“APA” stands for American Psychological Association. APA style is a set of style guidelines published for scholarly writers by the American Psychology Association. First published in 1929, the APA style manual is commonly applied in the social and behavioral sciences, including the fields of business, education, and psychology.
Introduction to the APA style guide
APA style is the most common guide for academic writing in the social and behavioral sciences disciplines. In addition, many academic journals require APA style for submissions.
The manual is published by the American Psychological Association. The official name of the style guide is Publication Manual of the American Psychology Association, but it is commonly known as the APA style manual, or just “APA.” The manual was updated in 2010 to the 6th edition.
Writing: The APA style manual offers specific guidance on almost any topic writers encounter, including the basics of how to punctuate and capitalize, when to italicize, when to abbreviate, and how to use commas, colons, and brackets. Writers will also find examples of properly formatted tables, figures, and captions.
Format: APA guidelines include recommendations for font style and size (Times New Roman, 12 point), line spacing (double-space everything), paragraph indentation (first line, one-half inch), and pagination (sequentially, placed in the upper-right corner with a running head).
Citations and References: APA uses a parenthetical author-date format to cite sources in the text and a corresponding list of references placed at the end of the body of the paper. The APA manual offers clear examples of how to cite virtually any source, from journal articles and books to legal references and online videos.
The APA style manual is available from most bookstores and can be ordered online from multiple vendors. At this time, there is no Web version of the manual, although APA maintains a searchable blog written by APA experts who answer questions posed by scholars, students, and other writers.
What can I expect from an APA editor
Professional editors should always proofread and copy edit. Know the difference between the two and always choose an editor who does both.
Besides editing for grammar, spelling, punctuation, structure, and overall readability, in terms of style, an editor can:
- Check that your work complies with your institutional style guidelines and the guidelines of your institution’s preferred style manual
- Set up your Word document with appropriate heading levels (using Word styles) to generate an accurate Table of Contents
- Add numbered table titles and figure captions and generate accurate lists of tables and figures
- Set section breaks where needed to differentiate front matter from the body of your paper
- Set section breaks to separate landscape orientation pages from portrait orientation pages
- Ensure page numbers are in the correct locations and formats
- Set proper line spacing and paragraph indentation
- Remove extra spaces and tabs
- Set up customized Word styles to handle block quotations and other text artifacts according to your style guidelines
- Format figures and tables to comply with style guidelines
Should I hire an APA editor or do it myself
Whether you hire an editor to help with style and formatting depends on your working style, your resource constraints, and the feedback you are receiving from the gatekeepers (i.e., advisors, chairperson, or committee).
Think about the following questions when deciding whether to engage editing yourself or hiring a professional editor:
What is your preferred working style, and what type of mindset do you have
- Are you a hands-on person?
- Are you a detail-oriented person?
- Are you a big-picture strategist?
Some people love learning the rules because it gives them a sense of control. Others prefer to leave the details to others because that gives them a sense of freedom and allows focus on the big picture. Determine what type of person you are and whether you have the capacity or desire to learn a style guide.
How much time do you have
- Do you have time to learn the style guidelines?
- Do you have the desire to learn about the details?
- Do you feel you are more productive by focusing your time and energy on writing or researching?
If you have time, you should study the style manual to at least have a passing familiarity with it. This is true even if you don’t have the time or inclination to study it in depth.
If you are really under a time crunch, it’s time to call a professional APA editor.
To get an estimate of time and costs to edit your dissertation, please email us with your paper attached.
We will give you an estimate within twelve (12) hours.