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Basic Advice for Writing a Term Paper in APA Format


When assigned with writing a paper in APA (American Psychological Association) format, you will need to find a detailed guide on this style. There are plenty of those available online, so this task should be easy. However, many people get so focused on technical aspects of formatting, such as spacing, fonts, headlines, etc., that they forget about other important issues that deal with the writing style itself.

Here are a few pieces of advice that you need to consider when working on an APA paper:

  • Be impersonal.
  • Even if you are passionate about the subject matter, you need to keep your writing cool and impersonal at all times. Opt for using formal language wherever possible, or neutral phrases if you want to make the paper easy to understand. Avoid using anecdotes or personal statements of any kind. Be very careful when wording your arguments as they need to look objective and unbiased.

  • Use past tense.
  • An APA paper must be focused on reporting the things that have already taken place. This means you will need to use past tense when writing it. Make sure to double-check for this issue when editing the paper. Use of tenses must be consistent throughout the whole paper.

  • Reference all cited sources.
  • It’s extremely important that you include every cited source into the reference list. Cross-check to make sure that every referenced source is cited somewhere in the paper.

  • Include literature review in the introduction.
  • The introduction section of your paper must include a comprehensive review of the mist prominent literary sources focused on the topic of your research.

    In this part of your paper, you will need to explain your objectives and provide a short preview of the methods and tools you used to achieve these goals. You should conclude it by presenting your hypothesis.

  • Provide detailed descriptions of experiments.
  • You have to be very thorough when describing the experiments you performed during your research. These descriptions must be included in the method section of your paper. This section’s main objective is to provide information that the readers will be able to use in order to recreate your experiments.

  • Show the bigger picture.
  • It is not enough to explain your findings, you must also explain what kind of role they will play in the development of the field as a whole. You have to provide your readers with some background information about the field of study and show them how your research will affect the current state of things.


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