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Level 9

APA paper


  • To write a research paper in the APA style and tone

The Skeletal Structure of the APA paper

  • Skeletal structure changes
  1. Abstract (new!)
  2. Introduction (smaller)
  3. Scope(The scope gets cut out entirely)
  4. Literature review (some formatting changes)
  5. Theory (now called Model; quotes become paraphrases)
  6. Analysis (Quotes become paraphrases)
  7. Conclusion (same as MLA)
  8. References (Every paraphrased and lit review source goes here)

The Four Changes

  1. Clinically clear language; Everything must be provable if asked
  2. In-text Dates
  3. Change Works Cited to Reference Page
  4. Change Formatting to APA

1. Format

  • See the APA paper example
  • Use a Title page. see example
  • Abstract page
    • An Abstract is a summary of the paper
    • In the MLA, the introduction was the summary of the paper.
    • Move the MLA introduction to its own page
    • Put a sub-head above it that says Abstract
    • Done!
  • Introduction
    • Most APA papers leap right into a Literature Review.
    • Some APA papers use small introductions.
    • We'll use a small introduction.
    • Do not copy and paste from the abstract.
    • Write three to four new sentences that summarize the most important parts of the abstract.
    • In essence, you'll write a summary of the summary for the introduction.
    • Be Brief.
    • Put a sub head above this section
    • Do NOT add a transition sentence
  • Scope
    • Delete the scope section
    • APA uses the literature review as means to also cover what the scope/subject will be in the paper.
  • Literature Review
    • Same as MLA with a few format changes
    • See In-text Dates, below
    • See References, below
    • Put a subhead above this section (just once, not above each paragraph if you had more than one Lit Review paragraph.)
    • Remove the transition sentence at the end of this section.
    • There's no need for a transition as the next section has a subhead telling readers what section is next.
  • Theory Model
    • APA mostly uses established models, and rarely theories.
    • Do not re-write any part of the theory
    • Put a sub head above this section.
    • Remove the transition sentence at the end of this section.
    • There's no need for a transition as the next section has a subhead telling readers what section is next.
    • Done, for now, see in-text citations, below.
  • Analysis
    • Same as MLA
    • Keep the transitions between analysis paragraphs.
    • Done, for now, see In-text dates and References, below.
  • Conclusion
    • APA also suggests further research.
    • Give this section a sub head, done.

2. In-text Dates

  • APA obsesses over dates.
    • In a course that uses APA, and not MLA, you most likely will have age restrictions on the articles, that the articles can only be x years old.
    • Because most of these courses in APA are concerned with dates, dates play a prominent role inside an APA paper.
  • In the Literature Review
    • Dates (but just the year) go after the author/s name/s
    • Smith (2019) in the article...
    • Reduce all first names of authors to first initials.
    • Example 1
    • Jennifer Smith must be J. Smith
    • Example 2
    • Jame T. Kirk must be J. A. Kirk
  • In the theory and analysis sections
    • APA rarely quotes word for word
    • APA prefers paraphrasing.
    • In MLA we used Lead-in: "quote"
    • Simply delete the quote, make the colon a period, and you already have a paraphrased passage.
    • In APA, the date goes at the end of the paraphrased passage where the colon was. Period goes to the right of the (date).
    • Reduce all first names to initials.

3. Reference page

  • In MLA , the only sources that went into the Works Cited were those "works" that you "cited" in the theory and analysis.
  • In APA, every source you "refer" to goes in the References.
  • All of the sources in the Literature Review need to be in the references.
  • All the paraphrased sources (in the MLA, they were quotes) need to go in the references.
  • You can use Purdue's Online Writing Lab (Owl) or my color-coded abridged version on Inverseintuition.org:
    • OWL
    • Must use OWL. Our APA page is not up yet but will be next term.
    • InverseIntuition.org
    • If you use a citation maker, or any other source than the two listed above, and the citation does not match one of the two sources above, the citation is incorrect.
    • If I mark something wrong on your References, but you think it is correct, your only defense is to show me how you followed a page on OWL or on InverseIntuition.org
  • Re-focus on every small part of each citation: Caps, quotes, italics, etc.
  • Observe difference in how articles use caps
    • How an article title is written in the Reference page is how it is written in the paper too, except in the paper it will have quote marks.
  • Reduce all first names to intitals.

