APA Style: Benefits of Practice Essay

Total Length: 1483 words ( 5 double-spaced pages)

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As a student, it is easy to forget that in academia, knowledge is more than power. Analyzing, creating, and synthesizing new knowledge is how professional academics make their livings. A familiar term is “publish or perish.” It is thus very important to credit the originator of new ideas, words, and other concepts in scholarship. Part of the problem may originate in the fact that so many people today are used to reading journalism online which does not always clearly cite the source for an idea. Yes, a periodical or blog post may contain a hyperlink, but more often than not, that link may be broken or the reader may simply not bother to click on it.

As a result, online sources are not a good template for how academic research should be conducted. Instead, appropriate citation models are needed. One such model is that of the American Psychological Association (APA). APA methods involve citing the name of the author of the text that was used to retrieve a particular piece of evidence along with the date as a means of identification, as well as including a reference section giving the full information for the text. This encourages researchers whose interest was piqued while reading one document to read the original articles it was based upon. There is also a distinction made between paraphrasing, which merely refers to a particular idea in the original, cited text, and directly quoting. Quotes must be enclosed in actual quotation marks and cite the specific page from which the quote was derived. Again, this encourages specificity and demands that the original authors are given credit for their hard work.

Although this may sound relatively simple and straightforward, one complication, as noted by Bartzis & Hayner (2009) is that even within the academic community itself, there is considerable debate between nations regarding what constitutes plagiarism versus sharing, especially in an institutional context between students.
Di Maria (2009) makes a particular distinction between high-context cultures where supporting one another is expected, including sharing exam questions, providing assistance on written work, and other actions which would be considered blatantly dishonest at a United States university. However, while this may explain different academic standards and attitudes on a one-on-one basis, it is still not an excuse for plagiarism. First of all, students are learning how to function in an international environment where researchers at universities are dependent upon capitalizing upon their academic work as a source of professional value. It is not fair to deny scholars from other nations expected credit.

The best method is to have universal standards that function across a wide range of academic contexts, in a variety of international settings. The APA standard is useful because it sets very specific guidelines for when information should be cited and how. Its focus upon the date of publication is also useful in the sciences because it enables readers to evaluate the quality of the evidence, based upon its timeliness. Researchers may also publish different articles at different times, all of which are cited within an article, and merely citing the last name of the researcher is not enough to fully contextualize the argument.

Of course, no method is perfect, regarding citation methods, and many are implemented in different disciplines, spanning from MLA to Harvard, in a way that deviates from the APA standard. All share a common feature of distinguishing paraphrasing, direct quotes, and information which is not common knowledge and thus must be cited. Based upon both an ethical and a means-end analysis, which, according to Lindblom (2010), is the ultimate standard one must set for any policy, including academic policy, a consistent citation method must be embraced within a university to ensure that researchers are treated fairly by the students who study them.


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Bartzis, O. L., & Hayner, A. (2009, April). 'Cheating' or 'sharing'? Academic ethics across cultures. Slides presented at the AACRAO Conference, Chicago, IL. Retrieved from http://handouts.aacrao.org/am09/finished/W0345p_O_Leeman%20Bartzis.pdf

Bryson, J. M. (2010). The future of public and nonprofit strategic planning in the United States. Public Administration Review, 70(s1), s255-s267.

Di Maria, D. L. (2009). Plagiarism from a cross-cultural perspective. Retrieved from http://www.al-jamiat.com/college-lifestyle/plagiarism-crosscultural-perspective/#

IParadigms, LLC. (2014). Plagiarism.org. Retrieved from http://www.plagiarism.org

Jaramillo, F., Nixon, R., & Sams, D. (2005). The effect of law enforcement stress on organizational commitment. Policing: An International Journal of Police Strategies & Management, 28(2), 321-336.

Lindblom, C. E. (2010). The science of "muddling" through. Emergence: Complexity and Organization, 12(1), 70-80.
Critical Thinking and Belief Perseverance

Douglas, N. L. (2000). Enemies of critical thinking: Lessons from social psychology research. Reading Psychology, 21(2), 129–144.

Friedman, S. (2004). Learning to make more effective decisions: Changing beliefs as a prelude to action. The Learning Organization, 11(2/3), 110–128.

Elder, L., & Paul, R. (2013). Becoming a critic of your thinking. Retrieved from: http://www.criticalthinking.org/pages/becoming-a-critic-of-your-thinking/478

Foundation for critical thinking. (2013). The Critical Thinking Community. Retrieved from http://www.criticalthinking.org/

Foundation for critical thinking. (2013). The Role of Socratic Questioning in Thinking, Teaching, and Learning. Retrieved from http://www.criticalthinking.org/pages/the-role- of-socratic-questioning-in-thinking-teaching-learning/522

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"APA Style Benefits Of Practice" (2018, July 10) Retrieved May 25, 2022, from

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"APA Style Benefits Of Practice" 10 July 2018. Web.25 May. 2022. <

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"APA Style Benefits Of Practice", 10 July 2018, Accessed.25 May. 2022,