I am going to be writing a reflective piece on how I learnt to use APA referencing. Before coming into higher education referencing was simple and easy to adapt. When carrying out A levels at college I was taught how to reference according to the Harvard. I was familiar with the concept of plagiarism but never really knew the purpose of referencing (Stagg, Kimmins & Pavlovski, 2013). Arriving into university as a first-year student I bought with me the academic knowledge about referencing that aided me during college however this knowledge was not appropriate for universities (Stagg, Kimmins & Pavlovski, 2013). At university referencing is taken more seriously and not seen as a task but in fact its seen as a professional task (Stagg, Kimmins & Pavlovski, 2013).
My initial feelings were solely fear at the time as I had felt that I would be the only student that would lack understanding on APA referencing. I did feel like I am going to require a lot of support and the feeling of not being able to do it in the correct way was paramount.
Having said that afterwards finding out the I was not the only one being introduced to something new, I composed myself and felt a little less worried. I began to feel a lot better when the university provided tutorials and extra support to go with it.
Learning how to reference using APA format was a major development of my academic skills. This was both a negative and a positive experience. The negativity developed when I felt that I was the only who lacked this knowledge and I wasn’t going to be able to carry out the correct way of using APA format. Having said that positivity developed when the university began to give tutorials and extra support to me. Also learning this new challenging way of referencing had widen my knowledge and it’s a great achievement.
At the beginning of the tutorials and support sessions I was keen to learn, however once the tutorials were over I didn’t feel as confident as I would feel when using Harvard referencing. This was the similar case for many other students. I feel this is because I, as a first-year university students had become so used to using Harvard referencing, that when I was taught APA 6th referencing I found myself being out of my comfort zone and not being so good at it (Stagg, Kimmins & Pavlovski, 2013). Brown therefore suggested that just by following up these tutorials and re-reading the PowerPoint is a good way to learn however it is not as productive as actually practicing (Brown, Roediger & McDaniel, n.d.). Which Is why I felt that when I practiced referencing is my first assignment I felt a lot more competent.
Rather than having the feeling of fear at the beginning, if I had spoken to my classmates or the lectures immediately I would have felt a little less worried.
This has turned out to be a positive experience for me as I have learnt a new way to reference and I feel I could use this not only during my educational period but I could take this further with me into workplaces (Stagg, Kimmins & Pavlovski, 2013).
Action plan
If a situation like this came up again I would go up to the lectures and let them know that this is new to me, this would have solved many of my problems (Stagg, Kimmins & Pavlovski, 2013). However, I think I should have been more confident within myself that I can do this instead of making myself believe that I couldn’t. To help me with my confidence I feel if they had a leaflets or extra sessions on APA 6th referencing It would have been a lot beneficial. By doing this, I would have felt more relieved which would have helped me with my summative assignment.

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