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Lessons Learned About Writing Style

Lessons Learned About Writing Style

The American Psychological Association (APA) Publication Manual serves as the official guide for scholars, researchers, and students in the social and behavioral sciences to format and style their written work. This APA assignment aims to explore the purpose of the Publication Manual, the importance of adhering to APA formatting guidelines, the organization of the manual, and specific formatting guidelines related to the title page, in-text citations, and reference page entries. Finally, the paper will discuss how knowledge of the Publication Manual can assist in future coursework and career.

APA Formatting Concepts

Formatting for Personal Communications

Personal communications refer to any form of communication that is not accessible to the public. Examples include letters, emails, telephone conversations, or text messages between individuals. In APA style, personal communications are cited only in-text and are excluded from the reference list, as they are not recoverable data. In-text citations should include the author’s name, the phrase “personal communication,” and the date of the communication. To properly format personal communications in APA, one must follow specific guidelines. The APA Publication Manual provides detailed instructions for citing personal communications in Section 8.10 on pages 264-265. The manual states that personal communications should only be used as a source of information that cannot be obtained from a public source, such as a book, journal article, or website.

The Purpose of Using Different Levels of Headings

The significance of using different levels of headings in a properly formatted document is to organize the content and provide visual cues to the reader about the structure of the text. Headings help to break up the information into smaller, more manageable sections, making it easier for the reader to navigate and locate specific information. In APA style, there are five levels of headings, each with its formatting requirements. Level one is the highest and is used for the main sections of the paper, while lower levels are used for subsections. To determine which heading to use, one considers the level of importance of the information being presented. Accordingly, major sections of the paper should be formatted with level-one headings, while subtopics within those sections can be formatted with lower-level headings.


A DOI, or Digital Object Identifier, is a unique identifier assigned to a digital document, such as a journal article or book chapter, to provide a persistent link to that document on the internet. As a researcher, the DOI is important because it allows one to easily locate and access the full text of the document, even if the original link or website is no longer available. The DOI is a permanent identifier that remains the same, even if the document is moved or reorganized. This makes it much easier to cite the document in my work and ensures that others can locate the document I am referencing.

The Jerry Falwell Library Website

The Jerry Falwell Library website offers a wide range of resources that students and faculty members can access. Some of the specific resources that can be accessed through the library website include the Catalog. The library catalog is a searchable database of all the physical and electronic resources available through the library. This includes books, ebooks, videos, and more. Another resource is Databases. The library provides access to hundreds of databases containing scholarly articles, book chapters, reports, and other materials. A third resource is Journals. The library subscribes to thousands of electronic journals, which can be accessed through the library website. Finally, the library offers Research Guides on a variety of topics, which provide tips and resources for conducting research in specific subject areas.

Ways to Find Scholarly Sources

One way to find scholarly sources is through interlibrary loans. If the Jerry Falwell Library does not have the resources I need, I can request them through an interlibrary loan. Interlibrary loan allows a researcher to access resources from other libraries, including books, articles, and other materials. I would need to provide information about the resource that I need, including the author, title, and publication information.

Secondly, one can use Google Scholar to find scholarly sources. Google Scholar is a search engine that allows researchers to find scholarly sources online (Topal & Shargh, 2023). I can search for articles, book chapters, and other materials by entering keywords related to my topic. Google Scholar provides links to full-text articles that are available online, as well as links to articles that can be accessed through library databases.

The third way to find scholarly sources utilizes subject-specific databases. Many subject-specific databases provide access to scholarly sources in specific fields. For example, the PsycINFO database provides access to articles in the field of psychology, while the ERIC database provides access to articles in the field of education. I can search these databases by entering keywords related to my topic, and I can use advanced search features to refine my search and find more relevant sources.


APA formatting concepts involve specific guidelines for citing sources in the text of a document and the reference list at the end of the document.

Religious and Classical Works

To format a reference entry for a religious or classical work, one can consult the APA Publication Manual on pages 350-352. For in-text citations of such works, one cites the name of the book or document, chapter or section, and verse or line number (if available), along with the version of the work they are using. For example, an in-text citation of the Bible might look like this: (King James Version, Psalm 23:1).

Your Introduction to Research Textbook

To format a reference entry for a textbook, one can refer to pages 321-323 of the APA Publication Manual. For in-text citations of a textbook, one cites the author(s) and the publication year (Pantelia, 2022).

An Unpublished Manuscript

One can consult pages 357-358 of the APA Publication Manual to find information on how to format a reference entry for an unpublished manuscript. For in-text citations of an unpublished manuscript, one should include the author’s name and the year of publication. For example, (Doe, 2021).

The APA Publication Manual Itself

To format a reference entry for the APA Publication Manual, one can consult page 333 of the APA Publication Manual. Regarding in-text citations of the APA Publication Manual, one should cite the author(s) and the publication year (Bradley et al., 2020).

A Scholarly Journal Article with a DOI

To format a reference entry for a journal article with a DOI, one can consult the APA Publication Manual on pages 298-299. The reference entry should include the author(s), publication year, article’s title, journal’s name, volume, issue numbers, and DOI. Concerning in-text citations, one should include the author(s) and year of publication. For example, (Smith & Johnson, 2019).


Bradley, L., Noble, N., & Hendricks, B. (2020). The APA Publication Manual: Changes in the Seventh Edition. The Family Journal, 28(2), 126–130.

Pantelia, M. C. (2022). Thesaurus Linguae Graecae: A Bibliographic Guide to the Canon of Greek Authors and Works. In Google Books. Univ of California Press.

Topal, R., & Shargh, F. (2023). Teaching Students How to Find and Identify Reliable Online Sources: A Series of Exercises. Journal of Political Science Education, 1–10.


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The purpose of this APA Assignment is for you to become familiar with your APA Publication Manual, how to use it, where to find information in it, and what kind of information it contains.  Use information available throughout the entire Publication Manual.  Learning this information will help you with required formatting in future assignments in this course, and in future Psychology courses at Liberty University.

Lessons Learned About Writing Style

Lessons Learned About Writing Style


This APA Assignment must have a title page, plus 2 – 3 pages of content, and a reference page, and it must be in current APA format throughout.

Part 1 – Create a title page.

Based on the information in your current APA Publication Manual, create a properly formatted title page in the current APA format that contains the following:

Title – format the following text in proper current APA format as your title: “Lessons learned about writing style.”

Hint: “Lessons learned about writing style” as you see here is deliberately not in the proper current APA format.

  1. Include all the paper elements for an APA student title page.

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