An APA essay is a brief paper that is written to correspond to the style guidelines of the American Psychological Association. The APA publishes an annual handbook of style, detailing how a psychological paper (or other social science paper) should be laid out, what kind of language should be used, how citations should be presented, and how the margins and headings should appear.
APA essays are frequently assigned in psychology classes at the undergraduate level, as well as communications classes, sociology and political science courses, and other studies in the humanities. The APA format is incredibly popular and common, and most student writers will be expected to be familiar with it. The APA guidelines can be applied to either long, professional research articles, or short works turned in for class.
If you are assigned an APA formatted essay in class, it is vitally important that you get a copy of the APA’s latest style handbook. You should write your prose basically the way you would for any other course essay, but organize the document and its layout according to the APA’s rigid and highly specific standards.
But just what are those standards, and how does one go about meeting them? Follow the steps below to help bring your paper up to proper APA level.