The first time I started to use APA citation style was in 2011, when I studied at Professional Devepolment Program for teachers at Nazarbayev University. While writing my action research project during this course, I learnt how to write a paper of good quality. “Good Quality” for me is the effective way of using paraphrasing and citing, organising appropriate reference list and in-text citation, using right format and style and avoiding any kind of plagiarism (including self-plagiarism).

Today, I want to share my experience on how to start your route for a “Good Quality” paper.

Firstly, APA citation style is a uniform system which can help us to examine any article fast, paying attention to both general ideas of the article and details (retrieved from “Why Is APA Style Needed”  http://www.apastyle.org/learn/faqs/why-apastyle-needed.aspx). As different academic and non-academic resources are following some kind of citation styles, it is necessary to be aware of how to work with the resources with less time consuming. However, there are some difficulties which can be met in the context of using APA citation. How to organise the reference list correctly? How to refer to different sources inside the text? One of the most important issues which is still difficult for me how to cite the secondary source? Moreover, how to know that the interpretation of the secondary source is correct and appropriate one in the given article?

In order to answer these questions I found out that different universities across the globe have an APA guidelines for their students, which are accessible for any person via internet. In addition there are some useful websites and tools in the internet (www.apastyle.org, and http://www.citationmachine.net). Here you can find the answers to these questions and organise your reference list automatically on any academic formatting style (APA,MLA, …).

A not less important idea, I would like to share is connected to paraphrasing and in-text citation techniques. In order to avoid any kind of plagiarism, or self-plagiarism, it is better to refer to the author of the ideas, words, phrases, notions we are going to use. However, sometimes we find it difficult to introduce someone’s words or ideas. For this matter, I usually use a special wordbank of verbs for making in-text citations (Khoo, 2005). Certainly, it is not the whole list of academic verbs for citing, nevertheless this list is very helpful for my academic writings.

To sum up, I want to say that once you have accustomed to use APA style you will not be able to imagine your life without it.


“Citation Machine.” Citation Machine. Web. 17 Sept. 2015. <http://www.citationmachine.net/mla/cite-a-website/edit&gt;.

Khoo, E. (2005). Verbs for citing sources. Academic Vocabulary Series. Retrieved September 17, 2015, from http://www.utsc.utoronto.ca/ccds/sites/utsc.utoronto.ca.ccds/files/5.pdf

“Why Is APA Style Needed.” APA Style. American Psychological Association, 2011. Web. 17 Sept. 2015. <http://www.apastyle.org/learn/faqs/why-apastyle-needed.aspx&gt;.


About dinarashaimakhanova

MSc School Leadership program interested in studying the topic of relationship between students' giftedness and consecutive teachers' professional development practice

8 thoughts on “APA

  1. Dear Dinara!

    This is a very thoughtful post about APA. Your clearly explained the importance and need for formatting scholary papers in APA style. As for me, I aslo faced difficulties with using APA properly. I find your suggestions on how to paraphraze veru useful, since last time I had some issues with it and some part of my post were considered as paligiarized. Moreover, I struggle citing secondary sources, too.
    Thank you for sharing the article by Khoo (2005), I will definitely read it!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Dear Dinara,
    Thank you for sharing resources that are helpful for academic paper writing! While searching internet I also discovered that there are different requirements regarding style for various Universities around the globe.
    Dinara, could you share the difficulties that you face when formatting in a uniform system? Thank you for answering!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for your comments!
      I think the main difficulty I face even now is about citing the secondary source (in-text),
      as I don’t exactly know how to format the citing in a uniform system. As you have mentioned different universities provide sometimes different information. So this is my main struggle. Once I found very good quotation of one author and wanted to refer to it, but it was already mentioned by another researcher, and all this staff was in the book of a quie different author (the third person). That made me confused, whom should I refer to in my in-text citation(???)

      So, that is my main challenge


  3. Dinara, I can not even find the words to share my thanks. Your post is incredible. So plain, sincere and explicit. I suppose everyone of us find reflection of our own struggles with APA within your post.

    In your case of in-text citation problem you may consult BibMe Citation guide. Just follow this link below http://www.bibme.org/citation-guide

    And once more thank you for sharing worthy resources on in-text citation. I will use them in upcoming writing assignment – Mini-literature review and definetely in thesis wrtiting))

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you!
      For your appreciation!
      I’m happy that you found my post useful!
      And, of course, I want to express my gratitude for sharing with the resource on in-text citation.


  4. Dinara,

    Another great post. You have consistently been the first to post each week, and you have a clear and direct writing style. I am also notice a good variety of sentence structures and lengths.

    One recommendation: When writing questions, be sure to include a subject.

    Your question, “How to organise the reference list correctly?” and the ones after it are lacking subjects. Try “How do we organise reference lists correctly?” or the passive “How are reference lists correctly organised?”

    Also, phrases like “I want to say” are largely unnecessary in Academic writing.

    Overall, great job!

    Liked by 1 person

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