Why APA Formatting Matters
Begin essay here. Be sure you have one-inch margins on all sides. If you are thinking to yourself, â€œSelf, will my professor really know if I use 1.2 margins versus 1-inch margins? Would she really be so detailed as to look at all of her essays with a tape measurer in hand, no one is that detailedâ€¦â€ The answer is yes, yes she is and the tape measurer is red. If you arenâ€™t sure how to fix this or any other part of your format, use google to search for how to do it on your version of Microsoft Word and/or on your computer/laptop type. Formatting matters beyond the classroom because it can make or break whether your cover letter, resume, and/or job application get you a foot in the door. Further, if you ever decide to go into non-profit work or counseling, it can make or break your career, getting clients, and/or getting grant funding. Trust me, I worked in some of those fields before ever becoming a nerdy professor.
Be sure that you are using Times New Roman font size 12 only. This makes it easier for me to read & helps me grade more efficiently. I already work too much, help me stay a professor who cares by doing your part to prevent teacher burnout. Use paragraphs. A paragraph should never be as long as a full page of text. Going over the page length is ok, as long as itâ€™s not too long without saying anything important. Writing fewer than the required length (by any amount) will immediately cause you to lose points from your potential grade! Essays that are an appropriate length and have the right formatting (i.e. show real thought and effort) are the ones that have the potential for a perfect score. Incorrect formatting on any future essays will also cause you to lose even more points, as my disappointment grows when people donâ€™t learn from feedback and past mistakes.
If you have problems with spacing you can highlight the text and right click. Select Paragraph, then click line spacing double or check the box that says, â€œDonâ€™t add space between paragraphs.â€ Put it in your own words and cite. Microsoft word is tricksy, so you may have to do this every time. If you want to site our amazing book or some other brilliant text you cite the text in APA format right after you discuss it. For example, our main text is awesome because it has some much useful information (Belsky, 2019). For APA format, if you are citing the author in the sentence, it goes a little differently. For example, Belskyâ€™s (2019) book is less expensive than most lifespan development textbooks. Also, donâ€™t quote in your essays. Instead, put things in your own words and cite. If you want to note a particular term, do what I did earlier on the word paragraph, make it italic. Keep in mind that Word is a program to make your life easier, not a mastermind. It can be confused by typos that it in it (See that one there, No warning for me). It is important that you asses the essay yourself by carefully proofreading out loud (See it missed that one too).
One final comment, on grammar and writing style, be sure that you are using your commas appropriately, as well as your semi-colons; and not just throwing them around willy-nilly. They are to be respected. I know it can be difficult to figure out when to use a comma versus a semi-colon versus nothing at all. One helpful tool for me has been a website called Grammar Girl and another called The Oatmeal (you can find links to these in the FAQ). There are several helpful websites for the grammar and writing challenged.
Be sure that you cite at least two references, at minimum the book should be cited as well as one academic source such as (Bertl et. al., 2019). An essay that is eligible for a perfect score will have at least three references, and by references we mean peer reviewed research articles in the field of psychology published in the last decade. Citation is several points of your grade. Itâ€™s hard to assess your ability to cite unless you cite something. The appropriate format for APA style is mentioned above for use within text. If you are citing something and are not sure of the appropriate format, you can use Purdue Owl or an APA Manual (again, links are in the FAQ). Otherwise you can see below for a sample References page. Unlike this sample essay, References should always begin on the start of the last page. Remember, you must cite both in the text as well as in the References section. The sample References section below which already cites the textbook correctly to start you off on the right foot (Morris, 2013). I hope you found this essay on essays funny and helpful! It was not intended to be condescending, just a comical way of reinforcing essay format and providing a sample for your use.
Belsky, J. (2019). Experiencing the Lifespan. (5th ed). New York, NY: Worth Publishers.
Bertl, B., Andrzejewski, D., Hyland, L., Shrivastava, A., Russell, D., & Pietschnig, J. (2019). My grade, my right: Linking academic entitlement to academic performance. Social Psychology of Education, 22, 775-793. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11218-019-09509-2
Morris, M. (2013). The impact of attributions on academic performance: A test of the reformulated learned helplessness model. Social Sciences Directory, 2(2), 3-15. http://dx.doi.org/10.7563/SSD_02_02_01