Adapting your academic writing to the different stlyle manuals

Most of you have asked me to provide you with links and reference works to use MLA or APA not only in your final assignment for this subject but also to write your TFGs. These are the most commonly used standards required when submitting a manuscript to most academic journals dealing with English Studies. However, you can find many others and even special guidelines fixed by the editors of the publication.

These manuals set rules to:

– format your work (font, spaces, margins, etc. )

– include in-text citations in your essay

– present graphs and tables

– add cited works (articles, chapters, magazines, proceedings, etc.)

All these rules and many others must be followed in order to write coherently in an accurate academic style.

Each standard has its own manual of style and is being updated regularly with new guidelines. Most of these changes have been due to new electronic formats, for instance: e-books, e-journals, blog entries, fora messages, etc.

This has been one of the most recent novelty:

Important Note on the Use of URLs in MLA (Handbook for Writers of Research Papers (7th ed.))

MLA no longer requires the use of URLs in MLA citations. Because Web addresses are not static (i.e., they change often) and because documents sometimes appear in multiple places on the Web (e.g., on multiple databases), MLA explains that most readers can find electronic sources via title or author searches in Internet Search Engines.

For instructors or editors who still wish to require the use of URLs, MLA suggests that the URL appear in angle brackets after the date of access. Break URLs only after slashes.

Aristotle. Poetics. Trans. S. H. Butcher. The Internet Classics Archive. Web Atomic and Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 13 Sept. 2007. Web. 4 Nov. 2008. ‹›.

However, this might not common to the rest of styles, and so it is highly recommended to mention the version of the manual used in each case.

You will find more information about MLA style here:

Remember that you don’t have to learn by heart all the standards and versions of these manuals. There are websites like this which will generate the right bibliographic reference in the last version if you need it. Also, software like RefWorks, Zotero or Cite-you-Like will help you with the elaboration of bibliographies.

APA is the other alternative in our field if we are thinking about writing on teaching and applied linguistics topics. Its website holds a wide variety of training elements and social profiles to inform about any topic of interest to its followers.

It is important to remark, however, that most of the articles analized in this subject follow IEEE standards. Other disciplines, such as medicine, have AMA as a reference to cite and format their scholarly writings. Here you will find a very interesting quiz to test how much to know about using this standard. Since most of the topic dealt have to do with general AEP, it could result quite encouraging for the study of this subject.


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