Why is APA Important? The Complete Writing Guide

We often come across the question, Why is APA important? APA stands for American Psychological Association, it is the organization that created a language that could be understood by academics around the world. APA style is the expected standard in research papers and higher education to guarantee that sources are cited in the correct manner.

APA Journal is among the prestigious place for paper publication. Your paper should meet a set of certain expectations in order to get published in the journal. The publication is not as easy as it once was.

Even though APA is universal still the nuances of academia make it a bit challenging to master the language. The style originated in 1929 and it was published in Psychological Bulletin. The article contained the basic guidelines. With time there were alterations to the guidelines and eventually, the guidelines were expanded into the APA Publication Manual.

The reason that the APA style holds great importance in psychology and other social sciences is that it allows the students, researchers who are writing about the respective topics to effectively communicate information regarding their experiments and ideas in a consistent format. Thus, making it easier for the reader to read the journal articles as they would know what to look for and where to look for it.

APA is not the only style available. On the contrary, different people use different style guides including Chicago or the MLA style. It can be a bit challenging for the students to master the different writing styles. However, most university-level classes are inclined towards using the APA style.

Major Sections of Your Paper

In most cases, a paper incorporate four main sections:

  • Page Title
  • Abstract
  • Main Body
  • Reference List

All these sections hold great importance. Therefore, it is imperative to format them in a proper manner to ensure clarity and effective reading.

Page Title

A page title should contain the title, author name, and school affiliation. After this, your page should display the course name and the number. It also contains information about the instructor’s name and the due date of the paper.

The main objective of your title is to let the reader know what your paper is about and who your target audience is.


After writing a clear and crisp page title, you have to focus on the abstract of your paper. Do bear in mind that the abstract holds great importance. It is basically a brief summary of your paper. Different writing styles have a different word limit for the summary.

In the case of the APA style, the summary of your paper should not be more than 100 to 200 words. However, this does depend upon your instructor or publication requirements.

Main Body

If you are writing an essay, your paper’s main body incorporates the actual essay itself. In the case of a lab report, the main body would have sections. Below are the four main sections of a lab report

  • Introduction
  • Method
  • Results
  • Discussion Sections


The last part of your paper is the reference section. This part mainly consists of a list of all the sources that you have used in your paper and hence it defines why is APA important. If you cite any information in your paper, it is imperative that you reference it properly in this particular section.

Just make sure that any source that you cite in your paper needs to be included in the reference section. Similarly, if you mention anything in your reference section, make sure that it is present in your paper.

Avoid Plagiarism by Using Citations

Another reason why is APA important is that it ensures a original paper and its content. Plagiarism is using someone else work without citing it to the original source. This is something that would damage your reputation as a writer. Therefore, it is better to ensure that your paper is plagiarism-free. So, in order to protect yourself from such allegations, use APA citation basics.

Citation is critical. Therefore, you need to pay close attention to them. As you write your paper, ensure that you add citations in your text. This would help the reader identify your source of information proficiently.

Formally, you call these notations as to the in-text citation. The APA format dictates that when you are citing within your APA format paper, first mention the author’s name and then follow it with the date of publication.

For example, if you are going to cite Sigmund Freud’s book, The Interpretation of Dreams, your citation format should be (Freud, 1990). The rest of the information is to be written in the reference section of the paper.

In case no author name is present, the start with the title name and then the publication date.

Direct Quotations

Another way to ensure the originality of your content, you should use direct quotations. Anytime, you take three or more consecutive words from a source, make sure to put these words in quotation marks. Next, you use should in-text citation along with the page number.

Important Tips for Reference Pages

The format of the reference page tends to vary as to whether you reference it as a book, author or author, electronic source, or a journal article. You would have to spend some time in order to look for the specific requirements for each reference before you start formatting the source list.

Below are some helpful tips that allow you to incorporate the reference pages into your documents.

  • Start a New Page for the Reference
  • “Reference” Should be title of the new Page
  • Place the Title on the top of the page and Center it.
  • Use Alphabetical order to put all the entries.
  • Align the first line of reference flush with left margin
  • Use the TAB key to indent every additional line.
  • Ensure that your reference section is double-spaced
  • For newspapers, magazines, journals, and books use italics
  • Incorporate all the sources that you cite in both text and reference page.

Advantages of APA Style

An APA style offers a number of benefits. Below, we have listed a couple of them below.

Straightforward Prose

One of the major advantages of the APA writing style is that it promotes direct explanation of your research. It also emphasizes the fact that your original idea is reported. This precision is complemented by a simple manuscript structure that incorporates a page title, abstract, body, and reference list. In some cases, it even includes the appendices.

Another thing that you add to the structural layout is the use of commonly accepted abbreviations. For instance, the book portions, or the measurements to save space or to prevent repetitive text.

Streamline Citations

The APA citation adds a concise reference in your text body. You then pair this reference with a full citation in the reference list. Thus, providing the correct source of information as well as giving credit to the original writer.  

Citations present in your text should list the author’s last name along with the publication date. In case the citations include a direct quotation, the above citation format should have a page number after the publication date.

The correct citation makes it easier for the reader to read your paper.

Ease of Referencing and Identifying other Research Ideas

Since it is imperative that your paper should contain original content. Therefore, you need to incorporate the right references. The APA citation style and the writing style make it extremely easy to give credits to the other prior work as well as to allow your reader to quickly track the reference.

This is extremely useful for scholars who wish to consult your source for their own work or who want to trace the evolution of the idea. After all, everything would be organized in a universal manner, thus anyone can understand it.

Credibility as a Writer

When you write in solid APA format, it would give you credibility as a writer, after all, the format associates with the publication. The use of APA format makes it easier for the reviewer and the instructor to look at the references page and see the authoritative sources efficiently.

This reflects that you have command over the language of academia. APA style is highly effective for publication as well. So, it is a wise idea to use this style for your regular college applications as well.

Helpful Resources

We understand that having complete command of the APA format can be a bit of challenging. Therefore, you can always take help from some free websites including the APA citation Machine. This is just an example of one online tool, you can find several other free tools.

However, if you are looking for more than basics, you need to reach out to our Nursing Writing Services. In addition to offering professional writing services, we also provide the facility of upgrading your paper as per the required format.

Our writers and editors are fully skilled in ensuring that your paper is correctly cited and accurately formatted. Even though the basic format remains the same, yet some instructors have specific requirements.

Our writers fully understand this, therefore, they would ensure that your paper meets the format expectation of your instructor in every possible way. After all, delivering quality and excellence is our top priority.