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American Psychological Association (or simply APA) formatting style is a style, which is used to write and format any scholarly article or book. It is also used to cite sources in social and behavioral sciences.
APA citation format creates written communication standards for:
- Content organization;
- Writing peculiarities;
- Citing sources;
- Adjusting the paper to specific discipline demands.
In today’s article, we will tell you about the most important features of the APA style, its formatting and writing peculiarities.
We will start by explaining when the APA citation format is used and will then describe every element of the paper you need to adjust to formatting requirements.
We guarantee that this article will answer the most common questions on APA citation format. However, if you are working on a more challenging document than an abstract or a report (for example, on a thesis) it is better to consult Publication Manual of American Psychological Association, where you can find all the necessary requirements.
In addition, APA has a website, where you can not only order the Manual but also get answers to the frequently asked questions. Let’s get started!
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Why to use APA?
Many students wonder why it is so important to use an accepted format to their publications. It takes lots of additional time and usually has quite controversial demands. However, applying a certain formatting style allows both editors and students to understand the text and to follow a well-known structure, which will greatly simplify the reading process.
Following peculiarities of APA citation format will allow you to:
- Provide readers with signals that will help them to follow your thoughts and to find necessary information quicker;
- Help readers with focusing on your ideas. The unknown format always distracts attention;
- Show that you are a credible source of information and that you understand the needs of your audience and other researchers.
APA citation format consists of rules and requirements for writing manuscripts in the following disciplines:
- Social Sciences (Sociology, Psychology, Linguistics, Criminology, and Economics);
To be on a safe side, you should first check what style is used in your discipline (if it is not directly indicated by your tutor). If you have stopped your choice on APA citation format, read further without pausing!
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APA formatting and writing peculiarities
To improve the quality of your manuscripts, you need to familiarize yourself with the general APA citation format requirements. Considering that APA format has a few major differences, you need to pay careful attention to every sentence and paragraph of your work.
Read the information below attentively or even print it out!
General APA citation format requirements
- Provides information on the basic layout of the page, including margins, headings, and other elements;
- Contains a list of APA manuscript components: title page, abstract and references;
- Includes slide presentation with data about the APA citation format.
Types of papers
- Introduces to the main types of APA manuscripts: experimental report and literature review;
- Shows which sections every paper type should include: starting with an introduction and finishing with methodology.
Basics of APA stylistics
- Describes main areas of APA citation format stylistics: clarity, point of view and word choice;
- Provides with instruments to avoid poetic devices and language;
- It contains examples for every stylistic type.