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APA Style: Advice


First, when writing a paper, always follow your professor's instructions and requirements.


Second, the APA Manual can't cover everything. Don't get frustrated if the Manual doesn't cover the exact thing you're looking for. Be flexible. In the absence of something being covered in the Manual, the best advice is be consistent. If you choose to do something your own way because you can't find guidance in the Manual then be consistent in that paper and always do things the same way. For example, when putting your References list in alphabetic order you need to decide whether or not to ignore the word "The" if it is first word in the name of a corporate or group author, like The American Nurses Foundation. The APA Manual does not state an explicit rule, so decide what to do and do it like that for the entire paper.


Finally, there can be a lot of value in communicating with your professor: ask them questions about sources and style; keep them informed of issues and difficulties you are encountering; and point out situations to them before handing in the paper. Doing this also lets your professor know you as a researcher and author are aware of an issue. This type of communication is much, much better than not saying anything at all.