Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association, Seventh Edition (2020) (2024)

Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association, Seventh Edition (2020) (1)

Table of Contents | Supplemental Resources | Introduction (PDF)

Official source for APA Style
The Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association, Seventh Edition is the official source for APA Style.

Widely adopted
With millions of copies sold worldwide in multiple languages, it is the style manual of choice for writers, researchers, editors, students, and educators in the social and behavioral sciences, natural sciences, nursing, communications, education, business, engineering, and other fields.

Authoritative and easy to use
Known for its authoritative, easy-to-use reference and citation system, the Publication Manual also offers guidance on choosing the headings, tables, figures, language, and tone that will result in powerful, concise, and elegant scholarly communication.

Scholarly writing
It guides users through the scholarly writing process—from the ethics of authorship to reporting research through publication.

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Course adoption

Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association, Seventh Edition (2020) (9)Exam or desk copy
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It is an indispensable resource for students and professionals to achieve excellence in writing and make an impact with their work.

7 reasons why everyone needs the 7th edition of APA’s bestselling Publication Manual

Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association, Seventh Edition (2020) (10)

Full color with first-ever tabbed version

Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association, Seventh Edition (2020) (11)

Guidelines for ethical writing and guidance on the publication process

Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association, Seventh Edition (2020) (12)

Expanded student-specific resources; includes a sample paper

Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association, Seventh Edition (2020) (13)

100+ new reference examples, 40+ sample tables and figures

Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association, Seventh Edition (2020) (14)

New chapter on journal article reporting standards

Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association, Seventh Edition (2020) (15)

Updated bias-free language guidelines; includes usage of singular “they”

Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association, Seventh Edition (2020) (16)

One space after end punctuation!

What’s new in the 7th edition?

Full color
All formats are in full color, including the new tabbed spiral-bound version.

Easy to navigate
Improved ease of navigation, with many additional numbered sections to help users quickly locate answers to their questions.

Best practices
The Publication Manual (7th ed.) has been thoroughly revised and updated to reflect best practices in scholarly writing and publishing.

New student resources
Resources for students on writing and formatting annotated bibliographies, response papers, and other paper types as well as guidelines on citing course materials.

Accessibility guidelines
Guidelines that support accessibility for all users, including simplified reference, in-text citation, and heading formats as well as additional font options.

New-user content
Dedicated chapter for new users of APA Style covering paper elements and format, including sample papers for both professional authors and student writers.

Journal Article Reporting Standards
New chapter on journal article reporting standards that includes updates to reporting standards for quantitative research and the first-ever qualitative and mixed methods reporting standards in APA Style.

Bias-free language guidelines
New chapter on bias-free language guidelines for writing about people with respect and inclusivity in areas including age, disability, gender, participation in research, race and ethnicity, sexual orientation, socioeconomic status, and intersectionality

100+ reference examples
More than 100 new reference examples covering periodicals, books, audiovisual media, social media, webpages and websites, and legal resources.

40+ new sample tables and figures
More than 40 new sample tables and figures, including student-friendly examples such as a correlation table and a bar chart as well as examples that show how to reproduce a table or figure from another source.

Ethics expanded
Expanded guidance on ethical writing and publishing practices, including how to ensure the appropriate level of citation, avoid plagiarism and self-plagiarism, and navigate the publication process.

Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association, Seventh Edition (2020) (17)

Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association, Seventh Edition (2020) (18)

Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association, Seventh Edition (2020) (19)

7th edition table of contents

  • Front Matter
  • 1. Scholarly Writing and Publishing Principles
  • 2. Paper Elements and Format
  • 3. Journal Article Reporting Standards
  • 4. Writing Style and Grammar
  • 5. Bias-Free Language Guidelines
  • 6. Mechanics of Style
  • 7. Tables and Figures
  • 8. Works Credited in the Text
  • 9. Reference List
  • 10. Reference Examples
  • 11. Legal References
  • 12. Publication Process
  • Back Matter

Front Matter

List of Tables and Figures

Editorial Staff and Contributors


Introduction (PDF, 94KB)

Why Use APA Style?

APA Style for Students

Utility and Accessibility

What’s New in the Seventh Edition?

APA Style Online

Notes to Users

1. Scholarly Writing and Publishing Principles

Types of Articles and Papers

1.1 Quantitative Articles
1.2 Qualitative Articles
1.3 Mixed Methods Articles
1.4 Replication Articles
1.5 Quantitative and Qualitative Meta-Analyses
1.6 Literature Review Articles
1.7 Theoretical Articles
1.8 Methodological Articles
1.9 Other Types of Articles
1.10 Student Papers, Dissertations, and Theses

Ethical, legal, and professional standards in publishing

Ensuring the Accuracy of Scientific Findings

1.11 Planning for Ethical Compliance
1.12 Ethical and Accurate Reporting of Research Results
1.13 Errors, Corrections, and Retractions After Publication
1.14 Data Retention and Sharing
1.15 Additional Data-Sharing Considerations for Qualitative Research
1.16 Duplicate and Piecemeal Publication of Data
1.17 Implications of Plagiarism and Self-Plagiarism

Protecting the Rights and Welfare of Research Participants and Subjects

1.18 Rights and Welfare of Research Participants and Subjects
1.19 Protecting Confidentiality
1.20 Conflict of Interest

Protecting Intellectual Property Rights

1.21 Publication Credit
1.22 Order of Authors
1.23 Authors’ Intellectual Property Rights During Manuscript Review
1.24 Authors’ Copyright on Unpublished Manuscripts
1.25 Ethical Compliance Checklist

