Overview

Concise Guide to APA Style, Seventh Edition is the official APA Style resource for students.

Designed specifically for undergraduate writing, this easy-to-use pocket guide is adapted from the seventh edition of the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association.

It provides complete guidance for new writers on effective, clear, and inclusive scholarly communication and the essentials of formatting papers and other course assignments.

New to this edition:

  • full color throughout
  • content relevant to a range of majors and courses, including psychology, social work, criminal justice, communications, composition, education, business, engineering, and more
  • a new chapter focused on student papers
  • a sample student title page, paper, and annotated bibliography
  • streamlined APA Style headings and in-text citations
  • a new chapter on writing style and grammar
  • chapters on punctuation, lists, italics, spelling, capitalization, abbreviations, numbers, and statistics
  • the latest bias-free language guidelines
  • new sample tables and figures
  • guidance on avoiding plagiarism and self-plagiarism
  • new reference templates and examples
Table of Contents

1. Student Paper Types, Elements, and Format

General Guidelines for Student Papers

  • Application of APA Style to Student Papers
  • Student Essays
  • Annotated Bibliographies
  • Dissertations and Theses

Paper Elements

  • Student Paper Required Elements
  • Title Page
  • Title
  • Author Name (Byline)
  • Author Affiliation
  • Abstract
  • Text (Body)
  • Reference List
  • Footnotes
  • Appendices

Format

  • Importance of Format
  • Order of Pages
  • Page Header
  • Font
  • Special Characters
  • Line Spacing
  • Margins
  • Paragraph Alignment
  • Paragraph Indentation
  • Paper Length

Organization

  • Principles of Organization
  • Heading Levels
  • Section Labels

Sample Student Paper

2. Writing Style and Grammar

Effective Scholarly Writing

  • Continuity and Flow
  • Transitions
  • Noun Strings
  • Conciseness and Clarity
  • Wordiness and Redundancy
  • Sentence and Paragraph Length
  • Tone
  • Contractions and Colloquialisms
  • Jargon
  • Logical Comparisons
  • Anthropomorphism

Grammar and Usage

  • Verb Tense
  • Active and Passive Voice
  • Mood
  • Subject and Verb Agreement
  • First- Versus Third-Person Pronouns
  • Editorial "We"
  • Singular "They"
  • Pronouns for People and Animals ("Who" vs. "That")
  • Pronouns as Subjects and Objects ("Who vs. Whom")
  • Pronouns in Restrictive and Nonrestrictive Clauses ("That" vs. "Which")
  • Subordinate Conjunctions
  • Misplaced and Dangling Modifiers
  • Parallel Construction

Strategies to Improve Your Writing

  • Reading to Learn Through Example
  • Writing From an Outline
  • Rereading the Draft
  • Seeking Help From Fellow Students
  • Working With Writing Centers
  • Revising a Paper

3. Bias-Free Language Guidelines

General Guidelines for Reducing Bias

  • Describe at the Appropriate Level of Specificity
  • Be Sensitive to Labels

Reducing Bias by Topic

  • Age
  • Disability
  • Gender
  • Participation in Research
  • Racial and Ethnic Identity
  • Sexual Orientation
  • Socioeconomic Status
  • Intersectionality

4. Punctuation, Lists, and Italics

Punctuation

  • Spacing After Punctuation Marks
  • Period
  • Comma
  • Semicolon
  • Colon
  • Dash
  • Quotation Marks
  • Parentheses
  • Square Brackets
  • Slash

Lists

  • List Guidelines
  • Lettered Lists
  • Numbered Lists
  • Bulleted Lists

Italics

  • Use of Italics
  • Reverse Italics

5. Spelling, Capitalization, and Abbreviations

Spelling

  • Preferred Spelling
  • Hyphenation

Capitalization

  • Words Beginning a Sentence
  • Proper Nouns and Trade Names
  • Job Titles and Positions
  • Diseases, Disorders, Therapies, Theories, and Related Terms
  • Titles of Works and Headings Within Works
  • Titles of Tests and Measures
  • Nouns Followed by Numerals or Letters
  • Names of Conditions or Groups in an Experiment
  • Names of Factors, Variables, and Effects

Abbreviations

  • Use of Abbreviations
  • Definition of Abbreviations
  • Format of Abbreviations
  • Unit of Measurement Abbreviations
  • Time Abbreviations
  • Latin Abbreviations
  • Chemical Compound Abbreviations

6. Numbers and Statistics

Numbers

  • Numbers Expressed in Numerals
  • Numbers Expressed in Words
  • Combining Numerals and Words to Express Numbers
  • Ordinal Numbers
  • Decimal Fractions
  • Roman Numerals
  • Commas in Numbers
  • Plurals of Numbers

Statistics and Equations

  • Presentation of Statistics
  • Statistical Symbols and Abbreviations
  • Spacing, Alignment, and Punctuation for Statistics
  • Presentation of Equations

