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OASIS Writing Skills

What Are Style Guides and Why Does Walden Use APA?

Slide 3

Title: What are style guides?

Speaker: Style guides are rules that writers follow to create consistency and clarity in their writing. These rules usually cover three general categories: paper formatting, mechanics, and crediting sources. Click each category to see examples. Click “Continue” when you’re done.

Slide 4

Title: Why do writers and readers need style guides?

Speaker: Imagine that a faculty member tells her class that they do not need to follow a particular style guide. Each student is able to choose how to format and cite their papers on their own. Below are sample papers that might result from student a, student b, and student c.

For a reader, the different formats that each student chooses to use could potentially be confusing. A reader would have to interpret one student’s method of citing sources, then interpret each other student’s methods. When reading all of the papers in a row, a reader might get distracted by the changes in font or organizational schemes.

Analyze and compare each student’s formatting to determine the differences and identify where you might be confused as a reader. Click Continue when you’re ready to move forward.

Slide 5

Title: Why do writers and readers need style guides?

Speaker: Style guides address this reader confusion by setting a standard format for all papers or articles written in the discipline. Think of a style guide like a dictionary. A dictionary sets the standard spelling for words in the English language, which creates consistency and clarity in the same way as a style guide.

Slide 8

Title: Examples of Style Guides

Speaker: Now you know why Walden uses APA style, but did you know there are other kinds of style guides academic writers use in different fields? Click each kind of style to learn more about it. Click Continue when you’re ready to move forward.

Individuality and Creativity

Slide 4

Title: Paragraph Examples

Speaker: These three examples are written on the same topic: differentiated instruction. They are also all written in APA style, with appropriate citations, mechanics, and formatting. However, they are each different in the feeling or what we call the “voice” of the writer.

Click each example to review it, considering the following: What differs? How does each author choose to convey the argument? Then click below to continue the tutorial and learn how you too can create your own unique voice within APA style’s parameters.

Slide 5

Title: How can you use your creativity in your academic writing?

Speaker: How can you use your own creativity in academic writing? Many aspects of academic writing can be used differently and to different effect from writer to writer. Click each of the areas of academic writing listed above to see how two writers can approach each area differently, showing their individuality and creativity as writers.

Click Continue when you’re ready to move forward.

Next Steps for Learning APA Style

Slide 2

Title: Next Steps for Learning APA Style

Speaker: You’ve now been introduced to APA style, but how do you learn the rules of APA style? On this slide we have included common Walden student questions about APA.  Consider these questions and click on each one that resonates with you to learn how to answer it.

Click Continue when you’re ready to move forward.