What makes APA so difficult?

Discussion in 'General Distance Learning Discussions' started by Maniac Craniac, Jun 23, 2010.

  1. 03310151

    03310151 New Member

    I used this website to help me write papers. It worked pretty good.

    Studying/Memorizing APA? "Nothing in education is so astonishing as the amount of ignorance it accumulates in the form of inert facts" - Henry B. Adams
  2. Ian Anderson

    Ian Anderson Active Member

  3. MISin08

    MISin08 New Member

    Rather than start a new thread, I'll follow here. I have experienced several variations on "APA" while finishing my degree, the most humorous being "discussion posts must be written in APA" which translated to "cite any references at the end in APA reference format, but you can write your post informally."

    Now I am in a senior-year class taught by a fellow who is determined to help us improve our APA skills. We were given a template in Word that makes the basics pretty easy. What's tripping me up is page lengths. I'm finishing a paper tonight that is "6 pages" long. It doesn't even break 1000 words. Most papers I have written in the last 2 years are 1700-3000 words, which in MS Word's default style is 5-8 pages. I can cover an undergraduate topic pretty thoroughly in that and the result is readable and interesting. It's a new experience to cover a topic in 1000 words, though I may be getting the hang of it. A lot of what I would write in a lower level class is material to show that I know the basics; here, I assumed the basics and wrote much more focused and specific.

    Some on the forum have posted about graduate work and writing papers weekly, or perhaps a little less often, but still a consistent diet of writing. I am curious what that is like real-world. What are typical page/word counts? What's the scope of a typical short paper at the masters level?

  4. davesaint

    davesaint New Member

  5. bazonkers

    bazonkers New Member

    What fields use APA? I'm studying history and we are writing everything in Chicago style.
  6. MISin08

    MISin08 New Member

    Business uses APA, at Excelsior and Chadron State College, anyway. I wrote about encryption for a Networking class a year or so ago and that was MLA, which seemed like a student-friendly format.
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 2, 2010
  7. Godwulfe

    Godwulfe New Member

    WGU uses it for business as well.
    And here I was having fun and testing out of the first 5 classes. Now I'm going to have to do work AND learn something?

    Should've read ALL the threads here before I enrolled.... ;)
  8. truckie270

    truckie270 New Member

    Cut to student receiving graded paper: I only lost 5 points for not using APA correctly? I can afford to lose that many points for each assignment!
  9. soupbone

    soupbone Active Member

    Thanks I'll look into this! I would much rather worry about paper content and not the style.
  10. PatsGirl1

    PatsGirl1 New Member

    I don't think it IS that difficult, but then again I love to write papers... I think once you get in the swing of things, it's not that hard. For some people, the constant in-depth citations just get annoying and/or confusing.
  11. mattbrent

    mattbrent Active Member

    I like Chicago because it uses footnotes. I'm a nerd. I like footnotes at the bottom of my paper. They make me happy.

  12. MISin08

    MISin08 New Member

    Footnotes are awesome. So is "Ibid".
  13. fritzy202

    fritzy202 New Member

    MIS08, you made me laugh. I had a similar experience during an Excelsior class when the rubric said all forum postings must be in APA style. I wrote to the professor and asked just what that was supposed to mean, since none of my other classes with them required APA for discussion postings. I asked if the content was to be our experiences and interpretations were we to cite ourselves and our life events? We went round and round for about 5 emails until I just gave up. He was insisting everything had to be written in APA. I finally got a course designer to clarify it was only references that needed to be in APA! Why not say it that way in the rubric and directions? Thanks for reminding me of that and making me laugh! I dread using APA and I hate that they change it up all the time. Isn't writing a timeless art? Why change the rules?
  14. Ian Anderson

    Ian Anderson Active Member

    The Internet changed a lot of thing. Now with the advent of pure on-line peer-reviewed journals I'm sure there will be another revision to the APA manual out soon.

    Incidentally I use the APA format to a large extent for engineering reports I write even though it is not required. It makes my work look consistent.
  15. CRS0410

    CRS0410 New Member

    I use Perrla and love it. I still learn a lot about citing and there's a learning curve on using it but it's completely worth it. If you use this code: EZCITE you should get a discount. I don't get any money out of it. As an affiliate of the product, I could choose to split the discount but chose to just give out the discount in full for other students. It probably isn't much of a difference but it's better than paying full price.
  16. Hadashi no Gen

    Hadashi no Gen New Member

    What an amazing question (OP)!! This continues to baffle me, since the most difficult parts of writing in APA that I have had was learning where to put citations and how to make my Running head on page 1 different from all of the rest.

    If APA continues to prove difficult for you, though, I have heard good things about the free program called Zotero. Apparently it writes your citations for you. I don't see the need for it, but I guess it can save you five seconds here and there. Personally, I feel more connected to my writing when I am aware of who and what I am referencing. I've tried using Zotero, but felt that it was unnecessary and oppressive of my creativity.

    The best way to learn APA is to just start using it. The Purdue Owl website is a great resource... and of course, so is the APA Manual.
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 5, 2012

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