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How to Write a Business Paper in APA Format


The American Psychological Association (APA) format is a standard academic formatting style. This style is commonly used in hard science courses such as math, science and business. When composing your business essay, it is vital that you faithfully follow this style as failure to do so can result in accusations of plagiarism. Move through your paper step by step and follow the APA standards to ensure that your paper is in the proper APA style.

Follow general APA formatting guidelines. Before you begin the composition of your business paper, set the margins to one inch on all sides. Set your document to automatically double space your text by going to the "Format" menu, selecting "Paragraph" and picking double under the "Lines and Spacing" tab.

Set up a page header. All APA papers have a running header at the top of each page. To set up your running header, first access the header in your document by going to the "View" menu, and selecting "Header and Footer." Click on the rectangular box that appears at the top of your document. Align your cursor to the left, and type your title all in capital letters. Then tab over to the right, and insert a page number by clicking on the # symbol on the header toolbar. Do not insert the page number simply by typing the number. If you do, you will have the same number at the top of each page, and not a gradually increasing page number.

Create a title page. On your first page of your document, create your title page. Hit enter five times to move down towards the center of the page. Center your cursor, and type your title with standard capitalization. Hit enter again, and type your name. Hit enter once more, and type the educational institution with which you are affiliated. Your business professor may request additional information on this title page. If he does, follow his directions to modify your title page accordingly.

Compose an abstract. Start a new page to compose your abstract. Center the cursor, and type "Abstract" at the top of the page. Hit enter. Align your cursor to the left, and compose a 250 to 300 word explanation of your paper. Include a summary of your paper as a whole, as well as an explanation of the research practices you followed if you conducted any research studies as you completed your paper. Do not indent your abstract.

Write the body of your paper. After starting a new paper, compose the body of your paper. Indent each paragraph of your body, and include in-text citations next to any quotations or paraphrases within your paper. To create an in-text citation, include the last name of the author, followed by a comma and finally the year of publication in parenthesis.

Create a references page. The last page of your paper should include your references in APA style. To create your bibliography page, start a new page, type "Bibliography" centered at the top. Consult the current APA guide for specifics on each reference type depending upon the type of resources you used. Place each reference on a separate line, and list any reference that you consulted while composing your business paper.

About the Author

Erin Schreiner is a freelance writer and teacher who holds a bachelor's degree from Bowling Green State University. She has been actively freelancing since 2008. Schreiner previously worked for a London-based freelance firm. Her work appears on eHow, Trails.com and RedEnvelope. She currently teaches writing to middle school students in Ohio and works on her writing craft regularly.

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