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APA Ch. 3 Writing Clearly & Concisely

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Rob Meyers

on 12 February 2014

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Transcript of APA Ch. 3 Writing Clearly & Concisely

a. Length- “less is more”

b. Headings

i. Headings establish the hierarchy of sections via format or appearance

ii.Use at least 2 subsection headings within any given section

iii. Introduction does not carry a heading

iv. Do not label headings with numbers or letters
I. Organization
APA Ch. 3 Writing Clearly & Concisely
i. Separate paragraphs in a series and separate sentences in a series identify Arabic numeral followed by a period. (also numbered or bullets)

1. Individuals who… [paragraphs cont].
2. Non-depressed persons… [paragraphs cont].
3. Depressed persons… [paragraphs cont].

ii. Within paragraphs or sentence identify elements in a series by lowercase letters in parentheses
(a), (b), (c)

iii. Within a sentence use commas to separate 3 or more elements that do not have internal commas; use semicolons to separate 3 or more elements that have internal commas
: (a) scorers, who scored…; (b) moderate scorers, who served…; and (c) high scorers, who scored.
iv. Bullets used within a sentence to separate 3 or more elements. Capitalize and punctuate the list as if it were a complete sentence.
In accordance with this theory, these relations

i. Past tense- literature review, description of procedure if discussion is in past events, and results
ii. Present tense- implications of results and present conclusions
iii. Avoid noun strings (use skillful hyphenation)
iv. Use synonyms carefully

i. Word choice “mean what you say”
ii. Colloquial expressions (approximations)
iii. Jargon “too much technical vocabulary”
iv. Pronouns “only use if obvious”
v. Comparisons “avoid ambiguity”

Format for 5 Levels of Heading in APA Journal
Levels of Headings
a. Continuity in words, concepts, & thematic development
II. Writing Style
b. Smoothness of Expression
e. Precision and Clarity
Seriation (continued)
Level of
Centered, Boldface, Uppercase & Lowercase Heading
Flush left, Boldface, Uppercase & Lowercase Heading
Indented, boldface, lowercase paragraph heading ending with a

Indented, boldface, italicized, lowercase paragraph heading
ending with a period.
Level of
Indented, italicized, lowercase paragraph heading ending with aperiod.
Question time!
• equity;
• sensitivity;
• affirmative;
• efforts; and
• promotion.

i. Punctuation marks “neither overuse nor underuse one type”
ii. Transitional words- pronoun that refers to a noun in preceding sentence
iii. Timelines- then, next, after, while, since
iv. Cause-effect link- therefore, consequently, as a result
v. Additional links- in addition, moreover, furthermore, similarity
vi. Contrast link- but, conversely, nevertheless, however, although

c. Tone
i. Think of a specific reader you are intending to reach then write to educate and persuade
d. Economy of Expression
i. Say only what needs to be said
ii. Avoid wordiness
iii. Avoid redundancy
iv. Vary sentence lengths

i. Avoid alliteration, rhyming, poetic expression
ii. Use metaphors sparingly (avoid mixed metaphors)

f. Linguistic Devices
i. Writing from an outline
ii. Putting aside rough draft and rereading it later
iii. Asking a colleague to review and critique the draft

g. Strategies to improve writing style

a. Scientific writing must be free of implied or irrelevant evaluation of the group or groups being studied.
III. Reducing Bias
in Language

i. Precision is essential in scientific writing
ii. Choose words that are accurate, clear, and free from bias
iii. When in doubt be more specific than less
iv. Avoid loaded words (borderline, at risk, etc.)
v. Differences should be mentioned only when relevant

a. Guideline 1: Describe at the Appropriate Level of Specificity
IV. General Guidelines for Reducing Bias
Part II
i. Respect people’s preferences
ii. Avoid labeling people when possible
iii. Balance sensitivity, clarity, and parsimony
iv. Avoid using one group as a standard against which others are judged
v. Be aware of the order of presentation of social groups

b. Guideline 2: Be Sensitive to Labels
i. Provide precise information about the individuals in the research project
ii. Avoid terms such as patient management, patient placement, and failed when appropriate

