INTRODUCTION TO APA
What is APA?
APA refers to the American Psychological Assocation. The APA publishes a text entitled, The Publication Manual of the American Psychological Assocation. The approximate 300-page book is an extensive and invaluable resource for students engaged in serious research. Because many educational researchers use APA format for preparing papers for publication, many colleges have adopted these publication guidelines for all academic papers prepared within their college. If you intend on submitting a manuscript for publication within a journal, you will follow the APA guidelines strictly. Should you wish to have a copy of this book, it is available through the Misericordia bookstore.
What are the main points of the APA manual?
The APA manual deals mainly with two issues:
- How to prepare a printed manuscript.
This includes how to prepare a title page, what fonts to use, how to list your name and affiliation, how to number the pages, how to set the margins and spacing, and much more.
- How to cite the work of others.
Much of the APA manual deals with how authors can cite the work or ideas of others, and thus avoid plagiarism. Plagiarism refers to using someone else's original work or ideas within your own printed (or online) work and claiming (or giving the impression) that those ideas are your own original work. When you refer to someone else's ideas or words, you must cite them in text as shown in this sentence (Broskoske & McCann, 2014), and also list the work in the reference section at the end of the paper. To avoid plagiarism, you must give credit in a paper whenever you:
- Use another person's idea, opinion, or theory.
- Refer to facts, statistics, graphs, drawings, etc. that are not common knowledge.
- Quote another person's actual spoken or written words.
- Paraphrase another person's spoken or written words.
Where can I learn more about APA?
This Web page presents some of the main principles of APA style, as required in this course. APA style is much more involved than what is presented here. Further, other professors you main encounter in your academic career may require more strict adherence to APA style than what is presented here. To read more, check out the following links: