For academic work or for any rigorous research, it is convenient to use a reference system accepted by the international community. One of these systems is known as the APA style. It is a set of rules related to the use of citations and bibliographic references.
Objectives of the APA style
The purpose of this style is the standardization of the way of writing to facilitate the work of researchers, students and editors.
On the other hand, it is intended to promote the ethical and legal use of the information to avoid plagiarism or any form of manipulation of the information.
Verbatim citations, paraphrases and bibliographic references
The acronym APA corresponds to the American Psychological Assocition, an entity that from its origins promoted the unification of criteria for all types of research, such as doctoral theses or any other research work.
The APA standards establish the difference between verbatim citation and paraphrase. The first consists of citing the text of an author reproducing their words exactly and indicating them in quotation marks. The second shows the idea contained in an original writing, but using the author's own words. Both forms of citation must include the reference of the original source and it is usual to do so at the end of the citation between parentheses and including the format of the author's last name, year and page number.
An important aspect of the APA style is related to bibliographic references. A reference must contain the following information: name of the author, the date of publication, the title of the work and the information of the publication. With these suitably ordered data, the reader is informed about the sources consulted to prepare a writing.
APA style manuals are periodically updated
It is necessary to update all the information because the formats used are constantly renewed. Do not forget that there are printed, electronic and audiovisual documents and all of them must be cited with unified criteria.
This system of standardization focuses primarily on the areas of social sciences, psychology, and education. There are other systems that start from the same general principle and that are used in other types of disciplines (for example, the CSE style is used in biology, the Harvard style in physics and natural sciences, the Chicago style in humanities and the Vancouver style in biomedicine ).
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