APA Style Paper Writing Manual For College Students

In the world of research papers and proper documentation, there are several acceptable styles. Each academic discipline has a preferred method for documentation and formatting and one of the most common and popular is the APA style.

What is APA?

APA stands for American Psychological Association and this formatting style is used for any social science classes. The style is neat and clean, easy to use, and supported by many online documents. If you are assigned APA style for college work, there are several things you can do to ensure that you use the formatting style properly to avoid errors and lose points on simple formatting.

Where Do I Find APA?

The most useful site for help on the APA style is the APA website or an APA book. Many students wonder why someone created a formatting style, because to new users, using a formatting style seems a bit unusual. Once students realize that communication requires certain standards to maintain a sense of order, it becomes easier for students to understand why teachers require the use of formatting styles.

Why Do I Use APA?

Interestingly, APA style has been used for over 80 years. Social scientists created it as psychology became increasingly more scientific and researchers needed a standardized format to prove their research was valid. The style is so easy to use and concise that many other disciplines began to use it, too. At this point in time, almost every academic discipline with the exception of language arts uses it.

Without a clean style like APA, scientific documents would not have the clarity and precision that they have. APA helps make many aspects of scientific, research-based documents easy to read and understand. The style has standards for headings, reference citations, statistics, tables, abbreviations, and punctuation.

What’s So Great About APA?

One of the best reasons to use a style like APA is the fact that APA encourages writers to write in the first person. The MLA style that language arts uses pushes writers away from that style and this can be frustrating for writers. Many writers enjoy the fact that they can use the pronoun “I” in their APA papers.

Some colleges will require their students to purchase an APA style manual. However, there are many website that provide information on the proper formatting, from the perfectly designed title page all the way to the appearance of the works cited pages. Websites like Purdue University’s OWL website even includes notes on why APA uses the formatting.

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