EmbrACE Magazine

Dear APA I am Leaving You!


A pointless rant.

When I saw you for the first time at the Academic Skills tutorial, you seemed neat and organized. You were necessary, and I was willing to get to know you. I put my effort, bought the course’s book, first-hand even – I hope you know what that means to a student.  

You were in the cool corner, acting complicated so I would not understand you. I would google how to make you approve of me. I spent long hours trying to put every single comma and period in place so you would be pleased. It was never enough, there was always something meant to be in italics or a forgotten date. You have been incredibly demanding, slapping me with huge plagiarism rates when I would forget to pay attention to you. What’s worse, you change your rules for everything, if it is a video it is x if it is an image it is y. Over time, there have been some sources I would not be able to use because you were too high maintenance and I could not bother.

It is true that I tried to cheat on you. I know it is hard to justify, but the program’s citationmachine.com and citethisforme.com were incredibly tempting and I was weak. I did pay the price, as they never got you right and I lost an obscene amount of points for it. That is another point I do not understand. Why do people value you so much? Are all the formalities really necessary for people to know where I get my information from? You have been nothing but an annoyance, yet if everything is not the way you like it, my grade will go down by 10% at best.

It’s been over a year since we have been together, and I do not really know how it would work, me leaving you. Since I came to university, you have been there. Every single course continues to force you down my throat with each assignment. You seem impossible to escape, and as much as I hate you, I want to graduate more. Can I consciously object to citing, like a pacifist in the World Wars? Is it possible to make a religion fundamentally opposed to referencing? If so, I would Henry the 8th it,  right now. Freedom of religion cannot be messed with, right?

APA, I have seen you ruin politicians, like when you sunk Annette Schavan the former German education minister, Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg, a previous German defence minister and Carmen Montón, a former Spanish minister for health. I do not intend to be on that list, so I hope that you won’t take this breakup badly. I wish you well, I hope you get your stuff together and notice that life does not have to be so complicated. Maybe then, one day we will meet again. But for now, it is time for us to take our different paths.