Writing in APA Style by elq38566


									Writing in APA Style

   Mirisse Foroughe, M.A.
       Ph.D. Candidate
  Graduate Program in Psychology

   What is APA and why do we need it?
   Form and Content
    – Form is the structure, universal and objective
    – Content is meat of your paper: Language

   Resources
             What is APA?

 Publication Manual of the American
  Psychological Association, 5th edition
 Rules for preparation of manuscripts
 Drawn from psychological literature
 Examples: Journal articles and theses
 Every aspect of writing is discussed
         Why do we need APA?
 Clear communication
 Universal rules
 Uniformity (consistent form) means
  readers can focus on content
 Familiar format used internationally
 Profs. and T/A’s use it as a standard for
  marking papers
          Three Important Areas
   Style/format
    – Sentences, paragraphs, tables, etc.
   Unbiased language
    – Not so rhetorical
    – Reduces logical fallacies (e.g. appeals to
   Referencing
    – Citing sources within your paper
    – Bibliography
              Style and Format
   Easiest part of writing in APA style:
    – Read the manual!
    – “monkey see, monkey do”
   Proofreading:
    – Once for each main area (serial)
    – Simultaneously with different colour pens
   Cannot hide poor content
    – There is nowhere to hide!
        How to Improve Content
 Literature reviews
  – Critically examine and integrate the research:
     • Did they ask a good question?
     • How did they measure their variables?
     • How they did define their variables?
     • Who were the research participants?
     • What else could they have considered?
     • How did they interpret their findings?
     • Did the results support their hypotheses?
     • What could be improved about this study
       or done in a future study? BE SPECIFIC!
                 The Abstract
 Brief, comprehensive summary of the content
 When should you write it?
    – Dense, Well organized, Self-Contained, Keywords
 Nothing that is not in the paper
 Nothing that you need to read the paper to
 Max: 120 words
    – Use digits for numbers (unless…)
    – Abbreviate (vs. for versus)
    – Use the active voice (except…)
           Language: What to do
   Organization
    – Aim for continuity in words, concepts, and
    – Use punctuation to show relationships
      between ideas.
   Linking words and phrases
    – Pronouns that refer to previous sentences
    – Time links: then, next, after, while, since
    – Cause/effect links: therefore, consequently,
      as a result.
    – Contrast links: but, conversely,
      nevertheless, however, although, whereas
               What NOT to do:
   Creative writing
    – Setting up ambiguity (“The Riddler”)
    – Leaving out the expected (as if it’s too obvious)
    – Suddenly shifting topic, tense, or person (“The
      Time Traveler” “Presto Chango”)
    – Building suspense until the “punch line” (big
   Avoid boilerplates (fillers)
   Do not use “since” when you mean
    “because” (since refers to time)
   Do not use two links (“and thus”)
   Noun strings (examples?)
              Avoid Noun Strings
“commonly used investigative expanded issue
control question technique”

  Write it for a different audience (high
   school students, non-native speakers)
  Untangle the string
  Use dashes
  Move the last word to the beginning and
   fill in with verbs and prepositions:
   “Early childhood thought disorder misdiagnosis”
     4 Reasons to Forget Jargon

 Big words: small ideas
 Annoys the reader
 Clouds communication
 Wastes space
    – Using technical vocab when it’s not needed
    – Substitution of a euphemistic phrase for a
      familiar term
      • “monetarily felt scarcity”
       Be Economical with Words
   “based on the fact that”

   “at the present time”

   “for the purpose of”

   “there were several students who
        No need to repeat yourself
   “because of this reason”
   “the reason is because”
   “the reason why” (my pet peeve!)
   “they were both alike”
   “a total of 68 participants”
   “four different groups saw instructions which
    were exactly the same as those used”
   “Absolutely essential”
   “period of time”
   “one and the same”
 The manual! (BF 76.7 P83 2001)
 Sample papers
    – Journals
    – BSB undergraduate theses room
    – BSB graduate theses and dissertations
 APA Style Helper (software)
 The Centre for Academic Writing
    – Individual instruction, etutoring, credit courses,
    – Workshops, in-class visits, great website

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