Video:What Is the APA Format?with Hollie Hancock
The APA format is the standard format for quite a bit of psychological documents and published work. This video from About.com will give you an overview of the APA format.See Transcript
Transcript:What Is the APA Format?
Hi I'm Hollie Hancock, here with About.com to discuss the basics of APA formatting.
History of APA Format
If you are studying or working in the field of psychology, education, or any other social and behavioral studies field, chances are you've been asked to write papers using APA formatting. The Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association was first published in 1929 as a seven-page standard of procedure. The current Publication Manual is now in its 6th edition and is nearly 300 pages in length. The rules of the APA style and formatting are drawn from an extensive body of psychological literature, from editors and authors who are experienced in scholarly writing, and from recognized authorities on publication practices.
Some Schools Enforce Different Parts of APA Format
The APA writing style is designed for those who intend to publish. However, numerous colleges, universities, and secondary schools adhere to these stringent guidelines for student papers. There are some guidelines in the APA that are optional; therefore, the instructor or professor should be consulted on final authority with regard to writing assignments. For example, there are instructors who don't require an abstract for papers submitted for all assignments. Again, check with your professor as to which items may be optional according to their preferences.
Rules in APA Formatting
APA formatting has rules for the size of margins allowed, the different levels of headings, in-text citations, formatting of tables and graphs, and how to avoid plagiarism. Reference pages can be tricky these days, as research can be obtained from many different sources. The APA formatting rules provide guidelines for accurately citing sources of material used in your academic papers.
Tools to Help With APA Format
APA formatting can be overwhelming. Believe me, I get it! But I have found several tools that help me navigate the many guidelines and rules of writing using the APA style. For example, later versions of Microsoft Word have tools that assist you with basic formatting. Software programs are available to augment and work with Microsoft Word to assist you with formatting, including the creating of a table of contents, reference pages, and other features of proper APA formatting.
Facebook is a Useful Tool
Because this is the day and age of the most current information at your fingertips, accessible 24 hours a day, a great resource is - of all things - Facebook. Becoming friends with the APA publication manual on Facebook allows me to ask questions about style and someone from the APA answers me back! I write on their wall; the answers appear later. Finally, you can rarely go wrong with having an old-fashioned printed copy of the 6th edition of the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association.
Remember, check back on About.com for answers regarding APA formatting. Glad you were here with us today. Be sure to check us out online.