Everything you Need to Know about APA Citations describes all the key, pertinent details of how to use APA style for formatting your writing. The first section of this book is about understanding what needs to be formatted in the first place; i.e., how to avoid plagiarism in regards to what needs to be cited and what does not. The second section is on how to cite material inside the text of your writing. The third section is on how to prepare a list of references. And finally, the fourth section reviews some of the very basic details of simple formatting. However, as this is meant to be a concise summary of the basics of APA, for very specific details, such as on graphs, headings, or other very particular types of references, please also refer to the additional sources included to help with this topic at the end of this book.
Proper citation and formatting is required in all your academic work, at all levels, so this topic's importance cannot be overvalued for those times in which it is required you use specifically APA style in your work.
This book is ideal for students in the social sciences, as the APA style is most dominant in this area. But it is used across disciplines and institutions so you are sure to use APA style at some point in your academic career, regardless of your area of study, if you are in college or planning on going to college. Thus, Everything you Need to Know about APA Citations is a great quick reference guide for students of all disciplines to have handy when you do not want to sift through too much detail on the topic.
What is APA citation, and why is it important? Again, if you are college-bound, or in college already, you are certain to come across "APA style" at one point or another, so for this reason it is important in part simply because it is necessary. This standard set of guidelines for writing and formatting was first established almost a century ago from social scientists in the APA; the "American Psychological Association." Just as MLA is one style, or set of rules, APA is another. These different "styles" tend to be more dominant in certain fields of study; APA, for instance, is the style most commonly used in the social sciences. But sometimes it is simply a stylistic preference of the institution, organization, or teacher, so it is important to be familiar with them all, or at least have all the guidelines handy for reference.
But really, why is it so important? Imagine if we had no stop signs, intersections, or just general rules of the road when driving -- it would be chaos! In fact, it would be so chaotic that we simply cannot drive without them; it would be too dangerous. Standards and rules for driving are absolutely necessary, just as they are for writing. Periods, like stop signs and red lights, tell us to stop when reading. Commas and semi-colons tell us to pause and slow down, just like yield signs and yellow lights, etcetera. Thus, without punctuation, for example, we would not be able to read properly because we would not know when thoughts begin or end. The text would be next to impossible to follow. So, road signs provide for safe driving, and punctuation serves for clear writing. Citation styles, such as APA, therefore show good, honest, organized, and thorough research. There would simply be no consistency. It would be disorganized and illegible, just as the roads would be confusing and dangerous without regulations. And as we know, the rules of the road can vary by country, as in England where they drive on the left side of the road. Just the same, APA style is one set of rules, like driving on the right, whereas MLA style is another, like driving on the left; one is not more correct than the other, they are just different.
In today's world, we can research more efficiently, quickly, and easily thanks to so much being increasingly available electronically. One of the drawbacks of this, however, is that it also adds to the ease of "copying and pasting" material; i.e., "plagiarism," which thus adds to the importance of maintaining standards, rules, and being sure to give credit where due. All of this is resolved with guidelines such as the APA style, so we will never run into any problems if we know how to use and apply it correctly. This topic of plagiarism itself is in fact so important that an entire section of this eBook will be dedicated just to this and how to avoid it. APA style is a requirement in many different settings for our writings. Thus, the importance of knowing how to apply APA style to make sure that we give credit where due cannot be overstated, as it assures the reader that the writer has not plagiarized. Plagiarism has been known to end peoples' careers, both professionally and academically. This eBook on Everything You Need to Know about APA Citations, therefore, will teach you just how to do that through proper use and application of the APA style.