Campus News

Tutor Tidbits: APA Format, Grammar Mistakes & More

Elizabeth Hart

Contributing Writer

Photo courtesy of Patrick Kenney.
Photo courtesy of Patrick Kenney.

APA troubles? No Problem! Students have grown up with only knowing MLA format for writing papers. But coming to Springfield College, an institution known for strong education in the health sciences, writing in APA format is inevitable. Don’t get discouraged! Here are a few helpful tips to nail your next writing assignment.

Absolutely no pronouns should be used while writing. Personal pronouns compare and contrast people, gender, numbers and cases. Examples of personal pronouns include, I, you, he, she, it, they, me, him, her, them and us. Demonstrative pronouns are not permitted either! Demonstrative pronouns point out specific things and can modify nouns or pronouns such as this, that, these, and those. Eliminate all pronouns from your word bank and you authors will be off to a great start.

Grammar police! No possessives are typically used in APA format. Erasing the apostrophe still makes it possessive!! Another grammar fact is to never end a sentence with a preposition. A preposition expresses a relation between a noun and another work or element such as, “she arrived after dinner.” Grammar facts are easy to remember once you get the hang of it!

Developing references can be the most daunting and time consuming task for a student. Reference websites, such as Purdue Owl, are great resources for students to use when creating a reference list. A key aspect to consider is the amount of authors. No more than seven authors should be listed. An ellipse (…) is used between the sixth name and the final name of the authors. The same idea can be applied to in-text citations. Seven authors or more only require the name of the first author followed by et al., and the date of publication. Publications with three to six authors must credit every author in the first appearance in a paper. Any subsequent mention of the same publication will use et al., and the date of publication. One or two authors must be stated every time!!

APA format has a lot of tricky components; however, the few mentioned are commonly forgotten and hard to understand. APA only gets easier with practice. Utilizing online formats and making an appointment with a writing tutor at the Academic Success Center will further familiarize and guarantee a student’s confidence in writing in APA format!

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