Understanding APA Style and Format
As a nurse pursuing an advanced degree, you are cultivating the qualities of a scholar-practitioner, which encompass effective communication skills. Scholarly writing involves supporting your ideas with evidence from literature and employing APA formatting correctly. Let’s now proceed with the quiz to assess your understanding and readiness to apply these concepts in your work. The quiz questions are derived from resources related to APA writing standards, plagiarism, and academic integrity.
What Is APA Style?
APA Style refers to a set of standards developed by the American Psychological Association (APA) that social science writers adhere to in order to ensure consistency in their publications. These guidelines cover areas such as crediting sources, document formatting, and writing style and organization. By following APA guidelines, writers enable readers to easily identify their ideas and information without being hindered by inconsistent formatting. The materials provided by the Walden Writing Center are based on the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association, Seventh Edition, commonly known as “APA 7” or “the APA manual.”
Why APA Style?
As a student writer, entering the realm of academic writing requires understanding the customs and rules specific to this writing community. Academic writing guidelines differ from those of other contexts such as personal letters, workplace emails, or blog posts. Adhering to APA style facilitates improved clarity, prevents reader distractions, indicates sources for evidence, and ensures uniform formatting. By using APA style, you allow your readers to focus on the ideas you present, as they are presented in a familiar format conducive to discussing new concepts.
Getting Started With APA Style
Initially, APA style may appear overwhelming. To begin, take the time to explore the available resources:
1. Familiarize yourself with the information provided in the left-hand column. Browse through the different pages to learn about APA guidelines for citations, reference entries, capitalization, numbers, and more.
2. Identify the appropriate APA templates for your assignments (hint: the first “Course Paper” template is generally suitable for most course assignments).
3. Utilize the APA Checklist to review your assignments and ensure you have adhered to all of APA’s rules.
4. If you previously used the 6th edition of APA, consult the APA 6 and APA 7 Comparison Tables to understand the changes introduced in the 7th edition.
5. Take the time to review relevant APA webinars, such as “How and When to Include APA Citations,” based on your interests.
6. Engage in the APA Scavenger Hunt to familiarize yourself with the available APA resources on the website.
7. Explore the Writing Center’s blog posts related to APA.
If you have any questions, feel free to reach out to email@example.com for assistance.
APA Basics Checklist
The Writing Center has developed an APA checklist to serve as a reminder of the fundamental rules regarding APA citations, reference lists, and style. While not exhaustive, this checklist can help students navigate the various APA rules applicable to academic papers. If a particular item in the checklist requires further clarification, students can follow the provided link for more information. Additionally, the Writing Center is available to address any APA-related questions at firstname.lastname@example.org.
– Citations adhere to APA guidelines outlined in section 8.1 of the APA manual (7th edition).
– All sources used and cited in the paper are included in the reference list.
– The abbreviation “et al.” is punctuated correctly.
– Author(s) and publication year are consistently included.
– For all quoted material, a page or paragraph number is provided using the appropriate abbreviation: (p. xx) or (para. xx).
– The citation is placed within the ending punctuation of the sentence.
– Authors of cited studies are mentioned within the sentence.
– The publication year is enclosed in parentheses immediately after the authors’ names.
– Publication years are mentioned only the first time a source is used within a paragraph, excluding subsequent mentions within the same paragraph. Note: The rule restarts with each new paragraph.
– The title of the reference list is centered and bolded.
– All sources listed in the reference list have been cited at least once in the paper.
– Each entry has an automatically formatted hanging indent.
– Each entry includes the necessary information (author(s), publication year, title, and retrieval information) to the best of its availability.
– Each entry has been reviewed based on the common reference entries and reference list basics provided on the Writing Center website, paying attention to punctuation (periods and commas), formatting (appropriate use of italics), and parentheses or brackets only when necessary.
– Appropriate electronic information is included.
– Past tense is used when discussing literature or sources (e.g., Smith discussed).
– Serial commas are utilized for all lists of three or more items (e.g., lions, tigers, and bears).
– Hyphens are used to connect words that function together to modify another word (e.g., evidence-based practice) and to join “self” compounds (e.g., self-esteem). However, hyphens are not used with prefixes such as “non,” “semi,” “pre,” “post,” “anti,” “multi,” and “inter.”
– Block quotations (consisting of 40 or more words) are formatted accordingly.
– Headings follow proper APA style, with Level 1 headings centered and bolded.
– Numerals are used for numbers 10 and above, while numbers nine and below are expressed in words. Specific numbers and time are expressed using numerals, while approximate time is expressed using words.
– Complex lists within sentences or paragraphs may utilize letters to separate the items.
– Bulleted and numbered lists are employed for specific purposes.
– The use of the third person editorial “we,” including “us,” “our,” and “you,” is avoided.
– Capitalization rules are followed, and names of models and theories are not capitalized.
– The course paper template is utilized for formatting.
– The title page adheres to the template guidelines.
– Double spacing is used throughout the paper, including the reference list.
– One space is placed after periods or other punctuation marks that end a sentence.
Understanding and applying APA style and format are vital components of scholarly writing. By ensuring adherence to these guidelines, you can effectively communicate your ideas while maintaining consistency in your work. Review the provided resources, and don’t hesitate to seek assistance from the Writing Center if needed. Now, let’s move forward and assess your understanding of APA style and format through the following quiz.