I recently had a hub edited by Hubpages and one of the edits was changing sub-heading styles to APA formatting. I was wondering if using APA standards was now a standard for Hubpages?
Being an Australian writer (and Master's student) we don't necessarily use APA style here (we use Harvard style guide or for referencing at my University), so I'm just wanting to get clarification on the use of this style for future hubs, as I have had other hubs edited recently where my choice not to capitalize every word of a sub-title and to use sentence case was not an issue and was not changed (even for snipping and Hubpro).
A few years ago (2013), I did a web writing course through Online Universities in Australia which advised to use sentence case for online writing as capitalizing the start of all words in sub-headings made the writing less clear to a reader (decreased readability). Their advice was to use sentence case as it is much clearer - like you are a writing a sentence all other words in lower case (OUA, 2013). However my business communication studies (admittedly taken some twenty years ago) advised consistency was the key for the presentation of communications.
Is Hubpages now using APA style standards as the web standard for this site and should my other hubs that have already been edited by hubpages, but were not updated to APA style be changed to reflect this style?
I'm also assuming APA means the American Psychology Association formating standard, so if I'm wrong on this please correct me.
OUA, 2013, Module 3: Writing for the Web, viewed 27 July 2013.
Okay, I can see where APA heading style is 'recommended' in the hubpages style guide, so I just want to clarify if it is now no longer a recommendation, but a must? I'm happy to go through and edit all my articles to reflect this style so an editor doesn't need to do it.
I haven't really been doing too much on Hubpages for the last few years (too busy with studies to give it much attention), but I'm now moving to part-time studies for my final two subjects and coming back to an online writing focus. interestingly, my final Master's subject will be in online writing in term 3 - so looking forward to completing it and applying what I learn.
The short answer is don't worry about it. If an editor happens to come around (their priorities are old hubs that get a lot of traffic and new hubs) then the editor will probably put the titles and subtitles in correct title case. You can edit them all now if you want, but it's never been a strict requirement. Editors sometimes miss things as well.
Anyway, there's no officially correct way of doing them. Most academic papers I read and Wikipedia use sentence case, but most print and web magazines I read use title case (which APA, AP, Chicago and other named styles require). HP aspires to consistency on its own sites.
I've never heard of APA style, but that is interesting to know. I have been feeling a bit frustrated that my hubs are being edited to include capitals in all the headings - which are wrong according to my understanding of grammar... I have been taught that capitals shouldn't be overused... Not sure it whether it is a British/American difference as well?
It's not that big a deal, but I really think headings look better without capital letters everywhere. It has happened to all 3 of my hubs that get regular traffic.
I usually have a negative knee jerk reaction to the edits at first, especially if it's changing more than links. My view on heading styles is similar and Australia generally tends to follow the British English more so, than the the USA English (even though Australian English also exists). Since I have tried to use US english for spelling when I write hubs, I'm going to try to follow the APA standard here (which I will have to familiarise myself with since I don't know it very well). As this is a style consistency issue though, it might be worth looking at making this an in built style for subheadings, rather than a manual one. If Hubpages ever changes its mind on the style, all it needs to do is update the template (this might depend on whether CSS / HTML 5 supports this heading style though).
Thanks for your response!
Maybe it is just a matter of what you get used to. I like capitals in headlines or subheading, and have always done it that way since my days as an American journalism student.
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