Bring Back Capitalization!

Submitted by michelle on Sun, 2006-10-29 13:21.

I applied to be an assistant editor for the online periodical, Sexuality Research and Social Policy: Journal of NSRC. My application included a cover letter, resume, and writing sample.

They require their articles to use the American Psychological Association (APA) standard of style usage. This format has so many rules that it necessitates an entire book, 439 pages, to explain it. It spans from margin size and font choice (Times New Roman, only Times New Roman) to citation, with its diverse and subtle differences. Depending on whether the passage is a direct quote or paraphrase, the proper placement of the citation could be at the end of the sentence or in the middle. Sometimes the style calls for the author and year to be cited and in other cases, the page number is required as well. i.e.:

At the turn of the century, the term “bisexual” referred to someone whom displayed characteristics of both females and males, not to someone who was attracted to both sexes (Chauncey, 1994).

(Imagine the Times New Roman! oohh!)

Jessica, whom has a Masters in Social Work, helped me with the nuances of this format. She clarified that when a book is listed in the References Section, only the first letter of the title is capitalized. Not the entire title. Only the first letter of the title and first word after the colon and proper nouns are capitalized so you get this nasty string of lower-case letters. i.e.:

Chauncey, G. (1994). Gay New York: Gender, urban culture, and the making of the gay male world, 1890-1940. New York: Basic Books.

It's disgusting. We both hate it.
And research-based texts always have long titles, so you can't escape.
It's intolerable.

When Jessica campaigns for APA President, she will run on a platform to "Bring Back Capitalization!"