The Main Rules for Writing a College APA Paper, What Mistakes Should You Avoid?

Published 8:56 am Monday, February 19, 2024

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Writing a college paper in APA format can seem daunting, but you can produce a well-structured and professional-looking paper with a clear understanding of the rules and guidelines. Here are some fundamental rules to remember and common mistakes to avoid. 

1. Formatting

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✅ Rule: Follow APA guidelines for formatting your paper, including using 1-inch margins on all sides, double-spacing throughout the paper, and using a legible font such as Times New Roman in 12-point size.

❌ Mistake to Avoid: Neglecting to format your paper correctly can result in lost marks or rejection of your paper. Make sure to meticulously adhere to APA formatting guidelines to ensure your paper looks polished and professional.

Formatting guidelines can be a source of frustration and confusion for many students, but writing services offer a valuable solution to this challenge. When students buy a college APA paper from an expert writer, they can get high-quality work formatted according to the latest academic standards. Thus, they can focus on the content of their work without the stress of formatting concerns.

2. Title Page

✅ Rule: Include a title page at the beginning of your paper featuring the title, your name, the name of your institution, and the date. Center all elements horizontally and vertically on the page.

❌ Mistake to Avoid: Omitting essential details from the title page, such as your name or the date, can result in confusion or a loss of marks. Double-check that all required information is included and properly formatted on the title page.

3. In-text Citations

✅ Rule: Use in-text citations to acknowledge the sources of information you have used in your paper. Include the author’s last name and the publication year in parentheses whenever you directly quote or paraphrase someone else’s work.

❌ Mistake to Avoid: Forgetting to cite your sources properly can lead to accusations of plagiarism, which can have severe consequences for your academic integrity. Always cite your sources accurately and consistently throughout your paper.

4. Reference List

✅ Rule: Include a reference list at the end of your paper, listing all the sources you cited in your paper. Arrange your references alphabetically by the author’s last name, and use hanging indentation for each entry.

❌ Mistake to Avoid: Failing to include a reference list or improperly formatting your references can undermine the credibility of your paper. Double-check that your reference list is complete and accurately formatted according to APA guidelines.

5. Headings and Subheadings

✅ Rule: Use headings and subheadings to organize the content of your paper and help readers navigate through your ideas. Use clear and descriptive headings to indicate the main sections of your paper, and capitalize the first letter of each significant word.

❌ Mistake to Avoid: Using inconsistent or unclear headings can confuse readers and detract from the overall clarity of your paper. Ensure that your headings are logically structured and consistently formatted throughout your paper.


By following these main rules for writing a college APA paper and avoiding common mistakes, you can produce a well-written and properly formatted paper that meets the standards of academic excellence. Remember to carefully review your paper for any formatting errors or citation inaccuracies before submitting it, as attention to detail can make all the difference in achieving academic success.