How To Write an Essay in APA Format – Complete Guide with Examples

Essay in APA Format

Writing a paper in APA format can be challenging if you are unfamiliar with it. Sometimes, you may be accustomed to crafting essays in other styles, and, therefore, switching to another new approach can be an uphill task for you.

In this guide, you will learn a lot about how to compose an essay in APA format. Let us go!

What is the APA Style Format?

APA (American Psychological Association) is one of the most popular academic styles used to cite sources in various disciplines, such as psychology, business, finance, and other social sciences. With APA format, you can craft your documents and consistently convey your message.

The following features characterize the APA style format

Sample of an APA format title page for a student paper:
Sample of an APA format title page for a student paper:

Title Page

The title page should occupy the entire first page. Note that on the title page, the phrase ‘Running head’ precedes the title of your essay. Also, note that the title of the essay, your name, and your university’s name are stated on the upper part of the page. Finally, bear in mind that the writer’s notes, such as the supervisor’s name, the course title, and the department are stated at the bottom of the page.

Sample of title page for a professional paper:
Sample of title page for a professional paper:


To create a running head, choose the “different first-page” option. Next, align to the left the words ‘Running head’ followed by the short version (not exceeding 50 characters) of the paper in caps. Ensure that the page number appears on the right side of the page. Moreover, let the shortened title (running head) appear on other pages, but it should be right-aligned.

Page Title - APA Format
Page Title – APA Format

Page Numbers

Let the page number appear in the upper-right hand corner with your surname next to it.


Ensure that all paragraphs and block quotations are indented half-inch from the left margin.

APA Format Outlines
APA Format Outlines


An abstract is a summary of your paper, and under APA style, it is usually between 150 to 250 words. Note that the length of an outline varies depending on the requirement of a journal or the university.

APA Format Abstract Example
APA Format Abstract Example

Main Body

The main body encompasses the actual paper that is crafted on 8.5 inches by 11 inches. The font type for the body text is Time New Romans size 12. Note that double space is used in the entire document, and there is the presence of a page header.

APA Format Body Sample
APA Format Body Student Sample
APA Format Professional Paper Body
APA Format Professional Paper Body


You should include the reference list at the end of your essay. A reference list is essential to your readers in providing them with crucial information to enable them to retrieve the sources used in your in-text citations. As a rule, all the cited sources must be included in the reference list, and all entries in the bibliographies must be cited.


Usually, most APA articles are crafted using Times New Roman (font size 12) or Georgia (size 11). Note that footnotes are composed in size 10, and size 8-14 is used for titles to tables and figures. It is crucial to stick to one font size throughout your manuscript.


The APA requirement for word documents’ margin is 1 inch all around. Note that it is advisable to use at least one inch across the bottom, top left, and right of the page.


When writing in APA format, ensure that you double space the content throughout your document, including the quotations of 40 or more words.

APA Style Essay Example

Sometimes, crafting a scientific paper in APA format may require experience and some writing skills. As you go on with the writing process, it is crucial to check and verify whether what you are doing is okay. An essay example can help you a lot when it comes to confirming the level of your conformity with the style.

If you are stuck and don’t know what to do to finish composing your document, visit professional writing companies, such as Peach Essay, to familiarize yourself with their APA style essay examples. Additionally, if you need expert assistance, you can always rely on Peach Essay to ‘write my essay‘ and ensure a high-quality submission.

What is an APA Style Essay?

The APA style essay is an essential guide that can help you with the formatting of your text, tables, figures, citations, and grammar. According to APA style, you are supposed to indent the beginning of a paragraph half an inch from the left margin. Also, note that block quotations are indented half-inch from the left margin. Most importantly, note that the APA style essay requires that you use a 1-inch margin on the sides of the page and a font size of 12.

APA Format Figure Sample
APA Format Figure Sample

How to Write an APA Style Essay?

Writing an APA style essay may pose some challenges to you, especially if you are not conversant with its formatting. If you don’t know how to go about it, don’t worry; the following tips will help you come up with an excellent paper.

  • Choose an exciting topic

An exciting topic is the one you feel that you have adequate content, and you can craft it without challenges. Also, ensure that the item you choose is neither too broad nor too narrow.

  • Conduct thorough research on the topic

To craft an excellent paper, you need adequate and relevant information. Therefore, review any related literature to the topic you have chosen, and summarize crucial points.

  • Early preparation

If you want to compose a high-quality paper, start researching and crafting the essay early before the submission date.

  • Citations and referencing

Ensure that all the quotations and citations that you use in the text must appear in the reference list.

Sample reference page for a student paper:
Sample reference page for a student paper:
  • Draft your APA essay

Once you have prepared everything, you can go ahead and draft the document. After that, proofread and edit to correct grammar mistakes.

APA Format Essay Example

APA format is usually used by students undertaking studies, especially in behavioral and social sciences. Before you craft any paper, it is advisable to familiarize yourself with essential requirements regarding APA styles.

