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How to Write a Psychological Case Report in APA Style


It is important to know how to write a case study properly because they are used in the mental health field. The sixth edition of the "Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association" provides guidelines on how to compose a case study. There are two types of case studies. Prospective case studies involve observing a group of people or a client. Retrospective case studies are written from historical data or documented information about a disorder.

Establish the Formatting

According to the APA, the paper should be double-spaced with a 1-inch margin on the sides, top and bottom of the page. The recommended font is 12-point Times New Roman. The first line of each paragraph is indented one-half an inch with a running head inserted at the top left of each page with a 50 character title in all caps and page numbers on the right side in Arabic numerals.

Title Page and Abstract

The title page and abstract belong on separate pages. The title page has the words "Running head:" with a colon before the title at top left. The title of the case study along with your first and last name and the name of your college or university should be centered in the page. The abstract should be no more than 250 words. It must include a brief summary of the case study, the participants, the method and findings.

In-Text Citations

Any time you use any information at all that came from someone's work, you must cite your source. It doesn't matter if you quote, summarize, or completely re-phrase, you still must cite the author's last name followed by a comma and the year of the publication in parentheses. When you are directly quoting material, you must include a page number as well as follows: (Author last name, year, page number).

Reference Page

A reference page is required at the end of your document. All literature that was used to write the case study should be listed in alphabetical order by the author's last name. The author's last name is followed by a comma and their first initial followed by a period. For a book, the year of publication is next in parentheses, with the title, city of publication and the publisher's name.

About the Author

Elise Freeman has been a writer and researcher for eight years. Freeman's research in psychology has been publicized on the Huffington Post, "USA Today," NPR, and "The Washington Post." She has also worked with The New York Times Bestsellers and some of the leading researchers in the nation. Freeman's specialties include science, education, travel and more.

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