APA stands for American Psychological Association and is a common format style for essays and articles in the social sciences. The APA style has unique formats for text citations and reference pages. Their style and guidelines increase the ease of reading comprehension for viewers, as well as ensure a consistent presentation of content and written material.
This way of writing research papers is mainly used in the social sciences, such as psychology, anthropology, sociology, as well as in education and other fields.
Where does the APA style come from?
The APA style originated in 1929, when a group of psychologists, anthropologists, and business managers came together and tried to establish a simple set of procedures or style guidelines, which would code the many components of scientific writing to increase the ease of reading comprehension.
They published their guidelines as a seven-page article in the Psychological Bulletin describing a standard of procedure. Authors are urged to be brief in making their arguments; use of headers to impose logical structure; and subdivision into an introduction, statement of results and discussion. It discusses what to cite and how to cite a reference, and space is given to the use of tables and figures.
However, other familiar elements were not yet present and would be added over time. For example, there is no guidance on writing style or grammar. Reference rates were few. There were also no instructions on how to avoid plagiarism or use non-judgmental language to write sensitively about people in general.
Evolution of the APA style
As the APA Style Publishing Manual evolved into its current sixth edition, the content has expanded. In the future, especially given the explosion of digital technologies now used to disseminate content, APA continues to strive to ensure that clear communication continues.
In this way, the scope and extent of the Manual Publications have grown in response to the needs of researchers, students, and educators in the social and behavioral sciences, health care, natural sciences, humanities, and more; however, the spirit of the original authors’ intentions remains.
Why is the APA style needed?
Uniformity and consistency allow readers to focus on the ideas presented and focus on key points, findings, and sources. Style guidelines encourage authors to fully disclose essential information and allow readers to dispense with minor distractions, such as inconsistencies or omissions in punctuation, capitalization, citations in the text, references, and presentation of statistics.
Style guidelines encourage authors to fully disclose essential information and allow readers to dispense with minor distractions, such as inconsistencies or omissions in punctuation, capitalization, in-text citations, references, and presentation of statistics.
Does the APA style cover everything about writing?
The APA style covers the aspects of academic writing most relevant to writing in psychology, nursing, business, communications, engineering, and related fields. It specifically addresses the preparation of draft manuscripts that are submitted for publication in a journal and the preparation of student papers that are submitted for a course assignment.
The Publications Manual does not cover the general rules explained in widely available style books and examples of use with little relevance to the social and behavioral sciences. Among the most useful general guides for editorial style are Words Into Type (Skillin & Gay, 1974) and the Chicago Manual of Style (17th edition; University of Chicago Press, 2017).
Style manuals agree more often than they disagree. When they disagree, the Publications Manual, because it is based on the special requirements of psychology, takes precedence for APA publications.
How does the APA style work?
When working with the APA style, there are two things to keep in mind: the quotes in the text and the reference page. Citations in the text will use the author’s name and date. These citations will reference the reference page at the end, which lists all the sources you may have used in your research paper.
The APA style thus establishes standards of written communication on: the organization of content, writing style, citations of references and how to prepare a manuscript for publication in certain disciplines.
Why use the APA style?
In addition to simplifying the work of editors by having everyone use the same format for a given publication, using the APA style makes it easier for readers to understand a text by providing a familiar structure that they can follow. Meeting APA standards as a writer will allow you to: Provide readers with clues they can use to follow your ideas more efficiently and to locate information of interest Allows readers to focus more on their ideas by not distracting them in an unknown format Establish your credibility or ethics in the field by demonstrating an awareness of your audience and their needs as fellow researchers. Meeting APA standards as a writer will allow you to:
Provide readers with clues they can use to follow your ideas more efficiently and to locate information of interest
Allows readers to focus more on their ideas by not distracting them with an unfamiliar format
Establish your credibility or ethics in the field by demonstrating an awareness of your audience and their needs as fellow researchers.
Who should use the APA style?
The APA style provides fairly comprehensive guidelines for writing academic papers regardless of subject or discipline. However, traditionally, APA is most often used by writers and students in: Social sciences, such as psychology, linguistics, sociology, economics, and criminology. However, traditionally, APA is most often used by writers and students in: Social sciences, such as psychology, linguistics, sociology, economics, and criminology.
