You may recognize the acronym APA as the citation style psychology students use to write papers. But who or what is APA and what do they do? This post is APA 101: a beginner’s guide. The American Psychological Association has a wealth of resources you should be taking advantage of as a student and professional. Read on and click the underlined links throughout this post to explore how APA can serve you!
The American Psychological Association is a professional organization representing the field of psychology in the United States. Founded in 1892, today’s APA has more than 13,000 members who are professionals and students connected with the study and practice of psychology (source).
(Important note: APA could also stand for the American Psychiatric Association, a similar group which focusses on the related field of psychiatry. Try not to mix them up!)
Let’s start with the basics for college students: citations. As a student, you will use APA style for papers and projects for class. If you conduct research in undergrad, graduate school, or during your career, you will publish your findings using APA guidelines. All current American psychology research is published and presented in APA format, so it is important to understand it so you can read the latest findings in the field.
But APA citations aren’t just standard in psychology. This style is also widely used in other social sciences as well as the fields of engineering, nursing, and business.
Luckily the APA’s website has a guide for using this style. This page features sample papers, helpful tips, and instructions for formatting your work and citing your sources. Bookmark the guide so you can find it for your next project!
Psychology Student Network (PSN)
Are you an undergraduate student who loves psychology but is looking for direction? Click here to find the latest edition of Psychology Student Network (PSN), the APA’s publication just for undergraduates.
PSN articles discuss topics such as available jobs with a bachelor’s degree in psychology, undergraduate research, and tips for applying to grad school. Each bi-annual publication offers fresh content to guide you throughout your journey as a psychology student.
Grad School Hub
It’s no secret that many psychology careers require a graduate degree. If you are planning to attend graduate school, visit APA’s grad school page for information about finding and applying to graduate programs, and how to succeed once you get there.
Don’t forget to take advantage of the graduate program search tool as you prepare for the next step in your education.
If the student chapter of your life is coming to an end, APA is there to guide you through your career.
Start here with the career options guide to learn about potential careers in psychology. Then, read APA’s job search tips to guide you before diving into the job search tool to locate current job openings nationwide.
Last but not least, on to the fun stuff! APA has a number of resources to satisfy your curiosity about all the current topics in psychology.
Speaking of Psychology is a podcast hosted by Kim Mills, the APA’s senior director of strategic external communications and public affairs. Each episode, Mills interviews psychology researchers and practitioners to highlight new research and practices in the field. You can listen to the podcast on APA’s website, Spotify, Apple Podcasts, and Stitcher.
To learn about the most pressing topics that connect psychology to everyday life, check out this hub of current issues featuring articles about the biggest themes in the field today.
Finally, you can read the freshest scholarly papers on APA’s current research page. Here you can stay current on the latest findings in psychology.
The biggest takeaway from this post? You should visit the APA website! Whether you are a student, researcher, professional or just someone who thinks psychology is cool, there’s something for everyone at APA