An Excellent APA Formatted Paper: For Use by Anyone

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An Excellent APA Formatted Paper: For Use by Anyone

Paula M. Winke

Michigan State University






This is where the abstract goes. Note that the abstract has no indentation on the first line, hence I used “APA Text No Indent.”

Keywords: APA Manual, publications, writing



An Excellent APA Formatted Paper: For Use by Anyone

Frequently, people find it hard to format papers according to the American Psychological Association’s (2010) guidelines for formatting. But most studies (Gass, Svetics, & Lemelin, 2003; Loewen, 2005; Polio, Mackey, & McDonough, 2004; Sueyoshi & Hardison, 2005) were originally formatted in APA style, demonstrating that it can be done. Here is a quote from Paula Winke (personal communication, January 19, 2011) about it.

I think I can say, in about 45 words (note that if you have more than 40 words in your quote, you have to format it as an in-block quote), that formatting papers according to the APA 6th edition is a real piece of cake.

Here is a way to do it that is quick, easy, and will save you a lot of time. Basically, download my APA formatted template for word (APAFormatTemplate_v2), save it in your Word template folder, and use it when you write your papers.



This is where you write up the facts about your research participants.


This is where you put a description of all the materials you used. Normally, we do not list the consent form as a material. You want to focus on materials that produced data for your analysis.

Background questionnaire. Maybe your background questionnaire gave you data that you did not end up using for your analysis. That is okay—you can still put information concerning the background questionnaire here. Note that when I use a level three header (the “Background questionnaire.” header is level 3), I cannot set a style for it if the text continues on the same line. Thus, I just bold that part of the normal APA text. Note that if you are writing a dissertation or thesis, you will want to add a table of contents. In that case, use the “APA Level 3” style and just start the text on the next line, formatting that text as APA text. Note that for a thesis or dissertation, you do NOT need to format your paper so strictly in terms of the APA Manual.1 (Note that if you have a footnote to something in parenthesis, the footnote number goes inside the ending parenthesis.2)

Working memory tests. I used two types of working memory tests, so I will describe them here.

Phonological working memory test. This is information on my phonological working memory test.

Reading span working memory test. I actually had two reading span tests. So I will describe them both here.

Spanish reading span test. I will describe this L2 reading span test here.

English reading span test. I will describe this L1 reading span test here.

Aptitude test. This is the information concerning my aptitude test.

End-of-course grades. This is the information concerning the end-of-course grades.


This is where I put all the information concerning what the participants did and in what order they did the things.


This is where I write what analysis I applied to the data. For example, I might use ANOVA or structural equation modeling. Or I might use a qualitative approach in investigating the data. I would write here very briefly why I use such an analysis.


I have lots of results. Here is where I present them.

I might have tables in this section too.


And I also might have some figures to add in. If so, I would i.............

Type: Essay || Words: 1390 Rating || Excellent

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