What Is an APA Term Paper?
APA is short for American Psychological Association; an organization, which has elaborated a set of referencing rules for different fields of study, e.g. education, business, various social studies and, naturally, psychology. Hence an APA term paper means that this particular piece of writing is to be formatted and referenced in full accordance with the specifications, set by American Psychological Association. The entire set of rules as to writing APA Term Paper as well as other research papers (see research paper) can be found in the 6th edition of the APA manual, covering all steps in the process of writing, including such issues as general formatting, in-text referencing, footnotes and/or endnotes, bibliography page etc.
APA language and formatting standard requires certain assignment types to be written in accordance with the APA rules. These assignments are related to social and behavioral sciences and include the following assignment types: term papers and research papers, empirical studies and literature reviews, case studies, theoretical and methodological articles.
Consequently, we can see that if we are to write a term paper, it has to be written according to the APA standards. APA research paper doesn’t only need to be formatted according to APA rules; it has to be written according to the structure that APA prescribes.
As shown in the diagram above, the structural components of an APA term paper are: title page, abstract, introduction, methods, results, discussion, references, and appendices. Basically, each section of the APA term paper should pursue its own logic, for example:
Title page is meant to present some basic information about the paper, including title, author, and institution;
The abstract section provides an extremely short synopsis of your paper; it only describes the core of your APA term paper. Usually, it takes from one to two paragraphs in length (no more than two);
The introduction is meant to provide a gist of the paper to your reader, he or she should be able to understand the essence of your research without actually having to go into it and read it from cover to cover. The introduction must be longer is size than that abstract part;
Methods tell your reader what methods of research and data analysis are going to be used in your paper. The research you have conducted has to be completely replicable, and other scholars should be able to verify your results by utilizing the same research methods as you used.
Results section presents your reader with the results of your research. Often students get so carried away enumerating their results, that they don’t pay enough attention to the important bits of their research.
The discussion is supposed to relate your findings to the methodology section and explain how your results correlate with your methodology. You discussion part can either include the conclusion or have it as another part of the discussion section.
References section should reflect all sources of information you have used to complete your research paper. They are organized alphabetically according to APA specifications.
Requirements for an APA Term Paper
Generally speaking, a term paper written in accordance to APA specifications meets the following requirements:
1. Typed on a standard sheet of paper (8.5” by 11”)
2. Double spaced, Serif font face (typically Times New Roman, 12 pt)
3. Has 1” margins on each side
4. Contain page numbers (upper right-hand corner of each page)
5. Have a running head (must include a 1-2 word version of the term paper title). The page number and the running head are to be separated by a 5-spaced interval
6. Abstract (a 75-100 word description of your essay, summing up its main points and clearly stating the main idea of the essay. The abstract section should immediately follow the title page, the very word "Abstract" should be centered, and paragraph should follow)
7. Headings (they are not absolutely necessary, but preferable. When putting together a heading don't forget to capitalize every letter of it, with the exception of articles, short prepositions, and conjunctions)
8. Visuals (visuals should be as simple as possible, having a clear label, followed by an Arabic numeral; and include the title of the visual. The label and its title should be positioned on separate lines above the table. Below the table the source is required)
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