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For some students writing research paper seems to be a torture while APA becomes the instrument of torture. Therefore, I think that there is a need to explain what APA style is.
What is APA style? Why do I need to use it?
Basically, APA stands for American Psychological Association and it is a referencing format/style that researchers of the social sciences worldwide use to write research papers. It helps writers to format and structure their papers, cite various kinds of sources and avoid plagiarism.
Frankly speaking, you don’t have to use APA style. But you have to cite your sources and use any of other referencing styles in order be an accredited author. In other words, you shouldn’t plagiarize and have to distinguish your ideas from other author’s ideas. Also, by referring to the original source you give credit for the author’s effort and findings.
Is it difficult to cite the source?
In my opinion, it it easier to learn citing and referencing nowadays as we have a lot of new technologies designed and modified for researchers. There are some good options for referencing when using Google Docs, for example, where you may use research option that makes referencing and citing easier for beginners. You may choose between APA, MLA and Chicago referencing styles there.
Moreover, there is a website called www.citationmachine.net, where the writers are given APA, MLA and Chicago citation styles’ templates for different types of the sources. All the learner needs to do is to fill in the forms of the templates and click on the “Create Citation” button. They also have Plagiarism checker for only registered users on that website. Personally, I used this website to teach my 11 grade students how to cite different sources when they were writing research papers.
To my mind, most of the students plagiarize because they lack research skills and they confuse proper citing. Thus, keep consulting APA style guide while writing your paper and take it seriously. Of course, you may struggle at first, but practice makes perfect (Proverb,n.d.).
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