How to Write an APA Format Research Paper

Style Manual

It would be important for the student to consult a style manual. They may select either the APA Style Manual, the Modern Language Association Publication Manual, The Chicago Manual of Style or other. The APA (American Psychological Association) Style Manual is used with social subjects such as sociology and psychology while the Modern Language Association Publication Manual is used more for humanitarian or literary purposes.

Thesis Statement

In the event of research or experimentation, consideration should be given for the confidentiality and protection of participants and contributors. The paper should adhere to journal standards, as outlined by the style manual utilized.

The student would begin by searching for a topic. Once they find one that is significant to them, they can then gather information around that subject, preparing to create a thesis statement. When he/she creates a thesis statement, based on the information gathered, they can create the thesis statement around which the entire paper will be based. The student may conduct intensive research over the Internet, in addition to conducting research in the library, as aided by library professionals. The student may utilize a variety of different venues for information, including media such as tapes, books, CD’s, DVD’s journals, digests, etc.


Once the thesis statement is created around the information gathered, the student is ready to put an outline down on paper. The student should identify key words, thoughts, and concepts to highlight the outline so that it contains poignant images of the ideas the student wishes to convey. It is important to get a flow of thoughts in the outline so that ideas and thoughts are listed in an orderly fashion which progresses to develop the original argument of the thesis statement. Resolution of the argument should occur in the last paragraphs, finalizing in the summary. The outline should begin with a major heading in which the thesis statement is given. Subsequent headings should consist of the topic sentences for ensuing paragraphs. Minor ideas may be noted by the smaller numerals and letters in the outline.

Spelling, Grammar, and Format

The student should attend to the spelling, grammar, and format in the research paper, making sure that all is accurate and represents the authority to which the student referred when writing the article. The document should include a title page, an abstract, an introduction, a hypothesis, and a literature review should be done. It should include methodology, results, discussion, a conclusion, a dissertation proposal, thesis, a thesis statement, a thesis proposal, and a research proposal.

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