How to Write a Personal Autobiography APA Style

One of the styles or formats in which you can write a personal autobiography is structured by the American Psychological Association, APA. This style is frequently required by colleges and other educational institutions for autobiographies submitted along with applications for acceptance into the program, and is particularly associated with essays in the field of social sciences.

Open a word document and set one inch margins on all sides with Times New Roman font in 12-point size. Set the entire document to be double spaced, and create a header in the right corner with the title of the autobiography abbreviated and the page number.

Create your title page with a running head on the first line, aligned to the left. Type "Running Head:" (with colon), then write the abbreviated version of your title. Enter down three spaces (double) and type your title, name, and the educational institution (if applicable) as a centered, double-spaced block.

Move to the second page and type the title "Abstract," centered, then double space and type your abstract (left-justified, no indent), which is a short (up to 150 words) summary of your autobiography. One double space beneath this, type the title "Keywords" in italics, centered, followed by a colon, and type four or five keywords present in your autobiography that will help researchers find your work.

Move to the third page and begin typing your autobiography, left-justified. APA style indicates the autobiography be in third person, meaning referring to yourself by name rather than using "I" and "my." Focus on writing using an active voice rather than passive; for example, use "Professor Jenkins taught the course" rather than "The course was taught by Professor Jenkins."

Follow the autobiography with a reference page in APA format for each reference you make in your autobiography. Use a half inch hanging indent from the left margin. The basic format calls for the author's last name to appear first, followed by his first, with the list alphabetized by last name, italicized titles for books and journals, and major words capitalized in journal titles. Works that do not come from a journal (i.e. a book, article, or website entry) should have only the first letter of the title capitalized.

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