4. Clinically Clear Language

  • The easiest way to think in the APA style of writing is to read everything as being explicitly literal.
  • Remove Yourself
    • Do not use these words: you, I, my, myself, we, and us.
    • Remove gendered terms, such as his or hers when talking about someone's article.
    • Using "they" is now acceptable to use when referring to one person
  • Remove hyperbolic language: (subjective adjectives and adverbs)
    • Subjective: Very heavy object
    • "Very" cannot be qualified, when is something heavy, and at what exact point does that object become "very" heavy.
    • Subjective: Heavy object
    • "Heavy" is not provable. Something that I think is heavy may not be so to you; thus, "heavy" is subjective.
  • Remove subjective observations
    • Which part of this sentence is subjective:
    • It was a hot, sunny, and beautiful day. Sunny is not subjective; it's fine to say. We can look at weather reports and verify that, yes, it was indeed sunny that day. Many people, like me, see rainy days as beautiful and sunny days as oppressive, so that word "beautiful" is subjective and must be removed. Hot also can be verified by weather reports. Hot may seem subjective, but OSHA has guidelines on what is hot and cold to the average person.
  • Remove Phrasals
    • Scan this list of Phrasals; they are a problem for most world-wide English speakers because they never mean the literal words.
    • Example
    • He turned on his boss.
  • Remove Cliches
    • Cliches are only understood by someone within the culture of the cliche.
    • Interpret these by using the literal definition of each word, which is how world-wide English speakers must interpret them
      • Kiss and make up (means to reconcile grievances with someone) but literally means something like this: Put your lips on someone in a kissing motion and ...acquire some cosmetics? uh...what?
      • Read between the lines (Means there's a hidden meaning in what's not being said) How? there is quite literally NOTHING between the lines on the paper
      • Someone woke up on the wrong side of the bed (meaning, you're grumpy!) Beds in America have correct sides and wrong sides? Which side is the wrong one? What makes that side the wrong one?
  • Remove Americanisms
    • Writing in APA is to write to the world-wide scientific community, which means writing to a world-wide English
    • That is, writing to all 1.5 Billion world-wide English speakers, most of whom speak the correct.
    • Only 350 million of those speakers are Americans.
    • Who gets to say whose English is correct? Well, if we go by America's idea of majority rule, and considering that the majority of English speakers don't speak American-English, variants on British-English is correct.
      • Example
      • Sharon said,"I don't know, Joe's going on and on about getting that dog over here so it can get its medication."
      • That sentence is a nightmare to world-wide English speakers.
      • "I don't comprehend. Joe is travelling from one place to another many times, or climbing onto something many times, so that a dog that is already near Sharon can travel a distance and acquire some medication."
      • Edit for world-wide: Sharon said, "I think what Joe wants is for us to bring the dog to him so Joe can give the dog some medication.
  • Impossible Agents
    • Impossible agents are when we accidentally give life and the power to inanimate objects and ideas.
      • Example 1
      • Covid spread quickly between people who did not honor social distancing.
      • 1. Covid can't spread itself. People spread covid.
      • 2. You can honor your ancestors, but how do we honor social distancing? That's too poetic.
      • Edit: People who would not utilize social distancing increased the chances of them spreading Covid to others.
      • Example 2
      • Many businesses closed to stop the spread of Covid.
      • Literally, this means that businesses (and not the people who own them) closed themselves and that is all that was needed to stop the spread of covid.
      • Edit: To help slow the spread of Covid, business owners complied with state regulations and closed their places of business.