What I’ve learned about APA Style . . .

The entire APA style concept is a bit mysterious to me. I earned my bachelors degree many years ago majoring in math/computer science. I am sure APA style was relevant then but, working primarily with numbers, I was never required to write a formal paper. Even though I have been a journalist for the past twenty years, writing for a newspaper is much less exacting than writing following the APA Style standards.

I know basic punctuation, sentence structure and noun/verb agreement. I’ve written hundreds of published articles for multiple publications. But I didn’t know there were such stringent (and numerous!) rules for the formatting and writing of professional papers. Glancing through the APA Publication Manual for the first time, I felt a little sick. I didn’t think I would ever be able to absorb it. But after I realizing that I didn’t need to digest the whole book at one sitting, that I could just refer to it as needed, it wasn’t nearly as imposing.

Surprisingly, after writing my first few assignments in formal fashion, I now find myself developing a small fondness for the order APA style can bring to my papers. It’s still a bit cumbersome to look up every margin, period, and quotation question, and I will never feel competent writing citations. But it is comforting to know that, even though the content may be subjective, no one can argue with the style!

One thought on “What I’ve learned about APA Style . . .

  1. Hi Melinda, I enjoyed your comment at the end of your blog – gave me a chuckle! I can relate to your experience. It’s been a long time, (probably English 201), since I actively referred to a style manual. And your comment about the stringent and numerous rules – no kidding! I find that the more I think about what I’m typing, the more I question myself and whether I’m doing it right.


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