APA Made Easy


          All over the world students completing their degrees have to learn and cope with two correlated missions such as creating and organizing research papers and formatting studies according to prescribed uniform styles, like Modern Language Association (MLA) or American Psychological Association (APA) guidelines. There are tones of resources available for students to apply in writing papers; diversity of articles and books contributes to broadening the perception, deeper understanding of issues deserving to be studied, providing an insight and inspiration to try out new methods and approaches of study. Moreover, there are many resources that focus on teaching and guiding within specific formatting style. However many of students often express frustration when formatting their papers aligned to definite style, which can undermine the quality of their research papers.

APA format is very helpful in organizing the content, proper in-text citations, endnotes, footnotes and reference pages. In addition, this uniform style provides style guidelines helping to address clarity and conciseness and contributes to select certain words and terms. Furthermore, APA recommends us to use simple, understandable and precise language to avoid confusing the meaning. Moreover, APA helps to establish credibility and validity. Because for the reader it is more convenient to focus on more reliable source than on different distracting materials with uncertain and shady content. Finally and mainly, it protects against plagiarism, pushing us to use someone`s words and ideas in ethical and responsible ways.

However, some students do not prefer APA formatting and find it restricted, because they may struggle with addressing the format mechanisms and meeting the requirements. They suppose APA makes their life complicated. The main challenges may happen with in-text citation, legitimate paraphrasing, summary and proper reference. I suppose these problems take place due to several reasons. The first reason might be silly and slight understanding of APA format demands. The second is poor self – organizational and self -regulation skills and irrational time management, when the person starts completing the literature review or any part of the assignment out of time, close to deadline. That is why students begin to plagiarize pretending to paraphrase with their own words, or overuse direct quotations. As for me, when the writer uses irrationally direct quotations it is very hard to see his/her own opinion, attitude and voice. Moreover, it makes the paper gray and static. Thus, it leads to lost of communication and dialogue with the readers, because I accept any study as the mean of conversation and interaction with potential readers.

To wrap up, I think APA makes paper writing easier, more structured, logically organized and precise. When I have any difficulties I frequently consult Purdue Owl Online Writing Lab and use Citation Machine to organize properly citation and reference list. If anyone of us still feel frustrated applying APA style, I think it is just a matter of time, awareness and practice.

By the way, what do you do to overcome the troubles with APA formatting?


Purdue University Web. Purdue Owl Online Writing Lab. https://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/560/01/

Citation Machine. http://www.citationmachine.net/mla/cite-a-website/edit&gt


6 thoughts on “APA Made Easy

  1. Dear Aigerim, the last question that you asked is good as I have the same question to those peaople who sit ti write report or research. how do they manage to cite in text correctly, what rsources do they use? this is nice theme to discuss as I still have problem with it. My deram is to become APA style expert in future.
    P.S your style of writing is so good that you can read,read and read it non stop with great pleasure. I am sure that all the sources that you have mentioned are very helpful, and easy to use and to follow. Also writing and reading such blogs is unique opprtunity to gain more command of Engish, we didn’t have opportunity to read other works previously. Great thanks to our English instructors now


  2. Dear Aigerim,

    Thank you for this insightful post.
    To answer your question about the difficulties of applying APA style in writing, I can honestly say that the process is not nearly as painful as many describe it to be. The more I use it, the more sense it makes to me.
    You mentioned that some people complain about paraphrasing. I for one find it very stimulating to think of alternative ways to expressing somebody else’s ideas. Besides, it prevents you from plagiarism, so it is in fact absolutely necessary.


  3. Dear Aigerim,
    Thanks for sharing your thoughts and findings on APA style citation.

    I liked the benefits that you listed.
    I would also mention a benefit that is present in the APA style formatting: years of publishing. I noticed that it is more informative and useful when readers see the year when reading a piece of wrting in text, rather than checking how updated is the source of literature in the end of the page.


  4. Dear Aigerim,
    Thank you for sharing your thoughts about advantages of using APA formatting and your opinion, but let me disagree with you that some students plagiarize intentionally “pretending” paraphrasing the ideas from articles, because I think this can happen due to the lack of right understanding or may be miscomprehension. No one is enemy to him/herself.
    I support you that timemanagement should be strictly followed, as time can work against people,when they use it irrationally. Each student must be responsible for “borrowed ideas” in his/her academic paper, as any idea can be easily checked thanks to modern IT technologies, hence respect and referencing to other’s ideas must be the main priority for any beginning scholar to be respected by others in the research world.
    To answer your question: I try regularly re-read the rules of APA foramattingor discuss it with my groupmates if it is necessary before I start writing a new assignment.


  5. Aigerim,

    You’ve made some very good observations here. I like your natural writing style. This makes your ideas accessible to all. It is overall very clear and organized. Even the grammar is good.

    5 out of 5


  6. Aigerim,
    Thank you for your post. It is always easy to read your posts.
    To answer your question. Personally I find Microsoft Word citing service. it is easy to use. The only thing is to learn how to do so. For formatting I use a strategy which might be applicable for everybody. I usually spend some time to create an APA suitable format. Each time when I do some kind of writing I use that Word document as a sample. Actually, there are a lot services that Microsoft Office provide for researchers.



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