Forget You Read This: Your APA Bookmark -->

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Forget You Read This: Your APA Bookmark

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When new students (either undergraduate or graduate) begin their academic work at Walden, the one thing they I always hear about is APA. Some students are already familiar with APA, while it’s completely new to some. If so compelled to search on Google or within some of Walden’s own websites, APA is revealed to be a “set of rules” one must usually apply to academic papers to ensure they are written “properly” within the guidelines of all of Walden’s coursework. Beyond this brief introduction, there are also tales (horrific tales?) that APA contains hundreds of rules about formatting, headings, citations, and other strange rules that every student – especially you! – must commit to memory if you’re to succeed in your coursework. APA, you may have also heard, is impossible to learn, containing so many rules no one person can ever know it all.

 If this is what you’ve heard, you now have my permission to forget all of it. I might even encourage you to forget this blog post. 

While a small portion of it is true – Walden students do need to be familiar with APA – the horror stories of having to commit all of it to memory couldn’t be further from the truth. The happy ending to this story - the big reveal before the curtain goes down – is that everything you need to know about APA is located on the Writing Center website. 
Now, it is true that APA gets easier the more you apply it to Walden coursework, committing the rules of APA to your memory is a naturally occurring process that occurs gradually over time. There is no APA-Olympics that will ever require you to take a timed “APA test” on which you will write down every APA rule under penalty of being removed from Walden. If this is an academic nightmare you’ve ever had, it is finally time to wake up. Your teachers at Walden absolutely understand how and why APA may be new to many of you, and the inherent challenges associated with applying (and thinking in) this new style of writing. 

More than anything, APA is a tool designed to help you achieve your academic goals. As a structure of organization
, it helps you to think about your coursework in an even, streamlined manner, applying the same kind of thinking and writing to all your assignments across all courses. While it is true that making small, incremental steps in learning one new APA rule at a time may provide you with a steady diet of energizing blips and whizzes, every new rule you learn is something you can save and apply to every new assignment you write. Once you learn and apply a new rule, it’s yours forever, which is why APA is a tool to help you grow. 

So, before you forget you ever read this blog post, here’s one final thought. Yes, APA will be a part of your academic writing while at Walden, and it contain rules you’ll need to learn over time. The good news is you never need to worry about learning all the rules or having them crammed in your brain all at once. The Walden Writing Center website is designed to be your “APA brain away from home.” We wrote all the rules down for you so they’re there when you need them.  

When applying APA to writing Walden papers there are a few basic rules one needs to remember: the basic template of APA papershow to use headings, and how to use citations, all of which are clearly revealed on our website. Bookmark our site ( commit its URL to memory.  

And if you can’t do thattry a Post-It for your wall!

James A. Horwitz
 is a writing instructor in the Walden University Writing Center. James received his MA and MFA from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, having first earned undergraduate degrees in both English and Psychology. James has taught at the college-level for over 13 years and is passionate about student-learning, mentoring, and student writers developing their work. 

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