As you begin to explore standards for writing style, you might find yourself wondering, “What is APA?” The APA is the American Psychological Association, and the APA style is a method of citation they honed for their publications. It has become standard style for many universities and publications, because of its ease and uniformity.
Why Citations Are Important
As humans, our best ideas and analyses build on the knowledge that has been gathered before we came along. Whether you’re performing literary analysis on an archaic poem, or whether you’re writing about the latest scientific or technological principles, you will need to read the works of others. In so doing, you will want to make sure that you are giving credit where credit is due.
Citations enable you to use the works of others as the foundation for your own claims. Using citations, you can easily reference the sources you use as you formulate your new concepts and theories. The APA citation guide allows you to incorporate these easy pieces of documentation into your thesis or term paper.
What Is APA Doing for Academia?
By creating a standard for documentation, APA has revolutionized and streamlined the writing process. When you write a paper requiring extensive quotation, you can end up with a bulky and hard-to-read paper, with most of your page taken up with citations. Such tedious documentation can be difficult on the readers’ eyes, and open the door for needless errors.
So what is APA doing to change this? By creating a documentation style based around parenthetical citations, your citations take merely a few seconds to type. You are able to enclose an abbreviated version of your citation in a set of parentheses at the end of the pertinent sentence. An expounded list of works cited wraps up the paper, with full publication details. This enables you to create a streamlined paper, with the least amount of interruption.