Monday, May 15, 2006

More Like American Poo-head Association

Warning: This post will be boring to anyone not in university.

This is the American Psychological Association's (APA) publication manual. This is pretty much the bible for writing psychology papers. Every little detail of how to write, right down to how many spaces go after a period, exactly what order to put information in, where every line in a table goes, etc, is here, and must be followed exactly or you'll never get published and you'll soon be homeless, eating bugs and discarded tacos.

I can live with that. There needs to be a standard so that everyone is on the same page, and writing is clear, concise, and organized so that anyone can pick up a paper and know exactly where to look for the information they want. But the ironic thing is that the APA Manual itself is the most poorly written, poorly organized book I have ever come across.

There is no table of contents. The only way to find anything is to flip through the entire book, looking for the section you need. Oh, you could look in the Index, but that will take some flipping too; it's not at the end of the book where you'd expect, but a few pages before the introduction and preface which take up the last few pages. Doesn't exactly put the "pre" in preface. Oh, and there's the table of contents...between the Index and the Intro. Weird.

I just find it ironic that a book about clear organization is so poorly organized. It's like writing an anti-hunting book on the skin of baby seals, using their blood as ink.

Hmmm...where did that come from? I'm a sick fuck.

P.S. Correct me if I'm wrong here...maybe my copy of the book was just bound with the pages in the wrong order or something.

P.P.S. I'm obviously writing this to procrastinate while I'm writing my thesis.


Jason said...

I used to be the master of "I'll go buy a new book on how to study instead of actually studying."

It became a running joke. Now the joke's on me... I will starting one of two remaining courses I need to get my degree and I'm not in my 20's.


I need stronger meds.

sarah said...

i'm an MLA girl, myself.

sarah said...

and hell ya, you're a sick fuck.

I am also procrastinating writing things. I can't even begin to think of how bad it will get when i start procrastinating my thesis of all things.

Elle said...

Heh, I agree. I'm an older student, not saying how old :), and we have just changed to the APA style. Sucks!

Oh, and are a sick fuck :)

Anonymous said...


Tom Cruise

Anonymous said...

I know Phronk. My background initially was in Psychiatry and APA makes it challenging. Have you ever tried the software that does it for you? It's pretty good stuff.

Phronk said...

I haven't tried any software...I pretty much know APA inside and out because I've been using it for so long, in addition to teaching it to students. That makes it even more frustrating to find the one little detail I don't know in that horrible book. :) Maybe I'll check out some software though, it could save time. Especially reference manager software...managing references can be a pain in the ass.

Butchie said...

Thanks for the warning.

George Larson said...

The way they laid out the book is much more smarter than you could ever understand.

Just learn from it.

Anonymous said...

Good for you teaching it. I couldn't do that.

Anonymous said...