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APA Basics

APA Basics is a quick run-down of the basic rules of using APA. Included in this guide is information on how to: write an abstract; format headings; cite information in-text; and construct your References page.

Section 1: Title Page

Section 2: Abstract

Section 2.        Abstract (only if your instructor requires it). See description below:

  • Keep it short. According to the APA style manual, an abstract should be between 150 to 250 words.

  • The abstract should also be written as only one paragraph with no indentation.
  • Structure the abstract in the same order as your paper. Begin with a brief summary of the Introduction, and then continue on with a summary of the MethodResults, and Discussion sections of your paper.

sample abstract page

Section3: Body/Text

Section 3.        Body/Text (your actual paper). See description below:

Section 4: References

Section 4.        References Page. See description below: 

  • Your references should begin on a new page separate from the text of the essay.

  • Label this page "References" centered at the top of the page.

  • Do NOT bold, underline, or use quotation marks for the title.

  • All text should be double-spaced just like the rest of your essay.