How to write in academic style | APA 101

Writing an academic paper can be rough. There are so many rules you have to follow to make it right. LIGS University has recently incorporated the academic writing style called APA. Most of you are already familiar with it. But just to be sure, we created this guide to help you achieve the desired outcome. And don’t worry even if you are not a native English speaker, this guide is easy to follow.

So what does APA stand for exactly? It is an academic writing and formatting style used for scholarly journals, papers, articles, books, and essays. This writing style is mainly known to American students as they use it regularly. The name APA itself comes from the American Psychological Association. It describes how to correctly use citations and formatting while writing an academic paper. 

So what are the rules for APA formatting?

  1. While writing use one-inch margins on all sides.
  2. All paragraphs in the body must be indented. 
  3. Use double-spaces throughout the whole text. 
  4. Always make sure that the title is in the center of the page (your name and institution should be underneath, use the bold font type). This applies also to each chapter’s title.
  5. The page numbers should be always placed in the upper right-hand corner. 
  6. The font size should be 12-point.
  7. If you want to use a shortened version of the title, it should be always placed in the upper left-hand corner.
  8. The guideline suggests using one space after most punctuation marks. 

Writing an Abstract

The abstract is important because you want to introduce to your readers what the paper is about. The summary itself should not be longer than 250 words. Give your readers a little sneak peek into your work and make them want to read it. Don’t forget to mention the keywords under the abstract itself. 

The levels of headings to use in APA:

Level 1:

First is the title of your paper which should be in the center as well as in the middle of the page. The cases are bolded. You can use lowercase or uppercase letters where you think necessary. 

Level 2:

This heading is placed against the left margin. In this case use bold letters, uppercase, or lowercase where you think necessary. 

Level 3:

This heading should be placed against the left side margin. You can use uppercase and lowercase letters in bold font. Don’t forget to end the heading with a period. 

Level 4:

Use bolded lowercase or uppercase letters and indented in from the left margin. Use period at the end of the heading. 

Level 5:

The font is always indented, bolded, and italicized. You can use lowercase or uppercase letters and the heading has a period in the end. 

APA writing style

Helpful tools to use while writing an academic paper

As writing an academic paper can be challenging, there are tools you can use to make your life easier. Great help is Grammarly. It helps with all necessary grammar stuff, punctuation and it also suggests better delivery options and tone of voice. This is especially useful if you are not a native English speaker, but you are writing a paper in English. 

Another great tool is the citation generator, EasyBib. You can choose what kind of citation you need and it will generate the proper citation format. 

Don’t forget to set up the correct formatting before you start writing. It will save you a big amount of time and work. 

Are you ready to start your paper? We can’t wait to read it. Good luck LIGSters!


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