Apa Style Research Paper Guidelines High School

Full OWL Resources for Grades 7-12 Students and Instructors

Summary:

This page provides resources for grades 7-12 instructors and students

Contributors:Lauren Huebsch, Allen Brizee
Last Edited: 2014-06-24 12:19:35

For resources specifically created for grades 7-12 students, see the other resources in this section. 

For access to all OWL resources, click here. Please click on the links below to access Full OWL resources that may also be useful grades 7-12 instructors and students:

Process

Starting the Writing Process - This resource contains tips for instructors and student on beginning writing.

Prewriting - This section explains the prewriting (invention) stage of the composing process. It includes processes, strategies, and questions to help you begin to write.

Writer's Block / Writer's Anxiety - This resource contains help for overcoming writer's block and a short series of exercises to help students begin writing.

Developing an Outline - This resource describes why outlines are useful, what types of outlines exist, suggestions for developing effective outlines, and how outlines can be used as an invention strategy for writing.

Paragraphs and Paragraphing - The purpose of this resource is to provide some basic instruction and advice regarding the creation of understandable and coherent paragraphs.

Transitions and Transitional Devices - This resource discusses transition strategies and specific transitional devices to help students' essays and sentences flow more effectively.

Research: Overview - This section provides answers to the following research-related questions: Where do I begin? Where should I look for information? What types of sources are available?

Searching the World Wide Web - This section covers finding sources for your writing in the World Wide Web. It includes information about search engines, Boolean operators, web directories, and the invisible web. It also includes an extensive, annotated links section.

Evaluating Sources of Information - This section provides information on evaluating bibliographic citations, aspects of evaluation, reading evaluation, print vs. Internet sources, and evaluating internet sources.

Quoting, Paraphrasing, and Summarizing - This resource will help you become more comfortable with the uses of and distinctions among quotations, paraphrases, and summaries. This handout compares and contrasts the three terms, gives some pointers, and includes a short excerpt that you can use to practice these skills.

Avoiding Plagiarism - This resource offers advice on how to avoid plagiarism in your work—there are few intellectual offenses more serious than plagiarism in academic and professional contexts.

Rhetoric and Logic

Creating a Thesis Statement - This resource provides tips for creating a thesis statement and examples of different types of thesis statements.

Establishing Arguments - This section discusses the thesis statement and explains argument in writing, which includes using research to support a thesis. This resources also discusses Aristotle's logical proof: ethos, pathos, and logos and the logical fallacies.

Logic in Argumentative Writing - This resource covers logic within writing— logical vocabulary, logical fallacies, and other types of logos-based reasoning.

Rhetorical Situation - This presentation is designed for instructors to use with students to introduce a variety of factors that contribute to strong, well-organiz ed writing. This presentation is suitable for the beginning of a composition course or the assignment of a writing project in any class.

Different Kinds of Essay Genres

Writing a Research Paper - This section provides detailed information about how to write research papers including discussing research papers as a genre, choosing topics, and finding sources.

Writing About Fiction - This resource covers major topics relating to writing about fiction. This covers prewriting, close reading, thesis development, drafting, and common pitfalls to avoid.

Writing About Literature - This material provides examples and description about writing papers in literature. It discusses research topics, how to begin to research, how to use information, and formatting.

Writing About Poetry - This section covers the basics of how to write about poetry. Including why it is done, what you should know, and what you can write about.

Writing Definitions - This resource provides suggestions and examples for writing definitions.

Style and Language

Adding Emphasis in Writing - This handout provides information on visual and textual devices for adding emphasis to student writing including textual formatting, punctuation, sentence structure, and the arrangement of words.

Conciseness - This resource explains the concept of concise writing and provides examples of how to ensure clear prose.

Paramedic Method: A Lesson in Writing Concisely - This handout provides steps and exercises to eliminate wordiness at the sentence level.

Sentence Variety - This resource presents methods for adding sentence variety and complexity to writing that may sound repetitive or boring. Sections are divided into general tips for varying structure, a discussion of sentence types, and specific parts of speech which can aid in sentence variety.

Using Appropriate Language - This section covers some of the major issues with appropriate language use: levels of language formality, deceitful language and Euphemisms, slang and idiomatic expressions; using group-specific jargon; and biased/stereotypical language.

Punctuation - This resource will help clarify when and how to use various marks of punctuation. When speaking, we can pause or change the tone of our voices to indicate emphasis. When writing, we must use punctuation to indicate these places of emphasis.

Proofreading Your Writing - This section provides information on proofreading, finding and fixing common errors.

Commas - This resource offers a number of pages about comma use.

Citation

Annotated Bibliography - This resource provides information about annotated bibliographies.

