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Academic Writer (formerly APA Style Central)

What Does Academic Writer Offer?

Academic Writer is a database that includes learning, writing, and publishing tools to help students manage their research papers. It currently incorporates all of the reference and other content from the current Publication Manual (7th ed.), the APA Style Guide to Electronic References, and the APA Style Blog, which is used to answer user questions. 

For those who create their own free account, more resources are available! When logged in, you are able to use:

  • Tools for planning and documenting research 
  • 8 preformatted templates for research papers that can be exported into Word
  • A citation management tool that allows you to store and manage citations

Breakdown of Sections

There are several sections to Academic Writer. The Learn section is designed to help you apply the APA style. It includes:

  • Quick guides to answer specific questions on how to apply the Publication Manual, such as how to create the running header or how to cite a specific source. Each quick guide describes the topic in a short video, which is accompanied by a transcript, and offering an e-reader view of the pages from the Publication Manual or APA Style Guide to Electronic Resources.
  • Video tutorials describe more involved concepts such as plagiarism or how to determine a title for your paper. The videos are also accompanied by transcripts.
  • Sample papers, references, tables, and figures in proper formatting are also available. 

The references that can be added to your personal library can come from any source. When you click on Add References you will find that you can either import or create a reference. Creating a reference involves identifying what type of reference you have, even something as specialized as a dissertation or brochure, and then completing a form.

You may also add references from the citations that you find in the library's databases. EBSChost and ProQuest both have tools to export the data from their databases' citations. In order to do this you will need to export a RIS file and save it to your computer. 

Then in Academic Writer, you are able to import that RIS file. For more details about importing RIS files, click hereThe references that you save to Academic Writer will be perpetually available in your library. When using the Write tools in Academic Writer, you can easily add these citations to your reference list and to your in-text citations.

The Write tools offer the opportunity for collaboration from other Academic Writer users. Once you being a research paper template, you may add one or more users as collaborators or reviewers. A collaborator can read, write comments, and edit in sections of the research paper that you give permission for. A reviewer can read and write comments but cannot directly edit the text. For more information on the collaboration capabilities, click here


There are eight different templates available to get you started with writing a research paper:

  1. Empirical
  2. Multiexperiment
  3. Literature Review
  4. Theoretical
  5. Methodological
  6. Case Study
  7. Reaction
  8. Basic

There are sample papers of each type that you can view to help determine which one is appropriate for your theme. Then you will have to begin by giving it a working title (you are able to change this later) and are asked if you to select the references from your library.

The online word processing tool is very similar to Microsoft Word. In addition to the tools that you would find in Word, you also have a toolbar to navigate different sections of the research paper and the other Academic Writer tools along with a third toolbar to manage your references, tables, figures, footnotes, and appendices.

When adding references there are two places that you have citations: in-text citations, which is in the body of the paper and the reference list, which is the bibliography at the end of the paper. In either circumstance, you must first select the reference by checking off the box next to the reference and then choosing the button for "Cite" to add the in-text citation or "Add New Reference" to add the citation to the reference list. 

Please note that when using the References tool, you will need a critical eye! The program is filling in the fields through a computer algorithm and may need some editing in regards to DOI number or initialing the author's first name. 

For more details about the process of adding references to a Write template, click here

When you are done writing, you need to export the research paper so that you have a deliverable document in either PDF or MS Word format. You can either email the research paper or download a copy to your computer. 

Faculty and graduate students who are interested in publishing their research professionally will find that Academic Writer has streamlined the process of determining which journal(s) would be most suitable for your area of study. 

For a walk-through of the Publishing tools, click here