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Posted: September 6th, 2023

TO PREPARE
• Review the Sample Topic Introduction document. This is an example of a student introducing and proving that a social problem not only exists, but that there is a gap in the existing research. This document is only an introduction and not a complete essay.
• Compare the Sample Topic Introduction to the guidelines found in Chapter 4, “Writing Style and Grammar,” in the APA (2020) Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association. Try to find elements of these guidelines in the Sample Topic Introduction aside from the placement of citations and page formatting.
• Note that Discussions in the Human Services PhD program are areas for sharing ideas, reflecting on current research, and building community. Therefore, your grade, and the evaluation of your Discussion, will be based on the content and quality of your ideas. Note that APA style citations, references, and standard punctuation will not be assessed or graded. Please focus on shaping your ideas and supporting your claims with examples and research, when applicable. Note that every course has its own standards and requirements, so it is important to always check those requirements for each course and each assignment.
• Respond to all bullet points in the prompt.
BY DAY 4 OF WEEK 9
Write a 300- to 400-word initial post that is organized into multiple paragraphs in which you:
• Identify two elements of APA writing style and grammar in the Sample Topic Introduction that are either done well or that could be improved. Use direct quotes from the Sample Topic Introduction and point to specific guidelines from the APA manual.
• Explain how adhering to, or not adhering to, APA writing style and grammar affect you as a reader.
RESOURCES
Required Resources: APA as a Language
The APA manual presents the definitive description of scholarly voice, but you will find supporting information on the Writing Center’s website. You will evaluate the “Sample Topic Introduction” in the Discussion.
• American Psychological Association. (2020). Writing style and grammar. In Publication manual of the American Psychological Association (7th ed., pp. 111–127). Author. https://doi.org/10.1037/0000165-000
• Walden University Writing Center. (n.d.-a). APA style: Overview.Links to an external site.
• Sample Topic Introduction (PDF)

In the Sample Topic Introduction, two elements of APA writing style and grammar that are done well are the use of precise and concise language and the appropriate use of active voice. For instance, the author uses direct and succinct language to state the research problem and the research gap. The author writes, “The problem is that there is a lack of understanding about how social media affects the social lives of teenagers” (Sample Topic Introduction, p. 1). This sentence clearly and concisely states the research problem. The author also uses active voice, which is preferred in APA writing style. For example, the author writes, “This study aims to fill the gap in the existing research by exploring how social media use affects the social lives of teenagers” (Sample Topic Introduction, p. 1). The active voice in this sentence highlights the study’s purpose and makes the writing more engaging.

On the other hand, one area of improvement in the Sample Topic Introduction is the use of headings. According to APA guidelines, headings are used to “organize and structure papers to make it easier for readers to follow and understand the content” (APA, 2020, p. 47). While the author uses bold text to highlight the research problem and purpose, there are no explicit headings to further organize the introduction. The use of headings could help break up the text and guide the reader’s attention to the different sections of the introduction.

Adhering to APA writing style and grammar affects the reader’s comprehension and credibility of the writer. Consistent adherence to APA guidelines improves the clarity and readability of the writing. Using precise and concise language and active voice helps to convey the writer’s message effectively. On the other hand, not adhering to APA guidelines can cause confusion and detract from the writer’s credibility. Incorrect grammar, punctuation, or citation format can make the writing difficult to understand and may cause the reader to question the writer’s expertise.

In conclusion, the Sample Topic Introduction demonstrates good use of precise and concise language and active voice, but could benefit from the use of headings to improve organization. Adhering to APA writing style and grammar is crucial for clear communication and establishing credibility as a writer. As a reader, understanding and evaluating written work is easier when it follows APA guidelines.

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