COUN 6315 Digital Portfolio

Why, Why, Why?

This APA stuff is a hassle. What's the point, anyway?

References, Schmeferences. Who cares?

All APA does is lower my grade because I never get the citations right. Whatever.


Does this sound familiar? If it does, we understand.

But, we also know APA style is more than just citations, it makes sense, and it's really important for you to care about it.


Here are some of the reasons why:


  • By following APA Style, you are using the same format and language as your professional peers. This makes you an active and respected information creator in your field instead of just an information consumer.


  • By using APA citation methods, you are giving credit where it is due. You are also behaving ethically and responsibly because you are not claiming someone else's work as your own. Additionally, when you refer to those selected titles and authors, you are showing your reader you know your topic and you know how to choose quality resources for your topic.


  • By following APA citation formats, you are creating an information product that can be easily used by your readers and allowing them to take part in the conversation as well.


In other words, APA formatting and style is much more than italics and hanging indents. It is about being an expert information consumer and creator.


It is using specific language and formatting to make you an authority and active participant in your field. It is being respectful to those who came before you by giving them credit. It is also inviting your readers to continue the meaningful conversation.

APA Style Central


START Here: Create an Account

APA Style CENTRAL Screenshot


NEXT: Use the APA Style Central tutorials, citation tools and paper templates.

APA Learn box APA Research Box APA Write Box

Other Resources

About Authority and the Scholarly Conversation

Authority is Constructed and Contextual

Think critically about information—whether it’s from a blog post, a book, or a peer-reviewed journal article. Ask questions about the author(s), the purpose, and the context of the information. Recognize the value of diverse ideas and world views. When you create your own information, establish your own authority by using quality resources, citing your sources and not sharing misinformation.

Scholarship is a Conversation

Understand that the research process gives you the chance to participate in an ongoing scholarly conversation in which information consumers and creators come together and negotiate meaning. You have an opportunity to gain from the conversation of others and add to the conversation for others!