Term paper

How to Write a Term Paper in APA Format-With Examples


APA stands for American Psychological Association. It is used by most educational institutions in the US and Canada. To keep your term paper organized, it is necessary to follow proper citation styles like the APA style. We will explore more about APA referencing style.

The APA style is primarily used in the social sciences like Psychology, Sociology, etc. It has specific rules for the writing and formatting of term papers. If you are researching in these fields, it is necessary to know and follow the APA format. The main purpose of this reference style is to make your work easy to read by avoiding unnecessary information.

It is important to understand that there is no page limit for a research paper in APA format. However, it should not exceed 30 pages as most educational institutions have a lower limit for a term paper.

As we know that there are different types of term papers like pro and cons essays, cause and effect essays, etc., our focus will be on the research paper, which is used to understand problems or situations. We will divide our work into two sections:

  • Preparation before writing
  • The actual writing of the paper in APA format

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Preparation Before You Start Writing

Choosing a topic:

As you plan to write a term paper in APA format, the first thing you have to do is pick a topic. It could be any concept or idea, but it has to be interesting enough for you to express your views creatively.

Another thing that needs your attention is the length of the research paper. Most universities and colleges have a minimum limit for a term paper that ranges from 10 to 20 pages. You can go ahead with 5-10 pages as an initial draft then edit it based on your professor’s requirement and the length of your research paper.


Finding information related to your topic will help you create a strong background for your paper. You can search online to gather information for your topic. You can also consult books or journals that are related to your topic.

Creating an outline for your paper:

You cannot start writing the actual paper until you create an outline for your research paper. It will help you organize your thoughts and arrange them in a proper format. Moreover, it will make writing the descriptive term paper easier within the limited time frame.

The APA style does not have specific guidelines which must be followed while creating an outline. However, knowing how important an outline is in the writing process, we have created the following outline for you to use as your reference.


The introductory paragraph should have a general overview of the topic. To grab your readers’ attention, you can include a personal anecdote related to your topic.

Statement of the problem/research question/hypothesis:

Research papers in APA format must clearly define the research question or hypothesis. You can also include the statement of the problem.

Review of literature:

If you want to include any prior research or studies about your topic, this is the right place where you can make use of it. Make sure that whatever references you include in your work should be credible enough. It will help you establish yourself as an expert on the topic and gain the confidence of your readers.

Statement of the purpose/objective:

Explain why you are doing this research and what is the objective behind it. Use this paragraph to include information related to your hypothesis or main focus point.


This section comprises two parts: Research design and data collection methods, data analysis, and interpretation of results.

In the first part, you will describe how you collected data or information for your research paper. You can include some brief information about surveys, experiments, and observations that other researchers on the topic conducted. In the second part, you have to talk about the methods used to analyze collected data.

Research design and data collection methods:

This section has to thoroughly explain the research design used in collecting data from primary or secondary sources. You must mention if the collected data was quantitative or qualitative. Moreover, you have to include relevant information about sampling techniques that were used for your study. In the case of experiment data, you have to talk about the control variables and independent variables. To prove your written research paper in APA format strong, it is imperative that you take help from a professional writer for this part.

Data analysis and interpretation of results:

In this section, you have to explain how the data collected was analyzed and interpreted. You must go step by step and mention each point included in the data analysis.


In the concluding paragraph, you have to summarize your findings and opinions about the topic under consideration. Moreover, it is also important that here you include a brief overview of the next steps in your research process. It will help your readers know how your study can be helpful for other researchers in the field.

Actual Writing of the Term Paper in APA Format

Now you have reached the final part, where you will actually start writing your term paper.

Before starting your paper, there are formatting basics that you need to be familiar with.

  • All the text in the paper should be doubled spaced
  • The margins should be 1 inch.
  • Font type- 12 pt, Times New Roman
  • Paragraphs- Indent the first line of each paragraph.
  • Page number- right-aligned at the top of each page.

