If you’re writing a paper for an instructor or institution that requires assignments to be written using APA Style, or if you’re planning to submit your article or manuscript to a journal or other publication that stipulates submissions utilize APA Style, then you likely don’t have a choice as to what set of style guidelines you use in your work.
With that being said, there are some distinct benefits to using APA Style.
1] APA Style will help to legitimize your work
APA Style is the most widely adopted set of guidelines for scholarly writing. In addition to the field of psychology (APA stands for American Psychological Association), APA Style is the standard across a broad range of disciplines.
It is used in the work of students and professionals in everything from nursing to social work, communications to education, business to engineering, and beyond. By employing APA Style in your own writing, you’re taking a big step toward legitimizing your work in academic and professional circles.
2] APA Style helps you improve the mechanics of your writing
The word “style” refers to a set of guidelines to ensure that written material is clearly and consistently presented, and in the case of APA Style, these guidelines are intended for scholarly work.
Mechanics include punctuation, spelling, capitalization, italics, abbreviations, lists, the various ways in which numbers are presented, statistical and mathematical copy, and the various ways to present equations.
While APA Style does not cover basic grammar rules, which can be learned from a more general resource like The Chicago Manual of Style, familiarizing yourself with and adhering to the APA guidelines will improve the quality of your scholarly work.
3] APA Style makes it easier for readers to comprehend your work
Making your writing clearer and more effective by improving your mechanics through the use of APA Style gives your readers the ability to comprehend your work with the fewest possible distractions.
Spelling and grammar errors, while they may seem minor, detract from your argument by drawing your readers’ focus away from the points you’re trying to make.
Many scholarly writers lack either the time or the confidence in their own ability to catch all the various potential errors that may arise in their work.
Luckily, there are professional APA editing services like Top Tier Editing, which employs expert APA editors who can help polish your work and make it shine before you submit it.
4] APA Style promotes further research on your subject
In addition to helping you make your writing itself more effective, APA Style gives you a universal set of tools for organizing your work in a clean and cohesive way. This allows readers to quickly and easily find the most important elements of your work, or the elements of your work that are most relevant for their purposes.
This convenience encourages the ongoing use of your work as a resource. By disclosing essential information in a coherent and logical way, crediting your sources appropriately, and laying out your work predictably and consistently, all of which APA Style encourages, you give your readers the tools needed to further evaluate your findings.
If you use APA Style to effectively describe the details of the process of your study and present your data in a clear and engaging manner, it gives other researchers the ability to replicate and expand upon your study to gain further insight and advance the discussion.
5] APA Style helps you avoid bias in your writing
More than ever, it’s essential for writers to keep bias out of their work. The 7th edition of the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association defines bias as “the implied or irrelevant evaluation of the group or groups [a writer is] writing about” (APA, 2019, 5, p. 131).
Along with most modern organizations, the APA is committed to fairness for all individuals and groups in the advancement of scientific discussion.
By learning and adhering to APA Style, writers can better understand how to avoid “perpetuating demeaning attitudes” and “constructions that might imply prejudicial beliefs or perpetuate biased assumptions against persons on the basis of age, disability, gender, participation in research, racial or ethnic identity, sexual orientation, socioeconomic status, or some combination of these or other personal factors (e.g., marital status, immigration status, religion)” (APA, 2019, 5, p. 131). APA Style teaches writers to use language that is inclusive.