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What’s New With APA? Your Guide to the 7th Edition

Like any good writer knows, to be the best, you need to follow specific guidelines to be stylistically and factually correct. This does not mean you need to shove your creativity and individuality aside; all it means is you need to pay attention to industry guidelines such as APA 7.

The Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association, Seventh Edition, or more commonly known as APA 7, is considered the go-to style manual of choice used by millions of writers in the business, science, creative, health, and educational sectors.

The manual, the holy grail of referencing a book, gets updated fairly regularly with the latest version being published on October 1, 2019. Now, for fellow writers familiar with APA citations, there have been a few changes since it was last published more than a decade ago in 2009.

Technology, bias-free language, and how we cite online information have dramatically changed. This blog will help you understand all the changes, guaranteeing that your writing is sharp and catchy, as well as error and plagiarism free.

So, don your specs, whip out your trusty notebook and pen, it’s time to get savvy!

16 New Changes to APA

Here are the most critical changes to APA:

Referencing a Book and In-Text Citations

When it comes to APA book citations and sources, a considerable amount of information has been included. These changes have made citing online sources more convenient.

1. In-text citations that contain three or more authors have been shortened, and you only need to mention the first author’s name, followed by “et al.”

2. Removal of the location from the reference.

3. In terms of DOIs, the same styling is utilized, such as when citing URLs. The tag “DOI” is no longer needed.

4. For up to 20 authors, their surnames and initials should be listed in the reference list instead of seven, as you would previously have done. An ampersand (“&”) should be used before the name of the last author. Ellipses “...” should be used after mentioning the 19th author through to the last one.

5. When citing an ebook, you no longer need to mention the platform (e.g. Amazon Kindle) in the reference section. The reference will also now make mention of the publisher.

6. URLs no longer mention “retrieved from.” Website names are included, and their titles are italicized.

7. When citing a podcast, make mention of the host’s name and surname in the reference. The same applies to the writer or director of a movie or TV show.

Bias-Free Language

Writing should now be fully inclusive and contain unbiased language as per APA 7 requirements. There is a whole chapter dedicated to this topic within the manual.

APA 7 helps support writers by lowering their biases toward ethnic identity, race, age, disability, gender, and sexual orientation. They also help writers understand and be aware of insensitive labels often used to describe people.

8. Skip broad categories in terms of age and use age ranges instead. This helps your written piece remain relevant in changing times.

9. Singular pronoun terms such as “their” or “they” is used to convey gender-neutrality.

10. Descriptive phrases are required. Stop using adjectives as nouns to categorize groups of individuals.

Paper Format

In the latest edition, APA chose to supply various paper formatting guidelines for both students and professionals. The changes allow flexibility in terms of choosing fonts and text sizing.

11. This includes font options such as 10 Lucida Sans Unicode, 11 Arial, 11 Calibri, 11 Georgia, and 12 Times New Roman.

12. Headings have been updated, which makes for easier reading. Headings three to five are refreshed and altered to ensure this.

13 The running head on the title page no longer makes use of the words “running head.” It also only contains the shortened version of the paper’s title and the page number.

14. The running head is no longer in use for university students unless your lecturer has indicated otherwise.

Stylistic Changes

Regarding the style mechanics of APA, no significant changes have been made. Two important changes worth mentioning include:

15. Using double quotation marks in place of italics when highlighting linguistic examples.

16. One space is used after the period and upon the conclusion of a sentence.

APA 7 Quick Tips

Always use the following:

  • Use a hanging indent when formatting your reference list. That is 0.5 inches or 1.27 cm (this is the default setting on Microsoft Word).
  • List authors alphabetically.
  • Use first-person pronouns such as “I” instead of writing in the third person. Use this style when referring to your own actions.
  • Always cite the full title of a journal if you make use of one for information.

The Importance of Including APA Book Citations

So, what is all the fuss about, you ask? Why is it essential to include APA book citations and follow the APA 7 guidelines? The answer is simple: if you want to stay credible, following the manual is best because you are associating and formatting your work on par with the publication.

If at any time, whether your professor is scanning through your thesis, or if somebody wants to gauge the value of the information included in your ebook, by referring to the reference page, they can see that you put pen to paper and conveyed the language of academia.

