Every quarter I seem to have some students who flat out refuse to turn in APA style papers. And every quarter it's the one thing that I hear professors talk about the most. It is out of that concern that I write the following:
If I took a stack of papers on a given assignment and removed the student names I should not be able to tell the difference between documents based on the format of the papers. That is how formal and exact style consistency should be.
With all of the help/examples available online today there is no (good) reason why a paper should be turned in any other way.
After all of this time it's possible that I've narrowed down the resistance to formatting assignments. I think some people are: intimidated by it; out of their comfort zone; think it's too hard; thinking the instructor will overlook the errors; ignoring the problem thinking it will go away; etc.
From an instructor's point of view it shows laziness...and I guess that's pretty much it :) It's really not as bad as it seems and after just a few assignments it will become habit and will be one less thing to worry about.
If you're one of my students, set up an appointment with me if you're concerned about APA style.
For more help on APA visit:
APA Official Site
For those of you required to write in MLA style, don't worry, there is help for you out there as well.