Title Pages of a Term Paper in APA Format

The title page of a term paper, also known as the cover page, is the first page of your paper. While some institutions require this page to accompany your paper, some do not. So it is advisable that you check your institution’s guidelines for formatting before submitting your work.

This page should include:

  • The title of the paper.
  • Names of all the authors.
  • Name of the institution/ institution affiliation.
  • Course number and course name.
  • Name of the instructor
  • Date.

Guidelines for writing the title page in APA format include:

  • The title should be written in full without abbreviations.
  • The title should be centred and 3-4 lines down from the top.
  • Only the title should be bolded. The elements should be written in the standard font with no bolds or italics.
  • There should be one extra space line between the title and the author’s name.

Running Heads

The updated 7th edition of APA format does not require a paper to have a running head unless the instructor has asked for it.

Do not confuse running head with page numbers. Page numbers will always appear regardless of whether you have running heads or not.

You might be wondering what a running head is. A running head is a shortened version of the title of your paper. It is situated on the top left-hand corner of every page.


The abstract of a term paper should be no more than 250 words. It is a summary of the entire paper.

This section should not be confused with the introduction of your term paper in APA format. The abstract will appear on its page, after the title page, but before the actual text starts.

It should be written in a standard font and double space.

Here, you need to mention the main purpose, significance, and objective of your study. You also have to give an overview of the study undertaken by you.

Although the abstract follows most of the APA writing guidelines, a few formatting peculiarities are specific to the abstract.

  • The first line of the abstract body is not indented.
  • The heading is titled “Abstract” and is centred on the page.
  • No styling is applied on the heading.
  • It is advised to include relevant keywords at the bottom of the abstract to increase its findability in databases.

Citations and the Reference Page

A huge part of writing a term paper in APA format is organizing your information. This is done by adding citations and references throughout the text.

You must include a reference page at the end of your paper. The reference page should be titled “References.” All the sources used for writing the term paper must be cited on this page.

Citations in the APA paper format include in-text citations and full references in the reference page list.

In-text citation.

In-text citations point out where the information in your paper is coming from. These appear within parentheses and immediately after a quote or a paraphrase of another author’s ideas.

Remember to include the author’s name, year of publication, and page number. Follow an APA publication format.

The best way to understand this concept is through examples of in-text citations. These are examples of citing information according to the 7th edition of the APA style guide.

“Jordan (1994) argues that…”

“As James (1900) so aptly puts it …”

“According to James (1900), education plays a major role in social justice.”

However, the research “…” (Stone, 2020, Social Dilemma, p. 4).

Reference page.

The reference page should contain all the sources used to write the term paper. Apart from the normal APA format guidelines, the references list has its unique formatting requirements.

The heading of this page is “References,” which is centred at the top of the page.

The references are listed according to alphabetical order.

Punctuations in APA.

The use of punctuations in APA is somewhat different from that used by other formats. This part discusses the specific uses of commas, semicolons, and periods with examples.

After every punctuation, one space is left before starting the next word or sentence.


In the APA writing style, you use a comma whenever necessary. You do not want to run-on sentences or make it confusing for the reader to understand the ideas presented by you.

It is encouraged to use the Oxford commas. An oxford coma consists of commas between all items in a list, but only two commas if conjunctions separate the items. There is also the last comma after the last item in the list and before the conjunction word “and”

Let’s look at an example of the use of commas in APA format.

My cat likes playing in the water, climbing on the roof, and eating raw fish.

Capital letters.

The first word of the title, subtitles, and headings should be capitalized.

The first word of a sentence must also be capitalized.

Dashes and hyphens

You can use en-dash, em-dash, and hyphen interchangeably in the APA format.

En-dash is used to point out spans of numbers and dates. It is also used as a substitute for the word “to.”

Em-dash, on the other hand, is used to emphasize parenthetical expressions or phrases that are not essential to the meaning of the sentence. You can use it without spaces before and after it.

Hyphens are used in compound adjectives and compound words.


The semicolon is used to separate two independent clauses when no coordinating conjunction is used.

Before using this punctuation in the APA format, make sure that both parts of the sentence are complete and coherent in their own right.


