The exercise is of higher level than the

The inadequacy of
new graduate students’ skills in APA citation format is the reason why authors Van
Note Chism & Weerakoon (2012) embarked on the study “APA Meet Google:
Graduate Students’ Approaches to Learning Citation Style.” When new graduate
students were given an APA referencing exercise, they experienced so much
difficulty that their underperformance eventually infuriated the instructors (Van
Note Chism & Weerakoon, 2012). The students’ underperformance indeed
warrants an exploration of the cause of their lack of adequate APA citation
skills. Usually, the norm is graduate students are proficient in writing skill.
However, when this isn’t the case, it often leads to the disappointment of
instructors. In this case, it seems unfair to the students for the instructors
to assume their level of knowledge of the APA citation. The initial step the
instructors could have taken prior to having the students complete the APA
format exercise is to discover each of their level of APA competency. With this
information, they would have been able to perceive that the exercise is of
higher level than the students would have been able to complete successfully.

            As such, the main focus of the study is to unearth the
contributing factors to the students’ lack of adequacy in APA referencing (Van
Note Chism & Weerakoon, 2012). Given the fact that these doctoral student
are devoted and diligent to their studies, it is puzzling that they encounter
so much difficulty in applying proficient APA citation skills (Van Note Chism
& Weerakoom, 2012). The authors’ approach of the study is reasonable in
that, they seek to understand those elements of the APA citation that are of
little knowledge to the graduates students. In every situation, we can only
amend those inadequacy once we are aware of the root causes.

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The
takeaway from the study is that even though it was possible for some
participants’ APA referencing skills to be improved with practice during the
course of the study, this was not the case for all and that some required
additional continual repetition in order to grasp the concept (Van Note Chism
& Weerakon, 2012). Some of these students have gone through undergraduate
and master’s degree program using a different citation style and therefore
unconsciously apply those skills rather than the APA format without noticing
the mistake created (Van Note Chism & Weerakon, 2012). The authors’ outcome
of the study though reasonable, felt a bit incomplete. Prior to the start of
the study that entailed the participation of some students. The authors should
have rendered an exercise to the students but this wasn’t done. At the
conclusion of the study, another exercise should have been rendered to know
whether the study increased their level of knowledge of the APA citation. Even
though the authors concluded that not all of the students mastered the APA
skill at the end of the study, we are not sure whether those that did fairly
well did not in fact achieve any new skill. Had there been a before and after
study exercise given, the result would have accurately demonstrated the effect
of the study.

 

 

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