The APA Format in general
Covers the basic page layout for a typical APA manuscript. It includes a general list of the basic components of an APA document: title page, abstract, body, and reference page.
Includes a general list of the basic components of an APA document: title page, summary, body, and reference page.
Headers and Seriation
Provides models and examples for the section headings used to organize APA documents.
Describes how to format lists within the text of APA documents.
Footnotes and endnotes
He recommends using footnotes or endnotes to avoid long explanations in the text.
It covers two basic types of notes: content and copyright permission notes.
List of APA references and citations
Quotes in text: the basics
Addresses the basic formatting requirements for using the APA style to cite secondary sources within the text of your essay. Provides guidance on how to incorporate different types of references into borrowed material, from short citations to full article summaries.
It provides guidance on how to incorporate different types of references to borrowed material, from short quotes to abstracts of full articles.
Quotes in text: authors
It focuses on various details about referring to the authors of your sources within your essay, which can be a difficult task if the source has more than one author or has an unclear author (for example, an organization). Describes how to cite indirect citations, electronic sources, and / or sources without page numbers.
Describes how to cite indirect citations, electronic sources, and/or sources without page numbers.
Reference list: basic rules
t guides us through the general rules that apply to any reference list developed in the APA style. It serves as a guide to format the type of references that will be described in more detail on the linked pages below.
It serves as a guide to formatting the type of references that will be described in greater detail on the pages linked below.
Reference list: author / authors
Go through how to build a reference entry for fonts with a wide variety of author settings. Observe how the references differ according to the number of authors or if there are several works by the same author.
Notice how the references differ according to the number of authors or if there are several works by the same author.
Reference list: articles in periodicals
Describes how to accurately refer to articles in academic journals, a very important type of source in academic writing. Lists the types of entries according to the type of periodical (for example, magazine, newspaper, magazine, etc.) and the type of article.
Lists the types of entries by the type of periodical (e.g., magazine, newspaper, magazine, etc.) and the type of article.
Reference list: books
Describe how to properly refer to book sources.
It addresses both the basic book format and the requirements for single-book fonts that require additional details, such as translations or parts of multi-volume works.
Reference list: other printing sources
It offers a short list of rare print fonts with instructions on how to build references for them. Examples include indirect printed citations (that is, one printed source that is cited in another) and government documents.
Examples include indirect printed citations (i.e., a printed source cited in another) and government documents.
Reference list: electronic sources
Go through the unique requirements and qualifications to build references for electronic sources. It covers sources from online periodicals and academic databases to emails.
It covers sources from online periodicals and academic databases to emails.
Reference list: audiovisual sources
It provides guidance on all kinds of audiovisual sources, including sound recordings and YouTube clips. It also describes how to cite visual artwork hosted online.
It also describes how to cite visual artwork hosted online.
Reference list: other non-printed sources
It focuses primarily on how to reference unusual non-print sources, including presentations and interviews. He points out that personal communication (for example, an interview or conversation) is not included in the reference list.
Note that personal communication (e.g., an interview or conversation) is not included in the list of references.
When style works, ideas flow logically, sources are properly credited, and documents are organized predictably and consistently. Language is used that affirms their worth and dignity. The authors plan for ethical compliance and report the critical details of their research protocol to allow readers to evaluate the findings and other researchers to potentially replicate the studies. Tables and figures present data in an attractive and consistent way.
Whether you use the APA style for a single class or during your career, and we encourage you to recognize the benefits of a thorough approach to writing. Although the guidelines cover many areas and take time and practice to learn, we hope they provide a balance of directivity and flexibility and eventually become a habit for your written works.
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Bentley, M., Peerenboom, C. A., Hodge, F. W., Passano, E. B., Warren, H. C., & Washburn, M. F. (1929). Instructions in regard to preparation of manuscript. Psychological Bulletin, 26(2), 57–63.
Skillin, M. E., & Gay, R. M. (1974). Words into type (3rd ed. rev.). Prentice Hall.
University of Chicago Press. (2017). Chicago Manual of Style (17th ed.).