7. Tables and Figures

General Guidelines for Tables and Figures

  • Purpose of Tables and Figures
  • Design and Preparation of Tables and Figures
  • Graphical Versus Textual Presentation
  • Formatting Tables and Figures
  • Referring to Tables and Figures in the Text
  • Placement of Tables and Figures
  • Reprinting or Adapting Tables and Figures

Tables

  • Principles of Table Construction
  • Table Components
  • Table Numbers
  • Table Titles
  • Table Headings
  • Table Body
  • Table Notes
  • Standard Abbreviations in Tables and Figures
  • Confidence Intervals in Tables
  • Table Borders and Shading
  • Long or Wide Tables
  • Relation Between Tables
  • Table Checklist
  • Sample Tables

Figures

  • Principles of Figure Construction
  • Figure Components
  • Figure Numbers
  • Figure Titles
  • Figure Images
  • Figure Legends
  • Figure Notes
  • Relation Between Figures
  • Photographs
  • Figure Checklist
  • Sample Figures

8. Works Credited in the Text

General Guidelines for Citation

  • Appropriate Level of Citation
  • Plagiarism
  • Self-Plagiarism
  • Correspondence Between Reference List and Text
  • Use of the Published Version or Archival Version
  • Primary and Secondary Sources

Works Requiring Special Approaches

  • Interviews
  • Classroom or Intranet Sources
  • Personal Communications

In-Text Citations

  • Author–Date Citation System
  • Parenthetical and Narrative Citations
  • Citing Multiple Works
  • Citing Specific Parts of a Source
  • Unknown or Anonymous Author
  • Translated, Reprinted, Republished, and Reissued Dates
  • Omitting the Year in Repeated Narrative Citations
  • Number of Authors to Include in In-Text Citations
  • Avoiding Ambiguity in In-Text Citations
  • Works With the Same Author and Same Date
  • Authors With the Same Surname
  • Abbreviating Group Authors
  • General Mentions of Websites, Periodicals, and Common Software and Apps

Paraphrases and Quotations

  • Principles of Paraphrasing
  • Long Paraphrases
  • Principles of Direct Quotation
  • Short Quotations (Fewer Than 40 Words)
  • Block Quotations (40 Words or More)
  • Direct Quotation of Material Without Page Numbers
  • Accuracy of Quotations
  • Changes to a Quotation Requiring No Explanation
  • Changes to a Quotation Requiring Explanation
  • Quotations That Contain Citations to Other Works
  • Quotations That Contain Material Already in Quotation Marks
  • Epigraphs

Copyright and Permission

  • General Guidelines for Reprinting or Adapting Materials
  • Materials That Require Copyright Attribution
  • Copyright Status
  • Permission and Fair Use
  • Copyright Attribution Formats

9. Reference List

Reference Categories

  • Determining the Reference Category
  • Using the Webpages and Websites Reference Category
  • Online and Print References

Principles of Reference List Entries

  • Four Elements of a Reference
  • Punctuation Within Reference List Entries
  • Accuracy and Consistency in References

Reference Elements (Author, Date, Title, Source)

  • Author Element
  • Format of the Author Element
  • Spelling and Capitalization of Author Names
  • Identification of Specialized Roles
  • Group Authors
  • No Author
  • Date Element
  • Format of the Date Element
  • Updated or Reviewed Online Works
  • Retrieval Dates
  • No Date
  • Title Element
  • Format of the Title Element
  • Series and Multivolume Works
  • Bracketed Descriptions
  • No Title
  • Source Element
  • Format of the Source Element
  • Periodical Sources
  • Online Periodicals With Missing Information
  • Article Numbers
  • Edited Book Chapter and Reference Work Entry Sources
  • Publisher Sources
  • Database and Archive Sources
  • Works With Specific Locations
  • Social Media Sources
  • Website Sources
  • When to Include DOIs and URLs
  • Format of DOIs and URLs
  • DOI or URL Shorteners
  • No Source

Reference Variations

  • Works in Another Language
  • Translated Works
  • Reprinted, Republished, or Reissued Works
  • Religious and Classical Works

Reference List Format and Order

  • Format of the Reference List
  • Order of Works in the Reference List
  • Order of Surname and Given Name
  • Order of Multiple Works by the Same First Author
  • Order of Works With the Same Author and Same Date
  • Order of Works by First Authors With the Same Surname
  • Order of Works With No Author or an Anonymous Author
  • Abbreviations in References

10. Reference Examples

Author Variations

Date Variations

Title Variations

Source Variations

Textual Works

  • Periodicals
  • Books and Reference Works
  • Edited Book Chapters and Entries in Reference Works
  • Reports and Gray Literature
  • Dissertations and Theses
  • Reviews
  • Informally Published Works

Software and Tests

  • Computer Software and Mobile Apps
  • Tests, Scales, and Inventories
  • Audiovisual Works
  • Audio Works
  • Visual Works

Online Media

  • Social Media
  • Webpages and Websites

Legal References

  • Cases or Court Decisions
  • Statutes (Laws and Acts)
  • Constitutions and Charters
  • Treaties and International Conventions

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