When writing a paper, especially in APA format, you should be looking to wow your professor. The formatting is one thing, but it should be paramount to find a way to knock the ball out of the park and show the professor what a good student you are, because if your paper is impressive enough a good grade is inevitable. This, of course, is the point of writing a paper, so it should be your ultimate goal at every point of the process. Incidentally, this is why formatting is so important. It is often said people notice the little things, and any paper not correctly formatted will be as impressive as a child's crayon drawings.
To sum up, APA format is not particularly hard; you just need to be careful about it. Choose an appropriate font; you cannot go wrong with 12 point times new roman. Margins on each side need to be one inch exactly, and your paper needs to be double-spaced throughout. A running head should be on the top of your paper, this consists of a possibly shortened version of your title that is no longer than 50 characters, in caps, next to a page number for what page you are on in your essay. Four space indents begin your paragraphs, and there can be no additional or unnecessary line breaks in between paragraphs.
To impress your professor, keep in mind the kind of things that he likes. You should be catering to his wants and ideological values. Keep in mind how he thinks, and think like him, because you want to arrive to the same conclusions that he would, given the same facts, though not in the exact same fashion. You should deviate from this slightly, so that you come up with something that he has not thought of, but it should still be from his or her type of logical reasoning. This is sure to be impressive.
The one thing to keep in mind when being impressive to anyone, in any circumstances, is that the people judging you tend to overvalue the last pieces of work more than, where the meat of the work was done. For example, let us say you are mowing a suburban lawn. Almost all of your time on a large lawn will be spent cutting the grass, with perhaps ten percent of your time done on trimming, but if people notice that you did not trim or trimmed poorly, they will assume that you have done a bad job overall. This is just an unfortunate part of human nature, but you must be aware of it when you are writing an essay. Get the little things, like formatting and transitions, correct, and do not leave any grammatical errors.
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