In most cases, you won’t use APA style unless you’re in a social sciences class though some teachers may require it to give you practice on the different styles out there. However, it is the preferred style used by the American Psychological Association and is one of the most popular methods used in the social sciences. You can achieve an excellent foundation for the writing of your paper if you use this style and can help you cite things correctly and format them properly.
While it is best to go through the handbook yourself and read up on all the rules, that can be daunting, to say the least. It is usually easier to read a little about the style first, so you can get a better idea of how to use it. The font should be 12-point and should be in Times New Roman. Double-spacing is also necessary, for the whole document, as well as one-inch margins around the page. All of this can easily be set up using Microsoft Word. According to the Purdue Online Writing Lab, you should have a header on each page, which shows the paper title, appropriately shortened, and a page number.
When using the APA bibliography format, you’ll notice it has a specific way of citing the sources. In-text citing will require you to use the last name and first initial of the author, publication date and page number where you found the information. This is a little easier for most people, but many professors do not prefer the in-text citation method. However, if you are required to do so, you’ll notice that the information can be verified quickly, making it much easier for professors to check your work.
Each type of research option you use will have a different method of citation. For example, books will require the author’s last name and first initial, date of publication, title, city of publication, the publishing company and other information as necessary. Encyclopedias and dictionaries will be similar to books, but will include the title of the Encyclopedia/Dictionary, the pages you used and the volume number.
Magazines and newspapers will also be similar to books, but include the title of the periodical, volume number and issue number, as well as the pages you use. There are other rules associated with the newspaper or magazine option, such as putting a period after the title of the journal, italicizing the volume number and not including the abbreviation for the page number.