Lastly, and as a self-proclaimed bookworm, there is nothing better than cross-referencing sources used by the author to learn more about the topic. APA 7 also allows space to acknowledge the individual’s work whom you used as a writer to create the piece.

Referencing a book correctly will ensure that you, as a writer, are respected, providing you with the platform to share your ideas and thoughts with your readers.

Avoiding Plagiarism

APA allows you to give credit where credit is due, and it helps you to be seen as knowledgeable about specific topics by fellow writers, readers, and academics.

Besides helping you keep everything neat and tidy in terms of your writing, it can protect you from other significant problems such as plagiarism, which, by all counts, is a big industry NO-NO and can get you into quite a bit of trouble.

If you use somebody else’s work without making mention of them, you are technically stealing from them (though we are sure you do not see yourself as a thief). Consider book citations in APA format as part of a professional courtesy that you extend to industry experts who have worked hard compiling their research and findings.

As a self-publisher, navigating your way and side-stepping plagiarism may seem tricky. If you ever plan to have your work sell on Amazon, then running a plagiarism checker beforehand may be a wise decision and protect you from being royally booted off for good!

Another tip is to learn how to avoid plagiarism when writing.

You can do this by:

  1. Always citing your sources. That is why making use of APA 7 and citation generators can safeguard you from plagiarizing.

  2. Always identify who the author is, the date, name of the source, and any other citation elements deemed necessary.

  3. Include quotation marks where necessary when quoting a source directly.

  4. Present your ideas when writing your thesis, paper, article, blog, or book instead of copying the source’s words or ideas.

Always take your time when writing and making use of citations. By doing this, you can carefully pay attention to your work and words written, potentially flagging you if you, by any chance, have unintentionally copied somebody’s work.

Take a deep breath, concentrate, use your own voice, creative spirit, and, most importantly, ensure your book referencing is in tip-top shape with the use of APA 7!

APA 7 Book Citation Generators

Thanks to the internet, completing your APA book citations are now a breeze to do. A citation generator is an online program that allows you to include all the relevant information of your source and, with the simple click of a button, can generate your citation. VOILA!

Here are a few that can help you stay up to date and stylistically on par with fellow writers and academics:

Often, there is a range of APA editions to choose from and other various formats such as MLA. Always ensure that you select the correct version.

APA 7 FAQs

Your questions regarding APA 7 answered!

Which edition should I use?

The 7th edition published in October 2019 is the latest published version of APA. However, the 6th edition, published in 2009, is still being used by a number of journals and universities. If you are a university or college student, check in with your lecturer or department as to which edition you should be using.

Can I download or buy the 7th edition, if so, where and how?

The best place and method to buy the 7th Edition of the APA Manual is online and through Amazon. You have a choice of either buying a hardcover, paperback, or spiral-bound version. Costs range from $20 to $53, depending on your preference. The spiral-bound version is color tabbed, making it easier to switch between sections. 

When are people expected to begin using APA 7?

By now, the majority of individuals and establishments should be using APA 7. As mentioned, always confirm with your university, supervisor, or the journal website (if you plan to publish in one) to ensure which version is the correct one.

How do I correctly use tables and figures in APA 7?

The layout of figures and tables in the 7th edition has not changed much. It has remained the same in terms of notes, numbering, and titles. For distinct layouts, visit the APA website for more specific guidelines. Remember, the best graphs, tables, and figures are those that can be easily viewed and understood by your reader.  

How do I cite articles from Wikipedia?

When using Wikipedia as a source of information, you will be required to use the following method in terms of referencing.

However, APA prefers you to use the root source and Wikipedia should rather just be used for preliminary research.

Final Thoughts

I cannot overstate the importance of using APA 7 when writing a one-page article or a 300-page ebook. APA is there to help simplify what is sometimes complex information.

There is uniformity when making use of APA, and it helps you as a writer and author to organize your work or research. It is essential for the reader who may wish to investigate further the information you have provided.

This all, in turn, speaks volumes about you as a writer and your credibility in providing useful and informative information.

Here’s to doing it the “writeway!