APA provides guidelines for how to format academic essays. Be sure to follow the guidelines below when submitting your papers.
Papers written in APA style typically include a title page, the body of your essay, and a references page. Depending on your assignment, you may also need to include an abstract and appendices. These sections should appear in the following order:
*Only include these if required by your instructor or the assignment.
An abstract should only be included in your essay if it is required in the assignment guidelines or by your instructor.
An abstract is a brief summary (typically 150-250 words) that appears at the beginning of an academic journal article. Sometimes, an abstract is required in more complex graduate-level writing, like research papers. Abstracts are intended to provide a quick overview of a text so that a reader can skim the abstract and determine right away if the source/text is relevant to their research. If you need to include an abstract in your assignment, write the abstract after you finish writing your essay because it’s easier to summarize your ideas once you’ve already written them.
To format the abstract:
|Level||Format and notes|
Centered, Bold, Title Case HeadingText begins as a new paragraph, used for main topics within a paper.
Flush Left, Bold, Title Case HeadingText begins as a new paragraph, used for sub-topics of a level 1(main topic) headers
Flush Left, Bold Italic, Title Case HeadingText begins as a new paragraph, used for sub-topics of a level 2 header.
|4||Indented, Bold, Title Case Heading, Ending With a Period. Text begins on the same line and continues as a regular paragraph. used for sub-topics of a level 3 header and will be uncommon in a student paper, being reserved for longer and more complex papers.|
|5||Indented, Bold Italic, Title Case Heading, Ending With a Period. Text begins on the same line and continues as a regular paragraph This is a sub-topic of a level 4 header and will be uncommon in a student paper, being reserved for longer and more complex papers.|
For more information, see our Header document.
An appendix or appendices should only be included in your essay if it is required in the assignment guidelines or by your instructor. An appendix is information that is not essential to your paper but is included for your reader to reference if desired. As such, the appendix goes at the end of your essay after the references page.
Depending on how many items you want to include, you might need more than one appendix. Each appendix will go on its own page. For example, if you have 3 charts, each chart would go on its own page: the first would be Appendix A, the second would be Appendix B, etc.
To format the appendix:
Any outside source material included in your appendix should have a corresponding reference on your references page. All appendices must be mentioned in the body of your essay. When referring to the appendix in the body of your essay, write the phrase “see Appendix A” in parentheses. For example: To better understand the financial situation of ABC Company, it is worth examining the increase in profits between 2016 and 2019 (see Appendix A).
Note: This template may not translate appropriately in some products. Please be sure the paper you submit adheres to APA formatting standards.