If it is your first time writing a paper in APA and you don’t know how to do it, it is vital to refer to APA essay samples on the websites of professional writing companies, such as Peachy Essay. Note that, through the help of an example, you can quickly compose a paper without challenges.

visual APA format template for levels of headings
Visual APA format template for levels of headings

Here is an example of APA citation in an essay

Entrepreneurial orientation refers to the behaviors of business people, and it can affect their performance (Lumpkin and Dess, 1996).

The above-cited source can appear in the reference list, as indicated below.

Lumpkin, G.T. & Dess, G.G. 1996. Clarifying the entrepreneurial orientation construct and linking it to performance. Academy of Management Review, 21(1), 135–173.

What are the Major Sections in an APA Style Essay?

An APA style article has four major components, as highlighted below

  • The title page

The title page encompasses the paper’s topic, the author’s name, and the institution’s name. Ensure that all these are centered and double spaced. The title of your essay is the main idea of your paper and shouldn’t exceed 12 words.

  • The abstract

An abstract is a summary of your essay, and it should not be more than 250 words. In the abstract, highlight crucial aspects, such as the purpose of the paper, the methods, results, and conclusions

  • The main body

Knowing how to write the main body is critical for your successful research. The following guidelines can help you craft an excellent piece.

  • Title of the paper

Use a running head to type the title of the essay on the first line of the page.

  • Introduction

Introduce your topic and highlight details regarding the problem

  • Literature review

Review and include relevant literature to support your argument.

Read More About Examples of Literature Review

How to Format an Essay in APA

APA style format can be used to craft papers in various subjects, such as education, psychology, and social sciences.

The following tips can help you in formatting your essay in APA style

  • Ensure that there are uniform margins of at least one inch on all sides of your essay.
  • Double-space your article and ensure that every page bears a number in the top right corner.
  • If you are composing a professional paper, every page should have a running head at the top left.
  • Make sure that the article has a title page that includes the title of your essay, your name, and the name of your institution.
  • Your paper should have a reference list at its end. Ensure that all the cited sources are listed alphabetically based on the author’s surname.
  • Indent each paragraph by half an inch from the left margin of your essay
  • Use Times New Romans with font size 12 throughout your article.

How to Create an APA Style Essay Outline

Crafting an essay in an APA format can be overwhelming work for many students. If you want to compose an excellent paper, you must pick the right topic and then research relevant information to write about it.

APA Format Table Example
APA Format Table Example

Formatting your paper in APA style can be a challenge if it is the first time you are doing it. Fortunately, creating an outline can help you overcome these obstacles.

The following steps can help you outline your paper in APA

  • Select your topic

Ensure that you choose an exciting topic that can enable you to craft a compelling piece. Once you choose, develop a thesis statement and then research its content.

  • Start Writing

Begin writing your introduction by giving a summary of your primary ideas and background information. Also, craft the thesis statement and write the main body of your essay based on the outline.

If you want to enhance your writing, you must follow your instructor’s guidelines for crafting a paper based on the structure recommended structure. It is crucial to start with your strongest points and then support them with researched facts.

  • Compose your conclusion

Your conclusion should include a summary of your main points and any suggestions for further studies.

  • Update your outline

A completed outline is a reflection of your draft paper. Once you have crafted a framework, review and edit your document.

As you craft your essay, it is advisable to keep track of the sources you use because you will have to include them in your reference list. Also, note that all sources used in the bibliography must be cited in the text.

How to Handle In-Text Citations in APA Format

Citing your text confirms to your readers the authenticity of your information, and it is also the best way of acknowledging other researchers’ work.

Citation in APA requires that you use the author’s name, followed by the date of publication. The example below can help you get a clear perspective on to cite text in APA.

Entrepreneurial orientation comprises of five dimensions, such as proactiveness, risk-taking propensity, innovativeness, autonomy, and competitive aggressiveness (Lumpkin and Dess, 1991).

The following tips can help you cite your essay as per the APA guidelines

  • Your reference list should begin on a new page. Ensure that you title the new page with ‘Reference’ and center it.
  • All sources in the reference list should be in alphabetical order
  • The first line of the reference should be in line (flush) with the left margin. Also, indent any additional line after it.
  • Double-space all the sources in the reference section
  • All sources in the reference list should be cited in the text of your document.

Final Thoughts on How to Write an Essay in APA Format

Writing an essay in APA format can be intimidating if you lack writing skills and experience. It is vital to note that APA format requires that you craft a paper with the following features: font size 12, a margin of at least one inch on all sides of the paper, use of double space, paragraphs indented half an inch from the left margin and many more.

The majority of students find it hard to compose their essays in APA style because they lack the time and experience to handle such tasks. If you are not conversant with crafting pieces in APA style, you can use essay samples as your guide. Besides, you can contact professional writing companies, such as Peachy Essay, for assistance.