The American Psychological Association, or APA, is a professional and scientific membership organization for psychologists in the United States. Their mission is to “promote the creation, communication, and application of psychological knowledge to mutual aid society and improve people’s lives.” The APA format refers to the guidelines outlined and illustrated in the APA style guide, the Publication Guide of the American Psychological Association. Commonly referred to as the APA style guide, it is a guide and resource for formatting documents, primarily in the social sciences, including proper citation style for references. The APA style provides rules for punctuation, reference quotes, heading format, removing bias from writing, and many other topics.
The purpose of the APA style is to create consistent and clear writing, and punctuation can be invaluable for clarity of writing. Inappropriate punctuation can disrupt communication. APA style guidelines require a comma before paragraphs, the omission of hyphens in compound adjectives if they are clear without a hyphen, and punctuation included within parentheses when introductory information is a complete sentence. These and many more rules and guidelines for proper APA punctuation are available in the APA style guide.
Quoting sources accurately and fully required in academic and professional writing. The APA Style Guide provides a clear set of rules for citing references. There are guidelines for quoting any type of link, including electronic sources, books, journal articles, brochures, company newsletters, unpublished works, and personal communication. The APA style guide has information on how to cite references in the text and also how to compile a reference list.
A parallel structure for headings in publications can improve reader navigation and content organization. The APA style guide has rules for different formatting levels of heading. There are five different levels of headings, and each has its own unique style.
One of the main goals of the APA style is to remove stereotypes from language. Although often unintentional stereotypes may be evident in all types of writing. These biases can be racial, ethnic, religious, field-based, or based on violations.