A popular theory of communication states that all languages have a certain bias to them—not because we are inherently biased, but because we (the readers) will interpret a text one way while another person will interpret the same text in another, probably different way. This language bias proves problematic for many writers, particularly those engaged in formal publications such as scientific journals and research papers.
To minimize or prevent this language bias, many organizations through the decades have standardized the way how one should write, in order to make the writing as consistent as possible no matter the content of the material written and to increase the comprehension of the text as well. The APA Style is one such standard.
APA stands for American Psychological Association, and has been in use from as far back as 1929, when the first standardized APA manuals were circulated. Its original creators included psychologists, anthropologists, and professionals in the publishing arena. The APA is a tightly made standardized way of writing that will find much utility in any form of publication, but is more renowned for its use in the social sciences.
The APA style is used for a variety of publications (and certainly not just those limited to the social sciences). The APA style can be used for term papers, research reports, empirical studies, literature reviews, theoretical articles, methodological articles and case studies.
The APA style is strict on following a certain format in all its form, and pays special attention to mechanical details like typeface, spacing, margins and page headers, and has a strict standard on specificity, references and citations.
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