Quiz: APA Style and Format

As a nurse embarking on an advanced degree, you are developing the characteristics of a scholar-practitioner, which include strong communication skills. Writing in a scholarly manner involves supporting your thoughts with evidence from the literature and appropriately using APA formatting.
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One of the challenges of scholarly writing is paraphrasing the thoughts of others in your work. Paraphrasing, and correctly citing the original author for his or her ideas, allows you to take the ideas of others, summarize them, and incorporate them into your own writing. When summarizing the ideas of others, it is important to avoid plagiarizing (i.e., copying the words and ideas of others as though they were your own). In addition to expanding your knowledge of APA Style, this modules’ Learning Resources help you distinguish between paraphrasing and plagiarizing.
This Quiz will help you determine how your understanding of these concepts and preparedness to reflect them in your work. The questions presented on the Quiz are derived from the Resources related to APA writing standards, plagiarism, and academic integrity.

What Is APA Style?

The American Psychological Association (APA) developed a set of standards that writers in the social sciences follow to create consistency throughout publications. These rules address:

crediting sources
document formatting
writing style and organization

APA’s guidelines assist readers in recognizing a writer’s ideas and information, rather than having to adjust to inconsistent formatting. In this way, APA allows writers to express themselves clearly and easily to readers. The APA materials developed in the Walden Writing Center are based on The Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association, Seventh Edition, often referred to on this website as “APA 7” or “the APA manual.”

Why APA Style?

When you are writing as a student, you are entering into a new writing community; just as you would need to learn the customs and rules of any new country you visit, you need to learn the customs and rules of academic writing. These guidelines will be different than guidelines for writing in other environments (such as letters to friends, emails to coworkers, or writing for blogs). The academic community has its own rules. These standards help writers

improve clarity
avoid distracting the reader
indicate sources for evidence
provide uniform formatting

To learn more about transitioning into academic writing, view “What Is Academic Writing?” Remember that it’s your job as the author to engage your readers, and inconsistencies in formatting and citations distract the reader from the content of your writing. By using APA style, you allow your readers to focus on the ideas you are presenting, offering a familiar format to discuss your new ideas.

Getting Started With APA Style

APA style can seem overwhelming at first. To get started, take some time to look through these resources:

Familiarize yourself with the column on the left; peruse the different pages to see what APA has to say about citations, reference entries, capitalization, numbers, et cetera.
Find our APA templates, determining which is the most appropriate for your assignments (hint: the first “Course Paper” template is best for most course assignments).
Use this APA Checklist to review your assignments, ensuring you have remembered all of APA’s rules.
If you previously used the 6th edition of APA, visit our APA 6 and APA 7 Comparison Tables to learn what’s new in the 7th edition.
Review one of our APA webinars (like “How and When to Include APA Citations”), based on your interest.
Find the APA resources in our APA Scavenger Hunt, helping to familiarize yourself with the APA resources we have on the website.
Check out our APA-related blog posts.

Lastly, feel free to contact [email protected] with any questions you may have.

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APA Basics Checklist

Writing Center staff created this APA checklist to help students remember the basics of APA citations, reference lists, and style. It is not meant to be comprehensive, but students should use it as a reminder of the various APA rules that academic papers follow. If students are not sure what a particular item in the checklist refers to or entails, they should follow the link for more information. Additionally, the Writing Center can always help with APA questions at [email protected].
Citations

Citations follow APA guidelines as articulated in section 8.1 of the APA manual (7th edition).
Sources used and cited in the paper are included in the reference list.
The abbreviation “et al.” is punctuated appropriately.

Parenthetical citations

Author(s) and publication year are always included.
A page or paragraph number is included for all quoted material, using the appropriate abbreviation: (p. xx) or (para. xx).
The citation is included within the ending punctuation for the sentence.

Narrative citations

Authors of cited studies are included within the sentence.
The publication year is included in parentheses immediately after the authors’ names.
Publication years are included the first time a source is used in a paragraph; all subsequent uses of that same source do not include the publication year. Note: Rule starts over with a new paragraph.
Quiz: APA Style and Format

Reference List

The title of the list is centered and bolded.
Sources listed in the reference list are cited at least once in the paper.

Reference entries.

Each entry has an automatically formatted hanging indent.
Each entry has the basic information (as available): author(s), publication year, title, and retrieval information.
Each entry has been compared against the common reference entries and reference list basics on the Writing Center website, checking for:

Punctuation: periods and commas
Formatting: italics is used only when needed
Parentheses and brackets: used only when needed
Appropriate electronic information is included

APA Style

Past tense is used whenever literature or sources are talked about (i.e., Smith discussed).
Serial commas are used for all lists of three or more items (i.e., lions, tigers, and bears).
Hyphens are

used to join words that work together to modify another word (i.e., evidenced-based practice);
used to join “self” compounds (i.e., self-esteem); and
not used with prefixes such as “non,” “semi,” “pre,” “post”, “anti,” “multi,” and “inter.”

Block quotations (of 40 or more words) are formatted as such.
Headings follow proper APA style (i.e., Level 1 headings are centered and bolded).
Numbers

10 and above are expressed using numerals,
nine and below are expressed using words.
expressing specific numbers and time use numerals, and
expressing approximate time use words.

Complex lists of items within a sentence or paragraph can use letters to separate the items.
Bulleted and numbered lists are used for specific reasons.
The third person editorial “we” is avoided (including “us,” “our,” and “you”).
Capitalization rules are followed (i.e., names of models and theories are not capitalized).
Formatting

Course paper template is used.
Title page follows the template guidelines.
Double spacing is used throughout the paper (including the reference list).
Use one space after periods or other punctuation marks that end a sentence.
Quiz: APA Style and Format