A free, comprehensive, peer-reviewed, award-winning Open Text for students and faculty in college-level courses that require writing and research.

Joe Moxley, Founder, WritingCommons.org

Joe Moxley


Dear Colleagues and Students,

At Writing Commons, we are happy with the overall success of our project. Since 2011, when we launched at WritingCommons.org, we have hosted 6,315,882 users who have reviewed over 11 million pages. We are thrilled that students and faculty find our site to be helpful. Our ongoing mission is to be the best writing textbook possible. We also happen to be free. While we cannot perhaps claim yet that we are the best possible textbook for technical writing or creative writing courses, we are working on that.

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Why is it important to arrange the major sections of an APA-style paper in the correct order?

Writing a paper in APA style involves adhering to specific conventions laid out by APA. Readers are inclined to approach a paper with certain expectations about its format and appearance. Careful adherence to these conventions is likely to make a good initial impression on the reader, while carelessness may have the opposite effect. When the major sections of a paper are carefully arranged in the appropriate order, the reader may be more inclined to show an interest in the paper’s ideas.

How should the major sections of an APA-style paper be arranged?

  • Title Page: acts as the first major section of the document
    • Presents a running head and begins the document’s pagination
    • Includes the paper’s full title centered in the upper half of the page
    • Contains the name(s) of the writer(s) and their institutional affiliation
  • Abstract: acts as the second major section of the document
    • Presents a single-paragraph summary of the paper’s contents
    • Contains approximately 150 to 250 words
    • Includes select keywords for easy access by researchers
  • Main Body: acts as the third major section of the document
    • Presents a report of the writer(s)’ research and findings
    • Includes four sections (typically): the introduction, method, results, and discussion
    • Provides the reader with pertinent information about the paper’s topic
  • References page: acts as the fourth major section of the document
    • Presents a compilation of the sources cited in the paper
    • Provides a comprehensive list of works that appear as in-text citations in the paper
    • Details the full source information for each entry
Cassandra Branham, Editor-in-Chief WritingCommons.org

Cassandra Branham


Dear Colleagues and Students,

Welcome to Writing Commons, an open-education resource for instructors and students of writing across the disciplines. Our mission is to provide a high-quality, cost free resource to support students in the development of writing, research, and critical thinking practices.

This summer, we have been working on a site redesign in an effort to increase the usability of our site for both instructors and students. Our most significant change has been the inclusion of additional categories and subcategories to create a more intuitive hierarchy within the site.

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