How to Write A Good Paper In APA 7th Edition

What is an APA Paper Format?

The APA format is one of the most famous academic referencing styles invented by the American Psychological Association. It provides clear guidelines that specify the best organization of academic arguments to enhance readability. 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.

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 prefer the APA format. Generally, the APA style is easier to use than other referencing styles like MLA, Chicago, Harvard, Vancouver, and many 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. Let our experts do it for you if you doubt having the correct APA format.

Video Lesson on How to Write a Good Paper in APA 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 ask our experts how to write your homework in simple steps.

Checklist for 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. The introductory paragraph or section should not be labeled

5. Use double line spacing throughout the text

6. Margins

7. Paragraph formatting

Structure Outline of the APA Format

When using the APA format in a paper, a researcher must utilize parts like a cover page, abstract, introduction, body paragraphs, conclusions, and references. A list of appendices is provided below the reference list in some situations. Page numbers should be inserted at the top of the paper to ensure the work looks professional.

Title Page

A running head appeared on the cover page in APA sixth edition but was omitted in the new APA 7th edition. A running head is preferred in APA 6th edition and 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 date. The paper’s title should be bolded at the center of 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. The word abstract should not be 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. Also, the problem discussed in the paper is identified in the introductory paragraph. 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 papers, the instructor’s instructions specify the sources required for 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 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

Restates the primary ideas analyzed in the paper. The discussion offers a chance to explain the future research needed for a particular topic. New ideas are unacceptable in the conclusion part. Also, in-text citations are not required when concluding a paper since the information provided is still found in the discussion, introduction, and literature review sections.

All arguments and thoughts of the writer are summarized in the main body paragraph, and relevant in-text citations are inserted. The name of the author and the year the article or book was published should be included in in-text citations. The content of the body paragraph depends on the instructions of 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 where sources are included.  The reference section is placed on a new page and centered. All references should be double-spaced and arranged in alphabetical order. Appropriate punctuation is recommended when setting the references to align with APA style standards. APA format prohibits the numbering and bolding of the references. All references from journals, books, videos, and others should be arranged in a hanging indention.

How to Write in APA Style

APA referencing style is systematic and requires a consideration of rules and elements like the author, date, publisher, and source URL. Every reference begins with the author’s last name, initials, and the date when the source was published. The APA format recommends using commas to separate the authors in a situation where the source has multiple authors. See the example screenshot below.

Bibliography page

In APA 7th ed, you may also be required to use “n.d.” when the sources’ date is unknown. If a direct quote is used, the in-text citation should have the author, publication date, and the page number where the particular extract is found in the book or article. However, short quotes that do not exceed 50 words are recommended. If the quote is from a video, a range of minutes or seconds where the quote is found should be included. The punctuation elements are vital when referencing, and the APA style requires the capitalization of nouns.

The first letter of the word, ”Reference” title should be capitalized. It is evident that the latest updates provided by APA should be used to improve the paper’s quality. Also, the APA 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.

If you are still struggling to write your essay using the correct APA 7th ed, do not worry; our experts are here to help you.

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