I was introduced with American Psychological Association [APA] style for the first time four years ago when I started doing my first Action research in the professional development program. Since that time I tried to follow the rules and structure of this style while writing various research papers. However, before entering NU for master’s degree, I thought that APA style is only a rule of formatting, citing and referencing. But after reading Algozzine, Spooner, and Karvonen (2002), I understand that a general structure of the research paper, content and meaning of sections, word limit are also regulated by APA. As Algozzine et al. (2002) state, “According to APA style, a special education research article should include an abstract, an introductory section, a description of the method, a presentation of results, and a discussion section in which the outcomes are evaluated and interpreted..” (p.24). Although I did not have any experience using other styles, I would like to focus on two important sides of using APA:
Firstly, APA style helps me to structure my writing. As it was mentioned, a research paper includes abstract, introduction, methods, etc. I plan each section accordingly to the style.
Secondly, APA style is used by many researchers and organizations. So, there are a lot of guidelines, technologies which can support writers to check their referencing and citing format.
However, one of the challenges of using APA for me is a citation of an author’s idea when the author cited another author’s ideas (secondary source).
Today I realize that, improvement of writing in accordance to APA style comes with regular practicing the writing skills and reading different sources. For example, the papers called “Preparing special education research articles in APA style” and “How to prepare research article in APA style” by Algozzine et al. published in 2002 and 2010 respectively provide good examples of articles written in APA style.
Algozzine, B., Spooner, F., & Karvonen, M. (2002). Preparing special education research articles in APA style. Remedial and Special Education, 23(1), 24-30.