How to Use a Sample APA Style Research Paper

The APA style of formatting is a formatting guideline to students and writers submitting academic essays and papers. Using APA style means that you will be following some strict formatting guidelines, but it’s all for the purpose of writing discipline, organization, spelling and grammar rules, a proper referencing of sources, avoidance of plagiarism, and overall, proper formatting.

Even if you think you know APA style inside and out, a lot of the time it doesn’t hurt to look at a sample to make sure you get it right. Looking at a sample of a completed work in APA style will highly increase your chances of writing a research paper in one hundred percent perfect APA style. This is especially true for visual learners who pick up on things based on sight rather than sound or lecture.

Here are some methods for using a sample APA research paper to successfully craft an APA perfect research paper of your own:

  • Look at how sources are referenced. You can have all the facts and statistics you want, but without proper citations, how will the reader know they are valid? Also look at the APA style guidelines to writing a proper biography. You have to avoid plagiarism at all costs, and part of doing so is to properly cite your sources.
  • Look at where to properly place your name, the date, and the page numbers. You can write the most compelling argumentative essay in the history of academics, but if you don’t properly put in simple things like the name, date and page numbers, it can cost you big time.
  • Organization. Don’t just pay attention to the mechanics of the paper. Grab a couple of different APA-style essays and read through them both a couple of times. What similarities are present? How are the essays organized and structured? This should give you a general idea of the organization for your own essay as well. For example, look at how the introduction of the essays is written, or how the discussion points are organized. Are the stronger arguments made first or last?

In preparation for writing your own APA essay, simply giving a few close looks at a few others doesn’t hurt. Not only will it help clarify how the mechanics of the paper need to be written, you can also digest the flow and organization of the papers. In the long run, it may help your own essay writing improve substantially.