Posted on: September 2, 2014

Ask a Coach: Why do we use APA?

Ask a Coach: Why do we use APA?

Ask a Coach

Q: I know there are many different style guides out there, so why do we use APA? 
 – Considering Citations, Fairfax, VA

A: APA provides uniformity as we write, research, and communicate. When we see an in-text citation or a bibliographic reference, we know immediately what to reference and how to reference it. We also have a blue print about how to write and what proper writing entails. According to “Why is APA Style Needed?” (2014), “Those elements are codified in the rules we follow for clear communication, allowing us to focus our intellectual energy on the substance of our research.” While there are other citation guides used for literature, humanities, arts, and sciences, APA sets standards that speak to the professional, ethical, and scientific nature of our major.  “APA style helps us

  • express the key elements of quantitative results,
  • choose the graphic form that will best suit our analyses,
  • report critical details of our research protocol, and
  • describe individuals with accuracy and respect. (“Why is APA Style Needed?” 2014)”

 Therefore, since we value the qualities of the above points, we use APA on-campus and encourage it off-campus, too!

To see examples on APA citations, please see our resource entitled “APA Citation Guide”:
> Go to
> Scroll over “Writing Lab”
> Under “Document Formatting,” click on “APA Citation Guide.”
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