Apa Style: Most Common Mistakes and How to Avoid Them

Students seem to struggle every now and again with APA style and it’s actually rather understandable. Even if you believe that you have studied everything there is to know about APA style, there are some mistakes you want to look out for. These mistakes are common for a reason and the reason can be that it is easily overlooked. It’s not to say that the other styles are any easier, but APA was not created for the faint hearted.

You could probably find a good apa helper online, but there are many aspects of it that you are going to have to master yourself. Even if someone teaches you all the correct features, you still have to be extremely careful to not fall into any one of these pits of mistakes.

Numbering

A lot of students forget to number pages when using APA style. This is a requirement when it comes to APA format and is commonly forgotten about. I suppose students focus so much on the content of their manuscript that they forget about numbering their pages. Unfortunately, this is going to count towards some deductions that are often not deserved. Keep this in mind when you are working on this important manuscript. Rather set your numbering before you start writing or when you are done. There are also students who do number their pages, but the format is incorrect.

No keywords

Always remember that keywords are not just for internet content. More than 60% of students forget to include important keywords when using APA style. When users are searching for keywords on which your topic could provide a lot of information, they won’t find it. Decide on what your keywords are beforehand, to make sure you include them without anyone noticing. This is the key to the correct usage thereof. Also be mindful to not overuse your selected keywords, as this can also have a devastating effect on your work being ranked.

Headings

This is one you need to pay special attention to because it is easy to get wrong. When you are writing a normal research paper, this might not be of concern. The literature review one is a bit trickier. You have to make sure that you do proper research in order to get it correct. Before you settle for what you believe to be the correct heading format, 6th Publication on how your APA headings should flow. The idea is that the size of the heading is based on importance. If your second point is not as crucial to your topic as your first, there should be a text size difference.

In-text Citations

We need to understand that not everyone is great at computers and a lot of people struggle with in-text citations. This is completely understandable, but you will have to master the art. There is a lot of points deducted by not getting it right and it is a common mistake made. We all understand that it is important to cite every source used properly, but sometimes it lies within the format. Finding an apa style helper can benefit you greatly if you struggle with executing this.

References

Be careful not to include too much information in your references. There is a format for this and it does not require you to rewrite a chapter. Just put enough information in the correct format and you should not have a problem. Remember that there is a difference between your reference page and your bibliography. Your bibliography will include more information about your sources, but not that much is required on your reference list.

Conclusion

Take note of these common mistakes and avoid doing these yourself. No one goes out and deliberately make a mistake. That’s why it’s called a mistake. Just be on the lookout for these because I am sure it is picked up easy by now. Trust me, there are a lot more mistakes that could make it to this list, but we’ll stop here for now. Writing a literature review is not the easiest achievement, but you are going to be very proud of yourself when it is done. Work hard and the results you want will come. Good luck.

Eva Read is a professional writer and a content manager. She find inspiration in music, yoga and books. Her life motto is “Opportunities don’t happen. You create them.”

Eva Read

Eva Read is a professional writer and a content manager. She find inspiration in music, yoga and books. Her life motto is "Opportunities don't happen. You create them."