APA Writing Style

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Many may have an idea to what APA writing style guide is. Many may not have a clue to what APA is. I was someone who did not know what APA was until I was introduced to APA writing style my sophomore year of undergrad. In my very first Communication course, my professor said “You all will have a paper due, and it will be APA style.” My first thought was “WHAT? All I ever heard of or did was MLA. Now, I have to do APA.” Then, I began to have several questions about APA style.
How is APA different from MLA? Why are there so many different writing styles? With APA, are in-text citations required?  How should my references be formatted? Questions like the ones I stated overwhelmed me. I found myself constantly overthinking every time I wrote a paper using APA writing style. Now, three years later, thankfully I don’t have to second guess or overthink every time I use APA. Over time, I found the answers to my questions:
  •  There are similarities and differences between APA and MLA. While MLA cites the author’s last name, first name, APA cites the author’s last name, first initial. In MLA, when the author’s name is not listed within the text, the writer would cite the author’s name and the page number at the end of the sentence. With APA, if the author’s name is not listed within the text, the writer would cite the author’s last name and the year the material was published at the end of the sentence.
  • There are various writing styles because different writing styles are used for different subjects. For example, APA is typically used in social sciences. Such as Psychology and Sociology.
  • In order to avoid plagiarism, in-text citations are required.
  • Purdue OWL is a great website to determine how references should be formatted. In APA, formatting of references depends on if you are citing a book, article, personal interview, video, etc.


Now, that I do have all of the answers to my questions, I am surprised writers have to include a header with APA writing. I understand the importance of a header on the first page, but not through out the paper.


Great question! Even after understanding APA writing, I find the most difficult rule is to remember to add a page number to an in-text citation after using a direct quote. In my opinion, that is a rule you really have to think about when writing in APA style.


I love using APA writing style. From using it three years ago, to now, I still have questions and sometimes difficulties. But, APA writing style is a great writing style to learn.




Author: Dekira Hemingway

Twenty-three | Travel Addict | Queens University of Charlotte graduate student

1 thought on “APA Writing Style”

  1. Great post Dekira. I was like you. I had heard of APA style before but I had never had an assignment due unless it was MLA. This class is my first time really exploring how to submit a paper in APA style so I see I have a lot of work to do before I feel comfortable with it!


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