American Psychological Association published their writing style and format for academic writings in their first edition of Publication manual for American Psychological Association in 1944. The manual has since spanned six editions, with the sixth and latest version published in 2009. The APA style refers to the guidelines set by APA in their manual to guide a standard for journals and scientific papers. The style guide was created to enhance precise understanding of academic and scientific articles published in their journals by avoiding bias in language with an emphasis on the usage of unambiguous language.
Various universities and scientific journals have since adopted the APA style as the standard for academic writing, sometimes with a little or little modifications. A research proposal is the first step in most academic writing. It is the estimate of aggregation of processes that will form research.
Research proposal in APA guidelines will enable you to present a proposal that will have a standard style to convince the committee to approve of your research. APA style for research proposal contains specific guidelines.
Margins, Header & Footer
A 1-inch margin on all sides is required. The header format is right-justified, and it includes the title of the proposal on the left side and page number on the right. The running header shouldn’t exceed 50 characters; it starts from the cover page and runs throughout the proposal. If the title exceeds 50 characters, shorten it to include only the keywords.
Fonts, Size & Space
APA style requires a standard serif typeface, preferably Times New Roman. The fond size is standard 12. Each word must be double-spaced, and the indention of five spaces is needed.
The required format for your title page will have the proposal headline placed approximately at the center, at halfway down the page. The headline is followed by your name with the name of the organisation or university below that.
The abstract follows the title page. Write the abstract within 250 words, and it contains a statement of the research and methods likely to be used.
The next page of the proposal is the introduction; contains the general idea behind the research, the context of the study, the issue that it will tackle, and the people that it will benefit. The section can span up to three pages.
A brief review of the literature that you will need to study to gain an in-depth understanding of the problem is what follows the introduction; must relate the research to similar studies in the field, incorporate a structure that will be followed in the study in relation to existing knowledge in the area. The section can take up a maximum of 7 pages.
List and briefly elucidate on the methods that you will use in the research; mention all means from data gathering to analysis and how each will be justified. The requirement specifies a maximum of 5 pages for this section.
It is required to mention all the possible limitations of the study; limit this to half a page.
The importance of the research, its tangibility, practicality, and possible implications follow limitations. The proposal must provide an account of the probable conclusion and what it seeks to achieve in the field of study. The section is usually limited to two pages.
References, Bibliography & Citation
Provide a section for all the references cited while writing the proposal. The citation must follow APA style; requires mention of the author and year while quoting or paraphrasing; APA style doesn’t have any bibliography section.
Appendix, if any, is attached in the end.