APA (American Psychological Association) style is among the most common technical and professional writing styles in behavioral and education sciences. Even though there are several other styles available, yet academic personnel mostly use the APA style. The question here is, why is APA style important, especially for nursing students.
Before we get down to the importance of an APA style for a nursing student, let us have a brief introduction to an APA style.
Introduction to APA Style
APA is extremely straight-forward in terms of formatting. It employs a minimum of distracting formattings such as the endnotes or the footnotes. Moreover, the format is easier to read in comparison to other styles.
To navigate professional education literature or write a paper, you must become familiar with the APA style’s basic elements. If you are looking for detailed information on the APA style, you should check out the APA Publication Manual.
You will find the manual in the reference section of all most all libraries. The main objective of the manual is to allow a professional researcher to prepare manuscripts for publication. Due to this reason, a novice might find the manual to be daunting.
For a beginner, it is important to focus on those chapters that focus on the use of citations in the text and the different sections that explain the preferred writing style. There is no denying that citing references in the text is among the most important feature of the APA style.
Different Citing Styles
There are basically two main ways to cite an author in the text. First, you enclose the author’s first or last name in parentheses, followed by the publication date. For example:
Two phobias, fear of snake and fear of flying, are particularly difficult to test in combination (Jackson, 2006)
The other way to cite is using the author’s last name in the sentence itself. See the example below.
Jackson (2006) says that Two phobias, fear of snake and fear of flying, are particularly difficult to test in combination.
Among these two citing styles, the first one is the preferred style. After all, the most important feature of the APA style is citing references in your text. When you are citing a book, it includes the items inside the quotation marks. “
For book citation following things are within quotation marks “Author, First (Year). Title with just the first words capitalized, City, State: Publisher”
In the case of Journal articles, you must follow the following format: “ Author, A. & Author. B (Year). Article Title, Journal Name, Volume Number, Page Numbers”
Note: Every punctuation mark has some importance; therefore, ensure that you are precise. Ensure that you are familiar with the basic citation format, as there are many variations, thus making it extremely difficult to memorize all.
If you are using a particular book or a journal article in your paper and formatted in APA style, to see how to cite the different resources, look in its reference section for models. You also have the option of using automated tools, including CitationMachine, Google Drive, or other similar links. Also, you have the option of taking help from professional writing services.
After all, these professionals fully understand why APA style is important? Thus, they have complete command of the citation style and its variations.
The use of titles, headings, and sub-headings is another vital part of the APA style. It makes it easier for the reader to see the main parts of your paper. The great thing is that adding titles and sub-headings is not a complicated task.
On the contrary, most writers find it easier in comparison to citation. Below, we have illustrated the hierarchy. The number present on the left basically refers to the conventional subdivisions in your outline. However, you are not going to use them in your final draft of the paper.
I. Chapter/Major Division Titles
A. Major Section Titles
1. Running subheaders. They are the ones that stand in the paragraph they announce.
You do not have to carry the titles farther than the subheader level.
Now that you know the APA style basics, let us focus on why the APA style is important for nursing students.
Importance of APA Citing for Nursing Students
Being the most frequently used formatting style within sciences and social sciences makes it easier for professionals and writers to cite different sources. You can have access to the sixth edition of the APA citation guide. This offers a general format for the reference page as well as the in-text citations.
APA has standards of citations for researching and writing. These standards are applicable in the social sciences and science fields such as nursing.
Nursing writing for journal and research content requires logical and analytical writing. After all, it is a noble profession, and writing should be valid, true, and authentic.
Most universities require you to write your course nursing papers in APA style. It is imperative for the completion of your degree.
Below are the reasons that make APA citing important for nursing students.
Writing Standards Are Set
Writing your journal or research paper in APA style helps offer standards for research and scientific writing. Due to APA style, writers can produce logical, clear, and succinct work.
APA style uniformity allows easy location of the critical ideas and findings of your research paper. The authors can establish their credibility via citing the original author of the research work.
Nursing scholars worldwide take full advantage of the APA style as it allows them to share advances along with policy updates in not only their specialty but also the healthcare system in general.
For accurate and precise communication, most universities require their students to use the APA citation style for their academic work. It ensures clarity among the students. Without mastering the APA style, it is almost impossible to influence academic writing for any nursing student.
To complete their nursing degree, they have to write a capstone project, action research, or a thesis. This allows them to resolve a query in the nursing field by blending their class knowledge with research.
For them to write an effective and impactful paper, they require an apt APA writing style. Since healthcare is among the fields requiring constant updating of information to keep up with modern discovering and innovative ideas. To write an effective paper, nursing students often need to show the evolution of the idea.
For this purpose, he or she needs to have command over the APA citations. This allows them to present an accurate picture of the information that acts as the basis of their paper’s conclusion.
Improves Written Communication Quality
With nursing writing, it is possible to communicate information regarding skills, knowledge, and nursing practice to other people. Therefore, the nursing professionals and students need to produce an accurate written account of the quality of health care provisioned to them.
With APA style, they can adopt a citation style understood by professionals and students around the globe. After all, nursing notes are a legal form of documentation, and thereby, you need to record them in a logical, precise, and accurate manner.
Ensure that your paper states the work’s original author using the citation style encouraged in APA format. It would be best if you took full advantage of the set APA citation standards.
Relevance of Content
In many USA states, nursing portfolios are a must for registered nurses or someone seeking employment. Scholarly work or research, certifications, certifications documentation, and degree are part of the nursing portfolio.
In the case of academic writing, thesis, research projects, capstone research, and journal articles published are part of it. With APA citation, authors can highlight the relevancy of their research effectively and efficiently.
Since APA has set standards, it provides the writers with a steady format for organizing their arguments or research papers. If a reader is familiar with the APA style, he or she also benefits from it. As they would be able to efficiently locate the information they are looking for as they would know which sections contain which information.
After all, APA has a set format for every section present in the paper.
With the basic citation rules below, you can protect yourself from the allegation of plagiarism.
Pairing the references page and the in-text citations. Ensuring that both start with the same name of the author. If the work doesnot have an author name, then the work’s title comes first.
Ensure that you always in-text citations, regardless of whether you reworded or summarized the information in your own words.
Always place a quotation markaround the exact words that you take from the source. It would help if you implemented quotation marks you take 3 or more consecutive words from the citation. Also, add an in-text citation and the page number of the source.
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