Common Mistakes made by Students in APA Format

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Once you have written a paper that requires several hours and perhaps days to complete, you may look for spelling mistakes or punctuations but checking for the correct formatting is equally important. It gives credibility to your written paper and also acknowledges the sources you have consulted in writing this paper. This acknowledgment helps readers find the cited information and also it reduces plagiarism. So proper formatting of academic work is a must. APA format as compared to other formatting styles is tricky that needs to be mindful of.

Some common mistakes in APA formatting are given below:

Incorrect Header

The first words that appear with a title page are running headers. Although it is a simple one-step process, it is often ignored. It has been seen that in most papers either header is ignored or improperly formatted. The running header should include a left-aligned shorter version of your title and page numbers right-aligned. Both with Times New Roman 12-font. Also, only on the title page mention 'Running Reade'.

In-text Citation Errors

APA style in-text citation contains the last name of the author with the publication date. In the case of the direct quote, the page number should also be mentioned. I.e. The research has shown the results (smith, 2021 pg. 117). Make sure that all the in-text citations are included at the end of the reference list. If you were to mention multiple sources in a sentence then write the names of the authors in alphabetical order. Students have been observed to have not cared for these details and especially when you have asked someone else to write my paper then the possibility of error gets multiplied. Make sure to include a shorter version of the title in case the name of the author is not mentioned. If there is no date then just write ‘n.d’.

In the case of two authors separate the names by 'and' in i.e. James and Brown (2021) state that… and if the names were to mention at the end then separate by ' & ' i.e. James & Brown (2021). In the case of three or more authors then mention all the names for the first time separated by '&' i.e. Lee, Doe, Berry & Smith (2020). In the subsequent references use the second name of the first author followed by et al. Lee et al., (2020). Furthermore, if there are more than six authors then use 'et al.' with the last name of the first author i.e. William et al., 2016.


This is a common mistake that an essay writer capitalizes on unnecessarily. Always capitalize the first character of each word in the title.


Students often misplace the heading references. It should be on a separate page and in the center of the page. Also, it should be bold 12-font. All the entries under reference should be in alphabetical order. It has also been observed that entries are not stated alphabetically particularly in the case of the cheapest paper writing service the entries do not show alphabetical order. Lastly, apply hanging indent that means the first line in the reference entries would be left-aligned and all subsequent lines of a single entry would be indented by 0.5 inches.

Tables and figures

Make sure to mention a number before tables and figures and followed by the necessary explanation. Students often mistake by not assigning a number before the table or figure. The number should be bold in style. Lastly, it requires a careful and thorough mind to format your paper in APA format. Before starting to write, set the word processing APA layout. Few things like the running header and page number are once set to work throughout the paper. One needs to be extra-cautious to observe the rules one by one in order to produce a scholarly and presentable paper.

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