How to Write a Great APA-Style Integrative Paper

The American Psychological Association (APA) style is the standard written form accepted for psychology work at the university and professional level. The APA determines the proper guidelines for APA style, which is typically taught to undergraduate and graduate level psychology students; however, it is sometimes used in other courses as well. An integrative paper is a way for a student to show his current opinion regarding a certain subject matter at the present point in time. The integrative paper should contain the use of the word "I" frequently throughout the writing.

Review the instructions for the assignment, taking into consideration current topics covered so far in the class. If the instructions for the assignment specify writing an integrative paper only on a certain topic covered, stick to that one topic. If the integrative paper is meant to cover all topics covered to this point, then the instructions will apply to every lesson covered so far.

Create a list of personal opinions regarding the topics for the integrative paper. An integrative paper is essentially an opinion of the material covered and how you feel about it. Therefore, unlike other APA style papers, you will use the word "I" and other personal pronouns in your integrative paper while expressing a personal opinion.

Go through your list of opinions and make notes for each one regarding potential areas for personal bias. Although the integrative paper is written in first-person form and partly expressing opinion, you should still try to avoid the expression of extreme personal biases. While making notes on your list, add questions you have regarding the different topics, any confusion you feel regarding the topics and anything personally interesting that you wish to share.

Open a new word document and set the new page for proper APA style. APA style requires 1-inch margins, a maximum size 12 font, a running header, page numbers, a title page, in-text citations and an alphabetized reference list. The paragraphs should be set to double spacing as well.

Type the title of your integrative paper on the first page of your word document. In APA style, type your name on the next line followed by the class identification, teacher's name and the date on subsequent lines. Center these lines on the title page, using the Enter key to move the lines down to the center of the page and the center text option to center the words in the middle of the document.

Hit Enter several times and start your integrative paper on page 2 of the document. Remember that the page count for your integrative paper does not include the title page or the references.

Start your integrative paper with the word "I." Use "I" frequently as you work through the paper, expressing your current position and processing the lesson to this point.

Add in-text citations in parentheses after any paraphrasing or quotations taken from other sources, such as textbooks, scholarly articles or websites. APA style in-text citations are placed at the end of a sentence or quote in parentheses, usually containing the author's last name and publication year, with the period ending the sentence after the closed parenthesis. It is advisable to use at least several in-text citations throughout the paper, even if you do not feel you need them, because this shows that you were following along with the reading.

Hit the Enter key several times at the end of your integrative paper to place your reference list at the start of a new page. The reference list should be in alphabetical order, following APA style in which the first line starts at the margin with the following lines indented a half inch and a space in between each reference.

  • Save your school assignments throughout the course to help you remember the information, as you likely presented an opinion or questions with those assignments. This will prove beneficial particularly if the integrative paper is assigned near the end of the class.
About the Author

Sasha Maggio specializes in topics related to psychology, fitness, nutrition, health, medicine, dentistry, and recovery after surgery, as well as cultural topics including Buddhism, Japanese culture, travel, languages and cooking. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in psychology and Japanese from the University of Hawaii, as well as a Master of Arts in forensic psychology. She is currently pursuing Medical and PhD programs.

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