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Mistakes Made by Students in APA Citations Style

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In academic writing, adding credible resources and correctly citing them is a critical step. If you lack the knowledge of proper citation style and document formatting, it can significantly impact the quality of your paper. A perfectly written paper with poor citations and formatting can ruin your whole document. Therefore, ensuring that you have observed correct citations and referencing is a must.

As students advance to higher grades, it is the job of their instructors to introduce them to different forms of citations commonly employed in academic writing. Among some famous citation styles, APA is one of the most commonly used referencing styles used in academic essays. From the cover page to the references added at the end of the document, everything has to be correctly referenced and arranged according to APA style.

However, students who are new to APA referencing can easily make mistakes in citing and formatting their documents. But worry not. We have brought you a simplistic yet detailed guide as to how to do perfect referencing in APA format by avoiding some common mistakes made by students.

If you are new to APA referencing, getting every component correct for the first few times can be troublesome. If you are running on short deadlines or finding it difficult to reference properly, you are in luck. There are multiple online essay writing service platforms available where you can pay for essays and have them properly formatted as per your desired referencing style.

These paper writing service platforms have their experts trained in providing academic papers that strictly adhere to the requested citation style.

Common Mistakes in APA Referencing and How to Avoid Them

  1. 1- Running Header

    Most of the students make this mistake where they either fail to add the header or poorly cite it. This is the very first point that can either make or break the impression of a quality paper. The title page of an APA referenced paper must entail the heading of a “Running Header”, and added semicolon (:) followed by the title of the paper in uppercase on the top-left corner of the page. The page number is flushed to the top-right corner. All the contents of the header in APA are formatted in font size 12 and style Time New Roman. The remaining pages only have the title of the running header. An example of a good header for the title page is:

    Running Head: GLOBALIZATION (Title Page)

    GLOBALIZATION (remaining pages)

  2. 2- In-Text Citation

    Providing in-text citations within your paragraphs is challenging. Especially when every citation style has its unique format for in-text citations. To avoid this mistake, using software like Zotero for citations can come in handy. For example, when I write my essay for me in APA format, I make sure to set the document preference to APA beforehand. As I keep citing my sources, the software makes it easy to add consistent and accurate in-text citations without causing any trouble.

    A perfectly cited APA source in-text includes the last name of the author followed by the year of publication in parenthesis. Both of these elements are separated by the use of a comma. If there is no date of publication available, you can simply use (n.d.). For example:

    (Smith, 2009)

  3. 3- Missing In-text Citations in Reference List

    One of the common mistakes made by students is the missing references at the end list. You must have cited your source in-text but forgot to add a complete reference in the reference list. Make sure that you are providing complete source references at the end of the reference list. A good way to avoid this mistake is using citation software like Zotero, which automatically generates an alphabetically arranged reference list of all the in-text citations added.

  4. 4- Incorrect Quotations

    If you are directly citing lines from any source, always enclose them in quotation marks. If the quotation exceeds the limit of four lines, always indent your citations with no quotation marks. For the in-text referencing, make sure to add the page number along with the last name of the author and year of publication. If you are citing from an internet source, you can add the paragraph number.

  5. 5- Having more than one Author

    Another common mistake while citing an APA source occurs when you have more than one author to cite. If your cited source has more than one author, make sure to add the last name of the authors, separated by an (&) followed by the publication date. For example: (Joe & Smith, 2019). In case when the author exceeds three or more than three, you can use (et al.) instead of citing them all. For example: (Joe et al., 2019).

    And here you are with some common errors outlined and corrected for an essay writer. Keep checking for these common mistakes as you cite. Good luck.

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