You have been assigned to write a research paper by your teacher. The topic has been given to you and you're all set to show off your creative and research skills. However, there is one hurdle that you don't know how to handle – the APA format. When a particular style of formatting has been stated, you cannot shy away from it and your writing must conform to that method. A lot of students find it difficult to do this but it is easier than it seems. All you need to know are the right formatting techniques and you're good to go. For your convenience, these are listed below.
When you've been told to specifically write your paper in the APA format, you must use the present tense for all personal observations and comments. You can use the present perfect or past tense just to introduce the work of cited sources.
Your work becomes plagiarized when ideas and/or words of a separate author are used in your paper without acknowledging the source. This is a complete no-no and you should prevent this at all costs. The ideal method of avoiding plagiarism from cropping up in your work is to acknowledge all your sources using a reference page and in-text citations. Direct quotations, if used, must be placed within quotation marks or indented from the main body of your paper. Moreover, when using the words of another person, you should not simply paraphrase but use your own style of writing as well as your choice of vocabulary. Simply rearranging the words is not suitable.
You have to cite the first appearance of another author's ideas/words by introducing a paraphrase or quotation along with the writer's name. You should always use the last name of the author as well as the year of publication of the text for in-text citations. Commas are used for separating the different items within a parenthesis. If you are using an exact quotation, it is best to make use of a page number in your paper. The singular “p” or plural “pp.” must be used for the purpose of indicating the numbers of your pages.
A reference page is a must-have in any APA format paper for the purpose of avoiding plagiarism. The reference page must be included immediately after the central text of the paper.