There are many – very many – styles in academia. At times, it seems every journal has their own style, which differs just a little from others; seemingly with the intent to frustrate a submitting author (or to act as a last-ditch attempt to stop those who just submit without thought, hoping for a lucky draw). The style guide includes a lot more than just how to reference.
Some styles are definitely better than others. Some are impressive in their requirements. For example, the Lancet series require all graphics to be in vector format, so they can edit them, and ensure very high quality. Other requirements, such as that a zero-value must be denoted by a dot, aligned in the middle of the table cell, seems less important.
The style guide includes factors such as:
- How to set up a title page
- Choice of font (need not be Times New Roman :))
- Table and figure set up
- Difference between an appendix and supplementary materials
It seems a good idea to follow the APA style when writing, to save a lot of editing at the end. It does not take much extra time to do it this way from the start.
Though with that said, I will not double-space my manuscripts until the very last moment 😀
If you do not want to set it all up manually, you can download a Word template that has all the formatting. Saves a lot of time and frustrations. https://templates.office.com/en-us/apa-styles-tm00002099
To see the style guide, see: https://apastyle.apa.org/style-grammar-guidelines/tables-figures