APA Made Simple

Believe it or not, APA is your friend.


True, APA is the kind of friend that makes you stay up until 3 am to reformat 60% of your paper and scour the internet for Word tutorials. But it is still your friend. Here are four reasons why:

1. APA gives proper credit.

APA forces writers and researchers to fully credit any idea or quotation included in a document that is not original to the author. This may translate into a monotonous pain for many of us. But many of us will one day be the people whose works will be referenced, and we certainly will want credit where credit is due. 

2. APA helps with readability.

When doing research, we do a lot of skimming. APA's headline and subhead system makes it easy to get the gist of a document without having to dig in. This cuts down on research time for students and scholars.

3. APA cuts down on plagiarism.

Since APA requires authors to credit all courses, it cuts down on plagiarism and accidental plagiarism. None of us wants to get in trouble for not giving proper credit to sources.

4. You have to use it anyway.

Let's face it. You are in GWU's ETL program. APA is mandatory. And it is going to be mandatory in your professional life. Much like your annoying new brother-in-law that talks too loud and always sings drunken renditions of Abba hits at family gatherings, APA is family now. Might as well way find a way to love it.

© J. Clark Gardner    |   jclarkgardner@gmail.com   |   Last updated May 2011