Is the Example Research Paper in APA Format Presented By Owl Purdue Website Enough to Get a Handle on the Writing Style?


APA writing style is a beast of an academic construct, and it should not be underestimated. What you learn in high school about it is important sure, and you can get some value by studying examples, but that is barely scratching the surface. Supposing you are writing a school paper, there is little fault to be found in looking at an example paper, say the one that you might find in the online websites pertaining to APA format. However, to get a handle on the writing style, things are a bit more complicated than they might appear.

For most intents and purposes, following the research paper example for APA formatted essays as found on the websites will be enough to get you are started. Honestly, it will be fine for any high school class you are going to take, and probably any undergraduate class you take. The teacher is going to be trying to give you a grade, and unless they are extremely nice, they will not attempt to force you to learn the more esoteric parts of the APA format. No teacher is going to mark you points off for a couple of tense mixes or other minute detail that most people do not care to teach in the first place.

That does not mean that there are not any intricate parts of the APA, however. There are many tenses you must care about, for example, APA formats technically should be written in present tense, and this can be relevant in professional workplaces or officially published works. This is the sort of thing that you will never find emphasized in a classroom, however. There are also stylistic flourishes, such as word use and the precise amount of formality that are detailed in the official guidelines. This is offered by the APA board but not all of the information is found on the online sites.

You will also not learn writing style properly from any amount of reading on how to do it. This is something that can only be done by immersion. For word use, cadence, and other factors, you will need to read many essays in APA format to understand what phrases and words people say and which words that are avoided. You will also need to write a lot in the APA style, because as you write more and more you will get more used to perfect diction. Mastering this sort of thing can take years, so get started now.