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How to Write a Business Paper in APA Format

The APA format is one of the standard business paper formatting styles. When writing your business paper, it’s vital to follow this style, as failure to do this can lead to serious plagiarism accusations. Check each step of your business paper writing to ensure it follows the required standards.

The APA formatting style allows you to communicate the business paper’s main topic efficiently. This style simplifies the writing process and provides a recognizable structure that is easy to follow. Below are the rules for writing a business paper in APA format.

The layout

For the APA style format, type your piece of writing onto a standard page of about 8.5″ x 11″ with a margin of 1″ on both sides. The space for the lining should be 2.0 with no additional spacing between the paragraphs in your business paper writing. For all the paragraphs, the first line should be indented to about 0.5″, which creates a hanging indent.

Writing a business paper essay in APA format takes time as you have to plan and follow each step. College life can be full of assignments that should be completed within the set deadlines. To make your work easier at the university, you can use the EduBirdie APA format generator to help you create the bibliography page online. It’s easy, and you don’t need an account to use this tool for your online studying. With a great essay, you will quickly improve your education grades at school. You will also save a lot of time learning different concepts for other units taught at the college.

The page header

Each page of your business paper writing needs to include a page header often referred to as “running head.” Ensure that you follow the APA guide for specifics. You can have your title flush left in capital letters or the page number flush right in the page header. If you must include the page title, ensure that you shorten it to about 50 characters because you have limited space in the page header.


The font used in the APA format should ensure that your piece of writing is legible to all readers and consistent throughout the business paper. Even though there are no specific guidelines you should follow, the instructor will always give the font size required.

The standard fonts that most instructors usually use include:

  • 12-point Times New Roman
  • 11-point Arial
  • 11-point Georgia
  • 11-point Calibri

Title page

The APA title page of your business paper contains the title of the business paper. It should include the course name, registration number, instructor’s name, page number, and due date.

The title of the business paper contains the first words that reach out to the reader. That is why it should be concise, limited to a few characters, and focused. The recommended length of the title should be about 12 words.

Avoid filler words or abbreviations, as they may be useless to the reader. Immediately after your title, the author’s name should follow in the right order. It should start with the first name, initial/middle name, and last name. After that, type your institution affiliations, followed by course number and instructor’s name. The last thing on the title page should be the date when the assignment is due.

The abstract

Just like the title page, your abstract will also have a dedicated page. The first line of this page should be the word “Abstract.” It should be centered and bold with no italics, quotation marks, or underlining.

The following line of the abstract page should begin with a concise summary of your work. Ensure that you flush it to the left with no indentation. The main purpose of the abstract is to introduce the reader to your research and entice them to read the whole paper. It should contain the research topics, methods, main questions, sentences on results, and conclusions.

Depending on the instructor’s guidelines, you might also be required to include a list of keywords that helps the reader to find your work within different online databases.

The main body

Because a business paper details complicated business issues and demonstrates how to solve the issue, you might be required to have the introduction, methods used, results obtained, and discussion section. The headings and paragraph styles are more significant in the body.

There are different types of headings that are covered in the APA formatting style. There is level one up to level five. In level one, the text for this section begins as a new paragraph. The heading must be centered and bold. For level two, the heading must be flushed left and bold with the text beginning as a new paragraph.

Level three is slightly different as the heading is flushed to the left, bold and italicized though the text is not italicized in the new paragraph. For level four, the heading must be indented, italicized, bold, and end with a period. The text should begin on the same line and continue as a standard paragraph.

The last type of heading style you can use is the level, whereby the heading should also be indented, italicized, bold, and end with a period. For this style, the test should continue on the same line as a standard paragraph with no italicization.

In-text citations

When citing a text within a paragraph in your business paper, you should enclose the author’s last name and the publication year in parentheses. This should be at the end of the sentence before a period. If you are referencing a chapter or page of a large article, ensure that you include page numbers at the end of the citation.


The category under which the citation falls determines the rules you will use in your business paper. For the short quotations, you must include the author, publication dates, and the page number for the text reference. On the other hand, when quoting a long section, you must write it as an entire paragraph indented within 0.5 inches from the left margin.

Suppose the source that you are quoting doesn’t have a page number. In that case, you can choose another logical identifier, like the table number, chapter number, or even the available verses.

Referencing your business paper

References are usually incorporated in the last section of your business paper. A whole page should be dedicated to referencing; each citation in the body must be included in this section. The list of the sources used for the referencing should be organized in alphabetical order.

The referencing styles for the APA format used in the body should also be followed precisely in this section. If you have used any online source, ensure that you include a DOI link at the end of the citation. The first line of the reference must be flushed to the left, and you require more than one line for each reference.


Writing a business paper in APA style takes time as you have to follow all the guidelines outlined. You can use a citation generator to help create the bibliography page to save time. Ensure that all references are written correctly. Following the set guidelines will obtain a great score in your business paper writing.

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By Susan Barlow

Dr. Susan Barlow is retired from academia after teaching business administration, project management, and business writing courses for over 20 years.

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