American Psychological Association Format

My name is Holly Fisher and I am currently doing my nursing pre-requisites here at DMACC. Ever since I was little I have had a hard time with reading and comprehension, so these types of classes never come easy for me. Even though this class was challenging, I still enjoyed it and learned a lot. Most of the topics in the textbook had a lot of attention-grabbing details which was fascinating for me since most of the topics were health-related articles. If I had to pick one article that I enjoyed the most, I would say learning more about embryo stem cell research.

In chapter one of our textbook, we learned about the argument essentials and the approaches to argument. The first thing that I took in was the Aristotelian Rhetoric which talks about the terms logos, pathos, and ethos. These terms refer to the logical appeal, emotional appeal, and the writer’s or speaker’s credibility. They also talked about inductive and deductive reasoning which is based on the conclusion of examples and probability.

The other main thing I learned in this chapter was the Toulmin model which talked about the claim, the warrant, and the support. The claim was broken down into the claim of fact; value and policy which helped me get my point a crossed. We then tried to persuade our audience with evidence to support our data. Lastly, in the Toulmin model, we talk about the warrant. Assumptions can sometimes take away from the claim, so the warrant helped me address what things can get taken for granted.

The next thing we tackled was crafting and researching for an appropriate topic. Selecting a topic was our first step, which seems simple but it can take you some time to find a relatable topic that that is worth writing about and making sure there are enough quality resources. Next, we start making an outline of ideas in an organized format of your own thoughts before doing any research. The finals steps are research, drafting, revising and then presenting.

To find reliable and respectable sources we learned that we need to find primary sources that are firsthand information. This means that is it from the original source which means that it is a local issue with raw data that has never been reported before. Secondary sources are the ones that provide commentary on and analysis the topic.This type of source provides a sense of how others are observing the topic and can yield useful information and analyze.

When finding a source we were taught to first look through the library catalog database that covers tons of articles and specialized journals. If we couldn’t find anything that caught our interest in there, we could do a keyword or subject search. Again, we need to make sure that we are using reliable sources by evaluating them.

To evaluate a source there are five things you need to have known and the first one being authority. Is the author qualified through experience to write about the matter?Next is accuracy which is knowing if the author offered his or her ideas to convince you that the ideas are useful and accurate. Making sure that the author isn’t showing any bias is the next step, called objectivity. You don’t want to build your case off of someone else’s opinion and look like you didn’t know what you were talking about.

The final two steps we learned about for evaluating sources are currency and coverage. Currency is making sure that the information is recent unless there is a reason you’re getting a source from an earlier period. Seeing if the author provided enough information about the topic is coverage. If you don’t have enough information that means you might have to find additional sources that can be more useful.

I learned and am still learning about American Psychological Association format. This was my first class that used this format, so it took me awhile to get the hang of it. When citing APA, there are different ways to list references depending on where you are citing it from. For example, if you were citing from a book you need to know the author, date of publication, title, subtitle, city and state of publication and publisher.

APA format in-text citations were something that I couldn’t seem to get and still trying to learn. It calls for parenthetical citation in the text of the paper following any quotations from your source. It also only recommends page numbers to be included for paraphrases or summaries but suggested that you provide page number no matter what. Dr, Zhang has been great about giving me page numbers to help me with corrections.

Overall, I have learned and will take away a lot from this class. The textbook Elements of Argument has given me great tips starting from the basic understanding of argument to breaking down every single piece of the APA format. As I stated early, I really enjoyed all the articles I read and learned so much from them. As I stated above, Dr. Zhang was an incredible instructor who broke down every piece of the information that I didn’t get or interrupted wrong. This was a very helpful strategy when I was confused.