I teach a course in college writing. My students must learn to write papers for college following APA format.
I recall that, as a student, my instructors were never very consistent in their requirements for the format. For example, some instructors required a cover page if the paper exceeded 5 pages or so, but otherwise preferred a heading like this, even if they said they requested APA format:
<name> <date> <course> <assignment>
I encountered other instructors who required a complete cover page, abstract, introduction, and conclusion, in 500 word essays.
Does APA have any special specification for shorter essays? If so, at what point is the paper short enough to do away with these extra parts?