APA 7th Edition

Why the Update?

The American Psychological Association (APA) updated their Publication Manual in the fall of 2020. With the update, the APA had a few main goals in mind. First, the APA wanted their style to reflect the most current standards of utility and accessibility. Next, the APA wanted to redesign the manual as a whole with a new audience in mind: students. "The Publication Manual has long been an authoritative source for scholarly writing, and this edition provides more targeted guidance and support for students" (American Psychological Association, 2020, p. xviii). 

Helpful Links

This website is not meant to be a comprehensive guide to the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association. The Publication Manual itself will always be the most comprehensive and best source of information. Here are a few other resources available to you:

The Most Important Changes

Chapter 2: Paper Elements and Format

The 7th edition introduces separate requirements for student and professional papers. Students should refer to each professor's instructions about whether the course requires student or professional paper standards.

2.3 Title Page

A professional title page includes the title of the paper, name of each author, affiliation of each author, author note (optional), running head, and page number.

A student title page  the title of the paper, name of each author, affiliation of each author (typically the University attended, including the name of the department), course number and name (ex. EN120), instructor name (written in the instructor's preferred form, and assignment due date written in month, day, and year format.

2.8 Running Head

A running head is not required on student papers.

2.12 Reference List

The title "References" is now in bold.

2.19 Font

Font guidelines are more flexible  to promote accessibility, but the same font should be used throughout the paper.

2.27 Headings

Updated heading formatting improves accessibility and readability. 

Format for the Five Levels of Heading in APA Style:

  1. Centered, Bold, Title Case Heading
    Text begins as a new paragraph.

  2. Flush Left, Bold, Title Case Heading
    Text begins as a new paragraph.

  3. Flush Left, Bold Italic, Title Case Heading
    Text begins as a new paragraph.

  4. Indented, Bold, Title Case Heading, Ending With a Period. Text begins on the same line and continues as a regular paragraph

  5. Indented, Bold Italic, Title Case Heading, Ending With a Period. Text begins on the same line and continues as a regular paragraph. 

Chapter 4: Writing Style and Grammar

4.18 Singular "They"

Writers should use a singular "they" to refer to a person who uses "they" as their pronoun or when pronouns are unknown.

Chapter 5: Bias Free Language

Updated guidelines for writing about age, disability, gender, racial and ethnic identity, and sexual orientation as well as guidance on discussing participation in research, socioeconomic status, and intersectionality. 

Chapter 6: Mechanics of Style

6.1 Space After Punctuation

Only one space is needed after a period or any other punctuation that ends a sentence.

6.7 Linguistic Examples

Use quotation marks for linguistic examples instead of italics. For example, one might write about the "ctrl" key on a keyboard rather than the ctrl key. Additionally, one might write that the options on a survey included "sort of" and "maybe" rather than sort of  and maybe

Chapter 7: Table and Figure Formatting

7.4 Parallel Formatting

Tables and figures now have parallel formatting, meaning the formatting for both is identical.

7.6 Table and Figure Placement

Tables and figures may be placed in the body of the text or on separate pages located after the reference list. 

Chapter 8: In-Text Citations

8.17 Multiple Authors

For works with three or more authors, include only the name of the first author plus "et al." in every citation, including the first one. 

Chapters 9 and 10: Reference List and Examples

New reference examples are included for dissertations, TED Talks, TV series, webinars, YouTube and other streaming videos, albums, songs, podcast episodes, radio interviews and speech audio recordings, artwork in a museum, clipart or stock images, infographics, photographs, PowerPoint slides or lecture notes, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Reddit, webpages or news websites, and many more. 

9.8 Multiple Authors

Provide the last names and initials for 20 or fewer authors. If there are 21 or more authors, include the first 19 authors' names, use an ellipsis, and add the final author's name.

9.35 DOIs and URLs

The format of DOIs and URLs has been standardized. Both are presented as hyperlinks. The words "Retrieved from" are only included if a retrieval date is also needed. 

10.2 Publishers

Physical locations for publishers are no longer required for any reference type

American Psychological Association. (2020). Publication manual of the American Psychological Association (7th ed.). https://doi.org/10.1037/0000165-000