Tuesday, November 2, 2010

APA Style!

The other day I attended a presentation on the new APA standards hosted by the Business and Education departments at Union University.  As many of you know in 2010 the APA (American Psychological Association) updated the Style Manual from the 5th edition to the 6th edition.  This has huge implications for psychology students, business majors, education majors, librarians and more. For this post I wanted to briefly discuss many of the resources that are available to help wade through the sometimes confusing world of following a style manual to write, publish and cite resources in an academic setting.  The following are the important sources that can help with APA style.

The Publication Manual

The best resource to consult is the Publication Manual itself. The APA gives us the following description, "the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association is the style manual of choice for writers, editors, students, educators, and professionals in psychology, sociology, business, economics, nursing, social work, and justice administration, and other disciplines in which effective communication with words and data is fundamental. In addition to providing clear guidance on grammar, the mechanics of writing, and APA style, the Publication Manual offers an authoritative and easy-to-use reference and citation system and comprehensive coverage of the treatment of numbers, metrication, statistical and mathematical data, tables, and figures for use in writing, reports, or presentations. The new edition has been revised and updated to include: The latest guidelines and examples for referencing electronic and online sources; New and revised guidelines for submitting papers electronically; Improved guidelines for avoiding plagiarism; Simplified formatting guidelines for writers using up-to-date word-processing software; All new guidelines for presenting case studies; Improved guidelines for the construction of tables; Updates on copyright and permissions issues for writers. New reference examples for audiovisual media and patents; An expanded and improved index for quick and easy access; Writers, scholars, and professionals will also find: New guidelines on how to choose text, tables, or figures to present data; Guidelines for writing cover letters for submitting articles for publication, plus a sample letter; Expanded guidelines on the retention of raw data; New advice on establishing written agreements for the use of shared data; New information on the responsibilities of co-authors."We have two copies in the Summar Library. One is on the ready reference shelf next to the faculty resource center and the other is in the stacks available for check out. The call # is BF76.7 .P83 2010

The Concise Rules of APA Style

The second resource to turn to may be the Concise Rules of APA style. It is not so in depth but provides all of the rules of the APA. Here is how WorldCat describes the book. "This easy-to-use pocket guide, compiled from the sixth edition of the "Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association," provides complete guidance on the rules of style that are critical for clear communication." 

We don't currently have a copy of, "The Concise Rules of APA Style" in the library but here is a link to an online version

The APA Style Web Page

The APA style website has a lot of great resources such as online tutorials, charts and corrections. The web page is separated into 3 sections. One section describes the Manual itself, another section has quite a few helpful learning tools and online tutorials and the third section provides information on products that can be purchased. Here is a link to a free tutorial on, "what's new in the 6th edition".

The APA Style Blog

One of the resources that is linked to from the APA style web page is the blog. This blog has really useful, interesting posts about things like how to cite Facebook to how to create a 3 em dash on a mac or "What belongs in the reference list". You may be able to answer many of your questions by searching or following this blog.

APA Style on Facebook and Twitter

Like everything else these days, APA Style is on Facebook and Twitter. These updates are actually helpful though to keep abreast of changes in formatting, answers to crucial questions like how to find a DOI number or how to cite a phone interview. Below is a screen shot of the late APA Style tweets!

The OWL at Purdue

In all honesty The OWL at Purdue is my first stop for formatting and citing questions involving APA and MLA style. It is authoritative because it is edited by librarians and writing faculty at Purdue University in Indiana. The Owl is also concise and easy to use. It is not meant to replace the manual but only to supplement it and I find it a prime resource.

If you have any questions at all then you can always schedule a research coach or e-mail the APA style experts at styleexpert@apastyle.org

1 comment:

TR said...

Another source that looks really helpful is:

Bedford/St. Martins is a publisher and provides helpful information on citation style. My colleague, Ginger Williams, at Valdosta State University told me about it.