Discussion

How to Format Your Essays in APA 7th Edition

Centre for Teaching and Learning,

English Skills for University

Mr.

3 April 2022

Introduction

Essays have a standard format in universities that you may not deviate from. Logically, this makes sense if you are a teacher or academic publisher working with essays and papers all day. Firstly, they are easier to read, mark, and grade quickly; secondly, there are no problems with certain punctuation in the correct format; finally, they are in a ready for editing and publishing by an academic journal publisher. Thus, make every effort to make sure every submission for your courses, no matter how small, follows these rules. Any submissions not following these rules to the detail will not be graded and will be LATE, putting it last in the cue.

Discussion

You are only allowed to write essays in MICROSOFT’S WORD PROGRAM WORD, which is part of the OFFICE package. You may not use the programs that come automatically with your computer, iPad, or tablet. Such programs are vastly inferior and will not do what you or your instructor need them to do. So, get WORD and open up a document. If you do not have word, you can get the online version from the IT for student’s page in the university Student Web pages.

Header: create a header in your documents. The easiest way is to create the page number first. Go to Insert, then Page Numbers, then change the position to Top of page (Header). After this your header is created, as on this page. Then click on the header and it will open up and it will close the rest of the document. Then you can add all the header information next. THIS INFORMATION SHOULD BE IN THE TOP LEFT OF THE HEADER. Technically your computer calls is “justified to the left”. In the header it looks like this:

THE TITLE OF THE PAPER IN ALL CAPITALS number

It needs also to be Text Font (type) Times New Romans, Text Size 12 point, Line Spacing 1.0 (single spaced), Line Spacing Options set to “don’t add spaces between paragraphs of the same style”. There is a user-friendly diagram for Line Spacing, but if you can’t find it, go to FORMAT, then Paragraph, then Spacing. Here you can start making sure the numbers in boxes are 0.0. After you may close the header by clicking on the close button at the bottom of it.

Create a title page: The title page is all double line spacing and is centred text. Center the title page NOT by adding extra spaces before it but by using the CENTER TEXT button. Most computers have easy user-friendly diagrams. About 9 centimeters down the page, write your paper title. Essay titles use Title Case (except in the header): make sure you use upper case letters for every first letter in a word. This is done easily if you use http://titlecapitalization.com. Make sure the title is in bold text. Have an extra space under the title. Then a separate line each for the following information:

Your Name

(have a space here please)

Your Institution and University Name

Your Course Number and Name

Your teacher’s name

The due date

(Remember to have a page break after this.)

Line Spacing: after creating the document with header and a title page, highlight the whole text, but not the title page (the header will not be included here because it is shadowed and not available now). There is a user-friendly diagram for Line Spacing, but if you can’t find it, go to FORMAT, then Paragraph, then Spacing. Here you can start making sure the numbers in the boxes are 0.0. Put a check in the box “Don’t add spaces between paragraphs of the same style”.

The Essay’s Start: You will probably need to have subtitles, such as Introduction, Discussion, and Conclusion, for different parts of your text. They should always be centred and in bold text. When you start writing the text of the essay, make sure you use the user-friendly button, “Align Text Left”, to make sure the text is aligned to left of the page. Only the subtitles (such as “Introduction”) are centered. The rest of every word of your essay must now be left. DO NOT choose the button Justify Text, which will make it look even on both edges like a newspaper column. NO COLUMNS. For shorter academic essays, you now have to follow some rules in the text, as described below.

The Text: the first line of every paragraph is indented. Do not mark new paragraphs with a new space. Indent: mark new paragraphs by indenting 1.27cm (0.5 inches). These indentations need to be the same. It is an international measurement coming from the English countries’ use of half an inch, which is 1.27cm. You go to the “Line Spacing and Paragraphing” button or menu and choose “Line Spacing Options” and then change the “Indentation” under “special” to “First line” by 1.27 cm.

Do not have any extra spaces at all in the text. Do not ever change the size or type of text, for any reasons, even the title. Do not ever use any lists with bullet points. Material like that for longer research papers is done in tables, diagrams, graphs, and appendixes. Do not ever use bold text or underline text. Do not use italics, except for the titles of publications, such as a book, a newspaper, an academic journal, a published convention in the law, a movie/film or TV show, an album, etc. Use “quotation marks” for titles of chapters within another publication, such as a book chapter, an article name (in a book, journal), a chapter of a law or convention, an episode of a TV show, a song on an album, direct quotes from other sources, special words that don’t really exist that someone has created, that someone has specially made for special purpose, or for slang or swear words.

Word Count: always include a word count at the end of the text that does not include the essay title or the references/works cited list. Include only the actual text of the essay, for example:

Word Count: 1094

(Put another page break here)

Works Cited

New reference here alödkjfaölsdkfjasöldkfjaösldkfjasöldkfjalökjf jfdladj alsdkj. Jklasd öalskd aksldffjk lkjfdölakdj fjfldksjadlöfkja ljjalsdfkjasöldfkj ölaskd ölaskdjfasöldkfjaslödkfj asldkfaslödkfjaslödfj asdfjlasdjflasdf.

New reference here alödkjfaölsdkfjasöldkfjaösldkfjasöldkfjalökjf jfdladj alsdkj. Jklasd öalskd aksldffjk lkjfdölakdj fjfldksjadlöfkja ljjalsdfkjasöldfkj ölaskd ölaskdjfasöldkfjaslödkfj asldkfaslödkfjaslödfj asdfjlasdjflasdf.

References created like this are done by going to the same button for indentation and creating a HANGING indent of 1.27cm (0.5 inches). These indentations need to be the same. You go to the “Line Spacing and Paragraphing” button or menu and choose “Line Spacing Options” and then change the “Indentation” under “special” to “hanging” by 1.27 cm.

Conclusion

This is the end for now. There will be more details later when talking about the references/works cited lists, but this is a good way to start and how you must submit ALL submissions to teachers with ANY assignment at the university. Make it an automatic habit to format before you start writing, and the rest will come easily.