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Tips for Writing in APA Format

Wednesday, November 5th, 2014 | Posted in USF Writing Studio Blog: Tips, News, and Updates by dmfarrar | No Comments »

Angry writer.fw-Adib Amini is a PhD student at the University of South Florida

For many students, writing in APA format can be a challenge. Some majors in particular, such as Nursing, now require students to observe strict APA format for their essays. There are a variety of resources available online and in the library to help you write in proper APA format. Here are a few of the highlights.

One of our favorites is the Purdue OWL APA Formatting and Style Guide. The tabs on the left side of the webpage offer a variety of different situations and categories to choose from. Also, when you click on one of these options, there are usually numerous sub-categories as you scroll down the page. Spend some time clicking through the tabs to familiarize yourself with the website content so that you can find what you need.

One of the best parts of the Purdue OWL website is the APA Sample Paper. It not only shows you what the formatting looks like, but also includes comment boxes that explain the rules for each part. This can be a great easy reference to get an idea of how to format your paper.

One of the common questions we also get is about citation formatting. Both the Purdue OWL website as well as a handout available on the Writing Studio website can help you, but it takes some patience to find the right format for the type of source you are using. There are also a variety of automatic citation generators available online, as software, and even included in Microsoft Word. These, however, are only tools and ultimately you are responsible for making sure they are correct.

If you have more questions about APA, feel free to make an appointment at the Writing Studio to work on it with a consultant. Good luck!


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