c. Guideline 3: Acknowledge Participation
V. Reducing Bias by Topic
i. Gender refers to role, not biological sex, and is cultural
ii. Avoid ambiguity in sex identity by choosing nouns, pronouns, and adjectives that specifically describe your participants
iii. Sexist bias occurs when pronouns are used carelessly
iv. Refer to a transgender person using words appropriate to the persons gender identity

a. Gender
b. Sexual Orientation
i. The term sexual orientation should be used rather than sexual preference
ii. Terms lesbians, gay men, bisexual men, and bisexual women are preferable to homosexual

c. Racial and Ethnic Identity
i. Preferred designations of racial and ethnic groups are as varied as the people they name
ii. Use commonly accepted designations
iii. Precision is important in the description of your sample; use more specific rather than less specific
iv. Language that essentializes or reifies race is strongly discouraged and generally considered inappropriate (the Black race/the White race)

e. Age
i. Be specific in providing age ranges; avoid open ended definitions
ii. Girl and Boy are correct terms for referring to individuals under the age of 12 yrs
iii. Elderly and senior are not acceptable as nouns
iv. Older adults is preferred to baby boomer or boomer
v. Use dementia instead of senility

f. Historical and Interpretive Inaccuracies
i. Avoid perpetuating demeaning attitudes and biased assumptions about people in their writing
ii. Avoid historical and interpretive inaccuracies
iii. Contemporary authors may indicate a historical authors original term by following it with an asterisk the first time it appears by providing historical context directly following the quotation

VI. Grammar and Usage
i. Use the active rather than the passive voice and select tense or mood carefully
ii. Passive voice is acceptable in expository writing when you want to focus on the object or recipient of the action rather than on the actor
iii. Use past tense to express an action or a condition that occurred a at a specific definite time in the past.
iv. Use the present perfect tense to express a past action or condition that did not occur at a specific, definite time or to describe an action beginning in the past and continuing to the present

a. Verbs
i. A verb must agree in number with its subject, regardless of intervening phrases that begin with such words as together, which, including, plus, and as well as.
b. Agreement of Subject
and Verb
i. Pronouns replace nouns
ii. Each pronoun should refer clearly to its antecedent and should agree with the antecedent in number and gender
iii. A pronoun must agree in number with the noun it replaces
iv. A pronoun must agree in gender with the noun it replaces
v. Pronouns can be subjects or objects of verbs or prepositions
vi. In a phrase consisting of a pronoun or noun plus a present participle that is used as an object of a preposition, the participle can be either a noun or a modifier of a noun, depending on the intended meaning

c. Pronouns
i. An adjective or adverb, whether a single word or phrase, must clearly refer to the word it modifies
ii. Misplaced modifiers ambiguously or illogically modify a word, eliminate them by placing an adjective or adverb as close as possible to the word it modifies
iii. Dangling modifiers have no referent in the sentence; by writing in the active voice, you can avoid many dangling modifiers
iv. Adverbs can be used as introductory or transitional words
v. Adverbs modify verbs, adjectives, and other adverbs and express manner or quality

d. Misplaced and Dangling Modifiers and Use of Adverbs
i. Relative pronouns and subordinate conjunctions introduce an element that is subordinate to the main clause of the sentence and reflect the relationship of the subordinate element to the main clause
ii. That clauses are essential to the meaning of the sentence
iii. Which clauses can merely add further information or can be essentially to the meaning of the sentence
iv. Consistent use of that for restrictive clauses and which for nonrestrictive clause, which are set off with commas, will help make your writing clear and precise
v. Words like while and since with more than one meaning can cause confusion
vi. Restricting your use of while and since to their temporal meanings is helpful
vii. Use while to link events occurring simultaneously, otherwise use although and or but in place of while
viii. Since is more precise when it is used to refer only to time, otherwise, replace it with because

e. Relative Pronouns and Subordinate Conjunctions
i. Present parallel ideas in parallel or coordinate form to enhance the readers understanding
ii. All elements of the parallelism should be present before and after the coordinating conjunction
iii. With coordinating conjunctions used in pairs, place the first conjunction immediately before the first part of the parallelism.
iv. Never use both with as well as
v. Elements in a series should also be parallel in form

f. Parallel Construction
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