As I’ve noted on my Facebook page, and hinted at in a previous post, APA has published their 7th edition of the Publication Manual. I received my copy in early October and have spent some time going through it. I have compiled a list of 20 changes that I think are noteworthy for those of you transitioning from the 6th edition. In my opinion, this manual is a good improvement over the 6th edition and responds to various issues that 21st century writing has presented.
Here are what I consider to be the major changes:
- There are tabs to delineate the chapters – sure to save time looking for things! Note – this is true of the spiral-bound edition, not of the hardcover. Not sure about the others.
- All headings are bold – including title, references, abstract. Levels are basically the same as before.
- Running head simplified for professionals, not required for students. I know that this will save my students a lot of time! Most dissertation formats that I’ve seen from universities do not require a running head, either, so this aligns with that expectation.
- All in-text citations of 3 or more authors uses et al. There are a few exceptions, but this is the general rule.
- No more monitoring of widow/orphans. Just double space throughout.
- Title page updated. All authors are on the same line below the title, followed by affiliations, followed by authors’ note – for which there is specific guidance.
Especially for students:
- Guidance for students vs. guidance for professional writing. This will save instructors a lot of time – for example, explaining that there is no need for an abstract for most papers written by students for a class assignment.
- More flexible fonts. Choices are: 11 point Calibri, 11 point Arial, 10 point Lucinda Sans Unicode, 12 point Times New Roman, 11 point Georgia, or 10 point Computer Modern
- One space after a period, when to use a period in abbreviations and when not to.
- Use of singular “they” is endorsed. This is used for individuals who prefer this pronoun, as well as for instances when the gender identity of the person being written about is unknown.
- Good section on plagiarism
- Section on removing bias in writing.
- More guidance on style mechanics, including capitalization, abbreviations, use of numbers.
- Guidance for verb tenses, use of voice, mood.
- Guidance on common mistakes (that/which; who/whom; that/who, etc.)
- Standardization on use of doi.
- Number of authors to include in reference list – up to 20 are listed before use of ellipsis.
- Journal references always include the issue number. This simplifies needing to know whether a journal is paginated by volume or issue. Just always include it!
- Book references omit publisher location. This makes it easier since you don’t need to worry about whether the book was printed in New York or Indianapolis or anywhere else.
- Use hyperlinks for DOIs as well as for URLs (in reference list). Be consistent in the formatting of DOI numbers (see page 300). Use of shortened DOIs and URLs are accepted. Instructions are included about how to obtain these.