It adopts a tone that is appropriate for communicating with professional colleagues—other researchers and practitioners—who share an interest in the topic.
Beyond this shared interest, however, these colleagues are not necessarily similar to the writer or to each other.
Table 11.1 shows several more examples that follow these general principles.
The previous edition of the Publication Manual strongly discouraged the use of the term subjects (except for nonhumans) and strongly encouraged the use of participants instead.
APA style is best thought of as a “genre” of writing that is appropriate for presenting the results of psychological research—especially in academic and professional contexts.
It is not synonymous with “good writing” in general.
Thus APA-style writing minimizes literary devices such as metaphor, imagery, irony, suspense, and so on. Specifically, it promotes psychologists’ scientific values and assumptions.
From this perspective, many features of APA style that at first seem arbitrary actually make good sense.
The first is the overall organization of an article (which is covered in Chapter 2 “Manuscript Structure and Content” of the Publication Manual).
Empirical research reports, in particular, have several distinct sections that always appear in the same order: The second level of APA style can be referred to as high-level style (covered in Chapter 3 “Writing Clearly and Concisely” of the Publication Manual), which includes guidelines for the clear expression of ideas. One is that APA-style writing is formal rather than informal.