Research paper formatting advice: APA style

Students who are new to research paper writing often have difficulty understand and using the different formats. APA, MLA, and Chicago Style - each style has very different formats for in-text documentation as well as works cited pages. The reasoning behind each style of formatting is the same - to give credit to the sources that are used, but the formatting is quite different. Fortunately, when you need advice on how to use the APA style, there are many places to turn.

College Writing Labs

One useful place to turn is a collegiate writing lab. Many colleges and universities have actual brick-and-mortar writing labs manned by students who are earning degrees in writing. Those students know how to write using APA and they can help people like you who need face-to-face assistance.

Help From Your Teacher

If your school does not have a writing lab, there are many other places to turn for help. Your teacher or professor should be able to help you, because that is what they are paid to do. Most educators can be contacted via email, so if you need help during non-school hours, you should be able to get it. If you prefer to meet personally with your teacher, it is respectful to make an appointment at a time that works. You could also set up a time to get help online via email or a video chat app.

Use the APA Manual

Some students prefer to get help on their own and there are other ways to get advice about using APA style. One place to turn is the APA manual, which will explain everything that you need to know about the documentation style. There are also many websites that cover the basics of the formatting style. Some of the sites have contact information so students like you can contact someone who considers themselves to be experts in APA formatting.

Turn to Your Classmates

You can also turn to friends who have already written research papers in the APA style. Whether you are in college or high school, you probably know someone who has already written the same paper in the previous year or semester. You could also ask a classmate who seems to understand what to do with APA. Many times, students are able to explain concepts in ways that other students can understand; they often explain in better ways that teachers do simply because they understand what it is like to be a student, too.

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