APA Format and Documentation
To achieve clear and straightforward writing, publishers have developed rules of style.
Editorial style concerns consistent and uniform use of such elements as:
- punctuation and abbreviations
- construction of tables
- selection of headings
- citation of references, and
- presentation of statistics
When editors or teachers ask you to write in APA Style, they are referring to the editorial style that is used in the presentation of writing in many of the social and behavioral sciences. APA Style was first developed 80 years ago by a group of social scientists who wished to establish sound standards of communication. Since that time, it has been adopted by leaders in many fields and has been used by writers around the world.
APA's style rules and guidelines are set out in a reference book called The Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association.