How to Write A Good Paper In APA 7th Edition

What is an APA Paper Format?

It provides clear guidelines on how to write a good paper in APA 7th edition style and offers academic arguments to enhance readability. The APA format is one of the most famous academic referencing styles invented by the American Psychological Association. Utilizing the APA in-text citations based on the selected references helps avoid plagiarism. Over the years, the American Psychological Association has been updating the APA style with the 7th edition released in 2020 to help in writing a good paper.

The basic rules of the APA 7th edition format include the margin of the paper as 1 inch, the use of Times New Roman, maintaining a font size of 12, ensuring the paper remains double-spaced, and many others. Academic research in psychology, sociology, nursing, and business mostly prefers the APA format. In essence, the APA style is easier to use compared to other referencing styles like MLA, Chicago, Harvard, and Vancouver among others. The primary benefits of using the APA style in research work include its ability to make a paper presentable, avoid plagiarism, and facilitate the use of language applied in a source. Write a good paper in APA 7th edition with the help of our experts if you doubt having the correct APA format.

Video Lesson on How to Write a Good Paper in APA 7th ed Format

After watching this video, you’ll be more confident writing in the APA citation style.

Learn more about the APA 7th edition, and feel free to review our samples on how to write your homework in simple steps.

Checklist to write a Paper in APA 7th Ed 

1. Running head

2. Page numbering

3. The essay title appears at the top of the first page of the text

4. No need to label the introductory paragraph or section 

5. Use double line spacing throughout the text

6. Margins

7. Paragraph formatting

Structure Outline of a Good Paper in APA 7th Edition

When the instructions ask to use APA format in a paper, the writer must include parts like a cover page, abstract, introduction, body paragraphs, conclusions, and references in their writing. A list of appendices is provided below the reference list in some situations and the page numbers should appear at the top-right of the paper to ensure professionalism in the work.

Title Page

A running head appeared on the cover page in APA sixth edition but was omitted in the new APA 7th edition. The APA 6th edition prefers a running head because it provides a short version of the title, which should not exceed 50 characters. According to the Purdue Online Writing Lab (n.d.), the APA format cover page should provide the research study’s title, the author of the paper, institutional affiliation, and the due date. Furthermore, the paper’s title should be in bold and centered on the cover page. Notably, the title should never exceed twelve words, and its information reveals the concise purpose of the paper. The title should offer a glimpse of the variables under discussion in the paper.


The abstract section follows the cover page and covers between 150-250 words. Note that the word abstract is not bolded. The purpose of the abstract is to provide the main idea of the research study and covers approximately 10 percent of the paper. The first line of the abstract lacks an indent. The abstract is separated from the cover page and main body text. Keywords used in the article are included at the end of the abstract. The abstract section recommends defining such keywords to ensure the reader quickly follows them in the main body section.

Main Body Section

The main body section provides all ideas of the research paper and follows the abstract. A long paper contains several pages of the body paragraph. The main body paragraph provides some areas, including an introduction, literature review, research methods, results, discussion, and conclusion.

The introductory paragraph 

Contains a critical overview of the facts and concepts discussed in the research paper. The introductory paragraph also contains the problem statement. Some students find it challenging to write the introduction because it requires empirical knowledge about the whole study, hence requiring creativity. The introduction allows the writer to hook the targeted readers, which influences the further reading of the paper. A thesis statement should be provided at the end of the introductory paragraph. The introduction should hint at the hypothesis when writing a scientific essay.

The literature review outlines

The sources that offer evidence and facts about the discussed topic. A writer should select scholarly journals, websites, books, and periodicals to gather good literature for the paper. In some articles, the instructor’s instructions specify the sources required for the literature review. Identifying the limitations of all references in the literature review section is vital.

Research methods

Should be straightforward and list the participants, procedures, apparatus, and vital study results. The results section documents the research study’s findings and recommends using graphs and tables to represent data effectively.

The discussion

It is another vital section of the body that allows the interpretation of data and comparison of the reviewed studies. Specific information provided in the discussion helps broaden the ideas introduced in the previous sections.

The Conclusion Section

It restates the primary ideas analyzed in the paper and the discussion offers a chance to explain the future research needed for a particular topic. New ideas are unacceptable in the conclusion part and avoid in-text citations in this section. It is because the discussion, introduction, and literature review sections contain all this information.

The main body paragraph summarizes all arguments and thoughts of the writer. This section only contains relevant in-text citations and the full source listed in the reference section. In-text citation bears the name of the author and the year of publication of the article or book. The content of the body paragraph depends on the instructions given by the instructor or a professor. Students should adhere to the specific requirements of formatting and editing when writing the body paragraphs.

The sub-sections of the body paragraph should be in bold. The page header is also needed when writing the body paragraph. Information in the body paragraphs should be well-organized. The APA format recommends indented paragraphs whereby each paragraph carries an independent idea. Based on the writer’s preference, the scope and limitations of the study can be provided in the main body section.

Reference List

It is the last section of the research paper and includes all the outside sources.  The list of references stands on its page and the word ‘reference’ is centered. As a matter of fact, sources are double-spaced and appear in alphabetical order. Furthermore, use appropriate punctuation when setting the references to align with APA 7th edition standards. APA format prohibits the numbering and bolding of the references. Finally, all references from journals, books, videos, and others must appear in a hanging indention.

How to Write in APA 7th Edition

Writing a good paper in APA referencing style is systematic and requires a consideration of rules and elements like the author, date, publisher, and source URL. Most important, every reference begins with the author’s last name, initials, and the date of publication of the source(s). The APA format recommends using commas to separate the authors in a situation where the source has multiple authors. See the example screenshot below for a good reference list in APA 7th edition.

APA 7th ed reference page
APA 7th ed reference page

Altogether, you can use “n.d.” in APA 7th ed when the sources’ date is unknown. If a direct quote is used, the in-text citations should include the author, publication date, and the page number where the particular extract emanates from the book or article. However, use short quotes that do not exceed 50 words. Moreover, if the quote is from a video, indicate a range of minutes or seconds to show where the quote is extracted. Basically, the punctuation elements are vital when referencing, and the APA style requires the capitalization of nouns.

Capitalize the first letter of the word, ”Reference” title. It is evident that the latest updates provided by APA should help improve the paper’s quality and the format emphasizes the use of abbreviations sparingly. Some abbreviations make the paper difficult to understand and affect the presentation elements. Instructors strictly emphasize APA style writing rules to ensure the paper is free of formatting errors. Therefore, writing a good paper in APA 7th edition requires in-depth research or simply hiring a reputable online writer to do it.

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