APA Publication Manual
APA Publication Manual
The American Psychological Association came up with a standard formatting style in early decades of twentieth century for the convenience of readers and writers associated with the area of social and behavioral sciences. To make certain that all scholars understand the rules of APA style formatting, an APA publication manual was launched in the year 1929.
Periodic revisions were made by APA professionals based on the suggestions and criticisms coming from business leaders, students, college professors, librarians and APA governance body. The current shape of APA publication is in the form of sixth edition which was released in the year 2009, after undergoing a development of four years.
The Publication Manual was established in 1929 as a seven-page document with a set of procedures to increase the ease of reading comprehension (APA, 2009a, p. xiii)
In 1952, the booklet was expanded and published as a 55-page supplement in Psychological Bulletin with revisions made in 1957 and 1967 (APA, 1952, 1957, 1967).
The first edition covered word choice, grammar, punctuation, formatting, journal publication policies, and "wrapping and shipping" (APA, Council of Editors, 1952, p. 442).
The sixth edition of the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association was released in July 2009 after 4 years of development. The Publication Manual Revision Task Force of the American Psychological Association established parameters for the revision based on published criticism, user comments, commissioned reviews, and input from psychologists, nurses, librarians, business leaders, publishing professionals, and APA governance groups (APA, 2007a, 2007b)
Information provided by the APA Publication Manual
- The APA publication manual provides in-depth information on rules which authors strictly need to comply during the process of penning down their work. The tone of this guide is simple and easy to follow.
- The publication manual contains instructions on text citation in APA style and how to create an elegant scientific argument, how to accurately cite references, how to support your work with headings, diagrams and tables and also on how to choose the right kind of words and phrases so as to minimize language biasness. Most importantly, it provides the scholars, a set of invaluable suggestions on warding off plagiarism.
- The APA publication manual is composed of eight chapters so that a decipherable and precise understanding of APA style can be communicated to the scholars.
A brief description of these chapters is below:
Writing for Behavioral and Social Sciences
The first chapter is based on the introduction of APA style. It includes a set of basic rules and ethics which writer are required to follow while they construct their work.
Manuscript Structure and Content
The second chapter defines all the sections of a well crafted manuscript. These sections include title, abstract, introduction, method, results, discussion, references and appendix.
Writing Clearly and Concisely
Chapter three guides the scholars on how to plan and organize their opinions and ideas, choose efficacious words and write them in a precise and accurate pattern.
The Mechanics of Style
It describes the ins and outs of APA style that is the punctuation, numbering, line spacing, text alignment, spellings, abbreviations, headings and capitalization.
Chapter five provides detailed information on using tables, charts and figures for the compiling the result which is obtained after applying statistical tools.
This is the most important chapter of APA publication manual. It gives a complete explanation on how to quote citations within the text and how to pile up all sources consulted in the form of reference list.
This section offers a number of examples which demonstrate the various kinds of formats the writers should follow when using multiple sources (books, journals, newspapers, magazines, electronic sources).
The Publication Process
The last section gives a general idea of journal/essay publishing process with a special emphasis on the responsibilities of writers and publishers in the context of manuscript preparation.