What did you do last Saturday morning? Go to the beach? Run errands? Sleep in? For more than 60 students in the College of Educational Studies, the day began with a workshop presented by Dr. Dawn Hunter titled, “Everything you ever wanted to know about APA style, but were afraid to ask.”

APA stands for American Psychological Association, and it’s the style guide CES has adopted. Students who want to publish their work in various academic journals might be especially motivated to attend the workshop, but every student submitting work in CES classes must adhere to APA guidelines. Attendees included a mix of undergraduate and graduate students.

Dr. Hunter, a self-described “APA geek,” who’s been offering the workshop for about 13 years, says that, prior to the workshop, “Students were having a great deal of difficulty in following APA format (many of them were used to MLA) and faculty were spending a lot of time correcting the APA errors. I thought if I could offer a workshop, I could possibly save students and faculty both time and frustration and get new students off to a good academic start.”

Miznah Alomair, a first-year Ph.D. candidate in Leadership Studies, says that, although she’s “very familiar” with APA Style, having worked with it for years, she learned a few new tips: “I learned about citing short versus long quotations. I normally refrain from using quotations in my research papers. Instead, I rely on paraphrasing and giving credit to the source, of course.” Also, Miznah said, “I was surprised to realize that it was required to include the words ‘running head’ before the header only on the title page of the paper.

Amid the discussions of serial commas, when to indent and when not to, and avoiding plagiarism, there were a lot of laughs – and a fair amount of donuts.

Students who missed the workshop can expect to see it advertised again in the spring.