American Psychological Association (APA) Formatting

The American Psychological Association (APA) citation and format style is used by many Universities and is required by many academic publications.  It is considered the most common for social sciences.

The Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association has recently released an update to a 7th edition, in October 2019.  The Publication Manual details how to format pages, headings, in-text citations, references, headings, and more.  Using this manual helps authors create writing that is more precise and inclusive.

I personally have used APA in my academic learning for the 7 years (yikes!).  I am a Doctoral graduate from the University of Phoenix (having completed my MBA through UOP as well).  I personally love APA for the clarity and detail they provide in their Manual.  They provide ample examples, diagrams, and images.

With the 7th edition has an all new tabbed, spiral-bound edition (on top of a paperback, a hardback, and an e-book version).  This spiral edition is fantastic!  I truly wish I had gotten it for the 6th edition I had (I could have saved a lot of money on sticky tabs! LOL!).  It’s funny what gets academic writers excited…

Here are more changes to the Publication Manual:

  • Guidelines on how to write without bias (age, disability, gender, race and ethnicity, sexual orientation, socioeconomic status, using “they” or “their” as singular)
  • Journal article reporting standards
  • Student-specific resources (including a sample paper)
  • Best practices for ethical writing (avoiding plagiarism and how to navigate the publication process)
  • More reference examples (websites, social media, classroom resources)
  • Changing to the use of one space after the end of a sentence
  • Change to the publisher location (it’s no longer used!)
  • Et al. is used from the get-go
  • DOI is no longer specified
  • More flexibility with font
  • And more!

In academic writing, it is critical to stay up to date on changes.  While some publications and universities will provide a grace period to implement the new changes (Spring 2020), it shows professionalism and dedication to start implementing the newest edition now.


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