Using an apostrophe in the APA format is fairly easy because its usage is similar to that of other formats.

Remember that apostrophe is used to show possession “for singular words” and contraction.

When showing possession for singular words, the writer can use an “s” after the apostrophe or not, depending on whether it’s a proper noun or not.

For example, Ryan’s dog (proper noun)

When showing possession for plural words, the writer must use an “s” after the apostrophe.

For example, Drivers’ education (proper noun)

Remember that you should not use an apostrophe when you use possession in a sentence about two subjects or more.

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APA Format Numbering Guidelines

In the APA format, there are specific guidelines when it comes to putting numbers on a paper. Let’s take a look at them below.

Numbers less than 10 are written in full text. For example, 4 is written as “four.”

With numbers more than 10, use numerals. For example, twenty-five is written as “25”.

Numbers at the beginning of a sentence should be spelled out. However, if a number starts a statement and is followed by a comma, you can use numerals. For example: “Twelve people came to the party.”

When to use numerals:

  • When writing decimals, always have a zero before the decimal point if the number is below 1. For example 0.5
  • Roman numerals are left as they are. Do not translate them into Arabic numbers.
  • Do not include an apostrophe if you’re writing the numerals in the plural. For example, the 1930s instead of the 1930s.

When to spell out numbers:

When writing a common phrase. For example, “hundred year’s war” (one hundred years war)

In certain technical or formal writing.

In making a list or sequence. For example, First, second, and third place awards should be given to winners in a particular competition

Need Help Writing a Term Paper in APA Format?

Writing a term paper can be a very daunting task for students. It becomes even more challenging when writing it in APA format.

If you find yourself at this crossroads, there’s no need to panic. Our writers are waiting to help you.

Should you get professional help formatting a term paper in APA style?

The APA style is considered one of the most popular standards for formatting academic papers in different disciplines and fields.

It can also be used in writing professional reports and resumes. Knowing how to format a document according to the APA standard makes it easier for you to create a document that can be easily understood.

What if you are struggling to remember all the guidelines? Don’t get frustrated if you’re finding it challenging to keep up with all the formatting rules. Here are a few reasons why you should consider hiring a professional to format your term paper in APA style for you.

  • It saves time

When writing term papers, students are already swamped with all the academic requirements they have to comply with. Adding formatting to the list can be very overwhelming. You’d find yourself spending countless hours trying to figure out how to standardize your document.

You’d waste a lot of time formatting the document as opposed to writing it. If you are pressed for time, get someone to format your paper for you. This way, you can concentrate on the content of your paper while ensuring that it is written according to APA style guidelines.

  • You get properly cited references.

When writing a term paper, you will need to cite your sources properly. Using the APA style ensures that every time you reference an author or work, it matches the references at the end of your document.

If all this sounds like too much to handle on your own, get in touch with us for help formatting a term paper in APA style. Our writers are standing by to offer their professional assistance.

Who Will Help me Format my Term Paper in APA?

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If you’re looking for an affordable solution, you may want to consider using our website, tutorsplit.com, which provides formatting services at very reasonable rates.

Our writers are well-versed in formatting research papers according to APA style guidelines.

What Can I Get From You to Format my Paper for Me?

Formatting your term paper involves several steps that involve proper selection, development, and placement of content. We can help you with all these steps so that your paper is written according to the correct style.

Our writers will help format a term paper according to APA guidelines that include:

1) Selection of appropriate headings and subheadings that follow the sequence indicated by the APA manual.

2) Ensuring that all in-text citations are written according to APA style

3) Select appropriate features such as graphs, figures, and charts that match your writing style.

4) We can help you select an appropriate title for your paper.

5) Our writers will check the first page and the references list to ensure that they are properly formatted.

Our writers have the experience needed to format your term paper according to APA guidelines. Rely on us for all your formatting needs and get a professionally formatted document in no time.

Advantages of Hiring our APA Formatting Services.

Hiring our writers to help you format a term paper in APA style has numerous advantages.

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