MLA Formatting and Style Guide - This resource, updated to reflect the MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers (6th ed.) and the MLA Style Manual and Guide to Scholarly Publishing (2nd ed.), offers examples for the general format of MLA research papers, in-text citations, endnotes/footnotes, and the Works Cited page. MLA (Modern Language Association) style is most commonly used to write papers and cite sources within the liberal arts and humanities.

APA Formatting and Style Guide - This resource, revised according to the 5th edition of the APA manual, offers examples for the general format of APA research papers, in-text citations, endnotes/footnotes, and the reference page. APA (American Psychological Association) is most commonly used to cite sources within the social sciences.

Writing and Research Help by Email - Still have questions about your writing? Haven't found what you need? Send us an email! Our staff will provide individualized writing help online.

Regardless of the type of paper you are writing under the APA paper format, it must follow certain guidelines. From margins and fonts to specific sections and a Reference List, these format guidelines dictate how your paper looks.

Use standard-size computer paper measuring 8.5” x 11”. Avoid using thicker stock-style paper.

Margins and spacing both play important roles in the APA paper format. They present your information in a clear format that aids readers in reviewing your content. Use the following guidelines for margins and spacing.

Both the type and size of the font you use in the APA paper format matter. Use the following guidelines:

All research papers written in the APA paper format have four main sections: title page, abstract, main body and reference section. Depending on the type of research paper you are writing, there may be additional sections.

  • Title page
  • The title page of an APA paper consists of a running head (also known as a header), your paper title, your byline as the author, the institutional affiliation and an author’s note (if required).

    Running head—This consists of a shortened version of your paper title and a page number. Your running head can be a maximum of 50 characters according the APA paper format. Spaces and punctuation are included in the 50-character limit. The page number is placed flush with the right margin, and the rest of the running head is placed flush left. Put the shortened version of your title in all capital letters.

    Example:

    Running head: TITLE OF YOUR PAPER

    1

    The running head continues on every page of your APA format paper. On every page after the title page, the running head looks like the below example:

    TITLE OF YOUR PAPER

    Page#

    Remember that only the page number is used; the word “page” is not used.

    Paper title—The full title is centered across the page and centered on the upper half of the page. Do not use abbreviations in paper titles. The APA paper format also suggests keeping your title to 12 words maximum while using one or two lines. Use normal title case. Double space after the title.

    Example:

    Your Paper Title:
    Using Two Lines

    Author byline—Below the title is your name or the your name along with other authors of the paper if it is a group paper. Use your first name, middle initial and last name. The APA paper format requires the omission of any titles, such as Dr. or Ph.D. Double space after the author byline.

    Example:

    Your Name

    Institutional affiliation—This is the location where you conducted research. If you are writing an APA format paper for a class in high school or college, use the name of your school.

    Example:

    Writing University

    Some instructors may request that you include their name, the date or the class name. For each of these requirements that are not included in the APA format paper guidelines, double space after the institutional affiliation. Place each piece of information that is required on a separate line, and double space between each line.

    Author’s note—The author’s note is generally only required if the paper is meant for publication. If you are unsure whether this is a requirement for a school assignment, consult your instructor, and follow the APA format paper guidelines for the author’s note.

    Abstract

    An abstract is essentially a summary of your paper. The abstract is placed on the next page after your title page. APA paper format dictates than an abstract stay between 150-200 words in length. In some cases, your instructor may set different requirements for the abstract with respect to length and/or content. Therefore, make sure you understand the assignment before writing your abstract. Otherwise, follow the rules and guidelines for creating an abstract in APA paper format.

    Main Body

    The main body of an APA format paper consists of an introduction and body paragraphs and some type of conclusion. The main body of your paper typically starts on the third page of your paper. In addition, other sections may be required for certain paper types. In a lab report or experimental report for example, you would include a methods section, a results section and a discussion section after your introduction. With these additional sections, the discussion section takes the place of a conclusion. Other constructions and sections may also be required. Always refer to paper guidelines and instructions to determine which sections to include in the main body of your APA format paper.

    Reference Section

    The reference section or list for an APA format paper lists all the resources you consulted in the course of writing your paper. It does not only include the sources you cited in your paper, but the sources you do cite must be listed in this section. The reference list is set up on its own page with the word “References” centered at the top. It also follows guidelines and rules for listing your sources.

    While this is the basic format for the APA paper format, other guidelines and rules apply depending on the type of information you provide and the type of paper you are required to write. There are special instructions for using headings, avoiding bias and incorporating charts, graphs, appendices and more—to name a few examples, so make sure you follow the basic formatting, any specialized formatting and the instructions given to you with an assignment that requests the APA paper format.

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