should be right underneath the heading but above your paper right then it should be specific but it should also be a little bit prosaic it shouldn’t just be as specific as as possible but it also shouldn’t be very general like synthesis essay or compare and contrast essay so let’s take a look at this one so we want to put it in between your essay and your heading you wanted to be Center justified specific includes aook and using title case okay so this this is an essay about animal therapy and its benefits okay specific a little bit prosaic it’s not just animal therapy if you’ll notice there’s no extra spaces between the bottom of your heading and the top of your title there’s no extra spaces between the bottom of your title and the top your essay just that okay mmm okay so now we have a title on there and a heading okay now the font and font size is actually correct as we look at it right now it’s Times New Roman twelve point five if you want to take a look at that Times New Roman twelve point five that’s how it should look okay one of the things you have to do is add your list of references then I’ve actually used if you watch my video on how to avoid plagiarism I’ve used Microsoft Word software in order to develop that list of references don’t find out how to do that in that other video but your list of references should come after the end of your essay it should be on its own page so you should actually use page break formatting there it should be titled references it should be and that title of references should be Center justified on its own line the sources should be listed in alphabetical order and it should be reverse indent so let’s let’s look at all of those types of things in kind of in orbit the first thing we need to do is come down here to the bottom of our essay you can like I said put it on its own page by clicking a page set up and going to break and choosing a page break and that’ll add it to a new page so you’ll be at the top of a new page this is good because even if you’re creating the text on your right on your essay here it actually doesn’t affect the the space in here it doesn’t push it up or push your pelvis this page will always be its own page and to start your references on a new page really helps to clarify that it’s different from your essay and it helps to make sure that it’s really clear where it’s stuck let’s go ahead and add in that list of references that I created within this one software like bonus here click the bibliography button here we’ll actually edit it ok so now we’ve added both of our sources are the two sources in this paper about here okay now one of the things that I noted before now that we’ve got it here is hey we want this to all be even times we want we want it all to be 12.5 you want it all to be black all cannot be bolded you do not bold the top of this in fact we want to retitle this as references okay we also want to center justify just this top part that’s starting to look right but it’s actually not right just yet because we want to actually reverse indent this as well so the way to do that is to hit enter and then hit the tab light all right that’ll do the first line you actually want to do the second line of an entry as well this time you don’t have to enter you can just hit tab another pocket over so I do the same thing so here’s the second line of that second reference that enter tab a second line of this hit okay so the reason that we do this remember is indented is because that makes it really clear and easy to see the difference between our different references and read those it’s also really helpful because first part of any references in fact the first part of its parenthetical citation so you can you can really easily identify other stuff but in that’s right or in your sourcing I’ve actually I guess it could be resourcing about you where your parenthetical citation right dr. stone Spencer which one is that oh it’s dr. East are these things your back yeah so it makes that really easy right okay so let’s go back here is it after the NS a yes is it on its own page using page break yeah since the titled references it’s that Center justified on its own mind yep are the sources listed in alphabetical order yep Daughtry amendment Yousef and then is it reverse into it yes okay so my references look for that again if you’ll notice there’s no space extra space between the bottom of the title of references and the first reference and also there’s no extra space between events okay so okay now we’re gonna look at that when we have a look at margin in space so it should be one inch on all sides of your paper the entire essay should be double-spaced there should be no spacing between paragraphs and all paragraphs should be indented so let’s go ahead and apply that okay first of all I think it’s already one inch on all sides you can look at the left one one oh my goodness now the left and right margins are them 25 inches so we’ve gotta fix that mmm I would select all of it okay that’s one inch once one inch if you’re using centimeters look up the conversion to give you okay so the next thing is so we’ve got a one inch on our sides we need it to be double spaced actually there’s a really easy way to double space everything that I say and I mean everything from the in the heading to the references you just take time control and – there are different commands if you using a Mac again look it up if it doesn’t work for you but double spacing is actually really easy so everything is highlighted here and we want to say control – and it bounces out – double spacing this makes up a lot easier to read in a lot of cases and also makes it easier that can print it out for your instructors – to write notes in between the lines okay so we need to do is make sure that there’s no extra spacing between the paragraphs and then we need to indentify any spaces in between these pets no there’s no extra spaces between these paragraphs great so now we need to indent each pair and you can do that again with the tab the tab key tab ones you can actually also if you want to change a pack click obviously control Z but you can put shift tab to move it back the other way let’s go back up to the top one tab that over that this one’s tagged over to show the paragraph and again you show the difference between your paragraphs really clearly right now it’s not so clear but once we apply indenting it’ll make it clearer where each paragraph starts this is another place to tell it’s not so clear but right one thing that you’ll know is it if you have chosen a tenant’s not the place to do it and I’ll actually bump everything over if you’re doing this right [Music] [Music] now we’re down in our efforts is together if you want it’s because you did the page rate we did double spacing it didn’t it didn’t change your references list from being still at the very top of this very last page which is really bad for okay so now as far as margins of spacing this is one inch on all sides it’s double spaced there’s no spacing between the paragraphs and paragraphs are each indented so let’s let the zoom out because actually that’s all that you’re being asked to do as far as clean feel so let’s say that that’s a 50% okay if we’re looking this is our paper from the widest angle possible this actually looks perfectly formatted as far as I am concerned that’s good yeah so anyway I know that what I’ve told you today it’s pretty readily accepted across different courses as being in concordance for thank you style but you always need to check with your instructor to instructor might have a little bit different way of interpreting a few in style but if you start doing this and you start doing it often and you started really really focusing on it um you’re gonna learn to attend to the details of both what APA asks for in general and what your specific an instructor wants which will make it a lot easier to do this

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