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Appointments and paraphrases APA style: uses and recommendations

Appointments, in accordance with the APA Standards, are a way to accredit or recognize the contributions of other researchers about our own work. The importance of proper citation of sources is precisely the objective of the APA style. It is also to provide potential readers with all the necessary data to deepen in a subject exposed in some of the references consulted or corroborate facts or background.

When we make an article, essay or monograph, it will serve to support opinions, exemplify cases, contextualize and even debate or confront other previous works. The use we make of the references will depend on the objectives of the research we carry out. The important thing in any case is to always keep in mind that the ethics of the good researcher should keep him away from plagiarism.

The APA Manual 6th edition states that the researcher never takes the words of another as his own; on the contrary, he always recognizes the ideas or opinions of those who have collaborated directly with his work. Appointments not only help to avoid plagiarism, they also make our contributions relevant when we name our sources, but at the same time we define our reflections correctly from those of others.


The APA Standards admit two styles of citation: direct or textual citations and indirect quotations or paraphrasing. While both styles are allowed and broadly serve the same function, their uses at the level of understanding the content differ. For that reason we are going to deepen the uses and recommendations of APA dating styles.

Direct or textual: they are those that reproduce in an identical way the words of an author or a previously published work of their own. The intention of this type of quotations is to reveal in an integrated manner the content of the source consulted and it is very useful for the following cases:

The statistical type works where numbers, percentages, results or conclusions that derive from a mathematical study must be mentioned. The textual quotation allows to expose with accuracy a data of interest for our investigation. Example:

According to the results of the survey applied to students: “98.55% of respondents considered it useful to include a glossary of terms in a book published by the School of Letters and 1.45% did not consider it useful” (School de Letras, 2012, p.36).

For indications, methods or steps to follow. Example:

In the game of chess “the board is composed of 64 squares alternately, white and black, and is placed between 2 players so that the square in the right corner of each player is white” (Turci, 2004, p.14)

To refer to technical sources or specialized language, especially in cases where the author consulted introduces new terms or definitions.

When it comes to preserving and preserving the paper, it is important to keep the space free of contaminating pathogens, “the scientific name of these insects is Pssocides and the species that can most easily infest our homes is the liposcelis bostrychophi” (Martiarena, 1992, page 187 )

For literary research where citing the textual source is essential for the understanding of a writer and / or literary stream. Example:

For Machiavelli his political experience is the starting point of his most important work, The Prince:

I have not found, among my belongings, something that I have as dear or as much esteem as the cognition of the actions of great men, learned by me by a long experience of modern things and a continuous lesson of the ancient : which, having with great diligence cogitated long and examined -and now in a small reduced volume-, I send to Your Magnificence (Machiavelli, 1999, p.17)

For articles of laws, proclamations, statutes, norms, dispositions, etc. Example:

Article 1 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, proclaimed by the General Assembly, reads as follows: “All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights and, endowed with reason and conscience, must behave fraternally. with the others “(General Assembly, 2013, p.2)

[pullquote] Note: textual citations of less than 40 words are placed within the text in quotation marks, at the end of the citation the reference is placed between parentheses of author, year and page number. If the citations are more than 40 words, it is placed in a separate text block, without quotation marks, with a left indentation of 2.54 cm, with a double spacing space. The reference is placed at the end of the citation in parentheses. [/ Pullquote]\

Indirect or paraphrasing: it consists in making reference to the reflections or opinions contained in a source from our own words. Paraphrasing is in itself an intellectual exercise and compression of the ideas and theories of another person, because it is more than changing the words of another by synonyms. To make an appointment of this kind is essential to preserve the original idea and the incorporation of personal judgments is not allowed, in addition it must be demonstrated that the consulted has been fully understood and the ability to retransmit that knowledge without altering the ideas of the author.

Since ancient times the paraphrase has been used to summarize and is very valuable in research work, because it accounts for the level of rationing of the researcher who makes use of it. Paraphrasing is very useful when you want to condense into an idea the events or events of a year or historical period, give an account of the general content of a work and summarize a theory. In this sense, the exercise of paraphrasing can help to synthesize large amounts of information that otherwise would be impossible to cite, that is why the importance of understanding and analyzing what is read is very good, and then citing it. Example:

Burckhardt tells us the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries in Italy as a time when fights between different “despots” for the control of large cities (Milan, Florence, Venice, the Papal States and the Kingdom of Naples controlled by Spain) and interventions of the papacy avoided national unity. In addition, the wars between France and Spain were held, for the convenience of the contenders, in Italian territory (1984, pp. 1-5). [Pullquote]

Note: indirect quotes are not written in quotation marks, they are part of the text and, like textual citations, the reference at the end is placed in parentheses.

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In documentary type investigations, paraphrasing helps us not to overload the content of our work with textual citations, and allows us to make more fluid analysis between the sources consulted and our own judgments.

Regardless of the type of quotation (textual or indirect) that is decided to use, the important thing is to do it according to what is established by the APA Rules to avoid any accusation of plagiarism and to give the reader the opportunity to verify, by own hand, any data that consider necessary.