APA Writing Style

Essay by oscar34 March 2004

download word file, 4 pages 5.0

APA style is the style of writing used by journals published by the American Psychological Association. APA style web site states, that APA style is not a writing style but an editorial one that many of the social and behavioral sciences have adapted to present written material in the field. Editorial style is more like a formatting tool that a publisher observes to ensure clear and consistent presentation of written material. (http://www.apastyle.org/aboutstyle.html). The purpose of APA styling is to prevent plagiarism and to maintain consistency amongst the different leagues of writing communities. Also, there are many different editorial styles, but the two most recognized styles are the American Psychological Association (APA) and the Modern Language Association (MLA). APA style is more used for psychology and uses passive voice. On the other hand MLA uses the present tense to describe something that happened years ago.

The History of the APA Style

The origin of APA style goes back to February of 1929, when 7 page article on APA style was published in "Psychological Bulletin".

That article was the result of 1928 meeting of representatives from anthropological and psychological journals, "to discuss the form of journal manuscripts and to write instructions for their preparation" (Dewey, 1996). Currently, the APA, which is the largest association of psychologists in the world, has 160,000 members. In 2001, the 5th edition of the "American Psychological Association Publication Manual" which has 440 pages was published. It is a large reference book that contains guidelines on how to format references, tables, grammar, statistics, and punctuation. Standards of APA style (especially electronic references section) are changing very rapidly (http://www.apastyle.org/whouses.html). You can find "APA Publication Manual" almost in every bookstore in the reference section.

Utilization of the APA Format

In order to maintain consistency amongst the different leagues...