2. Paper Elements and Format

Required Elements

2.1 Professional Paper Required Elements
2.2 Student Paper Required Elements

Paper Elements

2.3 Title Page
2.4 Title
2.5 Author Name (Byline)
2.6 Author Affiliation
2.7 Author Note
2.8 Running Head
2.9 Abstract
2.10 Keywords
2.11 Text (Body)
2.12 Reference List
2.13 Footnotes
2.14 Appendices
2.15 Supplemental Materials


2.16 Importance of Format
2.17 Order of Pages
2.18 Page Header
2.19 Font
2.20 Special Characters
2.21 Line Spacing
2.22 Margins
2.23 Paragraph Alignment
2.24 Paragraph Indentation
2.25 Paper Length


2.26 Principles of Organization
2.27 Heading Levels
2.28 Section Labels

Sample papers

3. Journal Article Reporting Standards

Overview of Reporting Standards

3.1 Application of the Principles of JARS
3.2 Terminology Used in JARS

Common Reporting Standards Across Research Designs

3.3 Abstract Standards
3.4 Introduction Standards

Reporting Standards for Quantitative Research

3.5 Basic Expectations for Quantitative Research Reporting
3.6 Quantitative Method Standards
3.7 Quantitative Results Standards
3.8 Quantitative Discussion Standards
3.9 Additional Reporting Standards for Typical Experimental and Nonexperimental Studies
3.10 Reporting Standards for Special Designs
3.11 Standards for Analytic Approaches
3.12 Quantitative Meta-Analysis Standards

Reporting Standards for Qualitative Research

3.13 Basic Expectations for Qualitative Research Reporting
3.14 Qualitative Method Standards
3.15 Qualitative Findings or Results Standards
3.16 Qualitative Discussion Standards
3.17 Qualitative Meta-Analysis Standards

Reporting Standards for Mixed Methods Research

3.18 Basic Expectations for Mixed Methods Research Reporting

4. Writing Style and Grammar

Effective scholarly writing

Continuity and Flow

4.1 Importance of Continuity and Flow
4.2 Transitions
4.3 Noun Strings

Conciseness and Clarity

4.4 Importance of Conciseness and Clarity
4.5 Wordiness and Redundancy
4.6 Sentence and Paragraph Length
4.7 Tone
4.8 Contractions and Colloquialisms
4.9 Jargon
4.10 Logical Comparisons
4.11 Anthropomorphism

Grammar and usage


4.12 Verb Tense
4.13 Active and Passive Voice
4.14 Mood
4.15 Subject and Verb Agreement


4.16 First- Versus Third-Person Pronouns
4.17 Editorial “We”
4.18 Singular “They”
4.19 Pronouns for People and Animals (“Who” vs. “That”)
4.20 Pronouns as Subjects and Objects (“Who” vs. “Whom”)
4.21 Pronouns in Restrictive and Nonrestrictive Clauses (“That” vs. “Which”)

Sentence Construction

4.22 Subordinate Conjunctions
4.23 Misplaced and Dangling Modifiers
4.24 Parallel Construction

Strategies to Improve Your Writing

4.25 Reading to Learn Through Example
4.26 Writing From an Outline
4.27 Rereading the Draft
4.28 Seeking Help From Colleagues
4.29 Working With Copyeditors and Writing Centers
4.30 Revising a Paper

5. Bias-Free Language Guidelines

General Guidelines for Reducing Bias

5.1 Describe at the Appropriate Level of Specificity
5.2 Be Sensitive to Labels

Reducing Bias by Topic

5.3 Age
5.4 Disability
5.5 Gender
5.6 Participation in Research
5.7 Racial and Ethnic Identity
5.8 Sexual Orientation
5.9 Socioeconomic Status
5.10 Intersectionality

6. Mechanics of Style


6.1 Spacing After Punctuation Marks
6.2 Period
6.3 Comma
6.4 Semicolon
6.5 Colon
6.6 Dash
6.7 Quotation Marks
6.8 Parentheses
6.9 Square Brackets
6.10 Slash


6.11 Preferred Spelling
6.12 Hyphenation


6.13 Words Beginning a Sentence
6.14 Proper Nouns and Trade Names
6.15 Job Titles and Positions
6.16 Diseases, Disorders, Therapies, Theories, and Related Terms
6.17 Titles of Works and Headings Within Works
6.18 Titles of Tests and Measures
6.19 Nouns Followed by Numerals or Letters
6.20 Names of Conditions or Groups in an Experiment
6.21 Names of Factors, Variables, and Effects


6.22 Use of Italics
6.23 Reverse Italics


6.24 Use of Abbreviations
6.25 Definition of Abbreviations
6.26 Format of Abbreviations
6.27 Unit of Measurement Abbreviations
6.28 Time Abbreviations
6.29 Latin Abbreviations
6.30 Chemical Compound Abbreviations
6.31 Gene and Protein Name Abbreviations


6.32 Numbers Expressed in Numerals
6.33 Numbers Expressed in Words
6.34 Combining Numerals and Words to Express Numbers
6.35 Ordinal Numbers
6.36 Decimal Fractions
6.37 Roman Numerals
6.38 Commas in Numbers
6.39 Plurals of Numbers

Statistical and Mathematical Copy

6.40 Selecting Effective Presentation
6.41 References for Statistics
6.42 Formulas
6.43 Statistics in Text
6.44 Statistical Symbols and Abbreviations
6.45 Spacing, Alignment, and Punctuation for Statistics

Presentation of Equations

6.46 Equations in Text
6.47 Displayed Equations
6.48 Preparing Statistical and Mathematical Copy for Publication


6.49 List Guidelines
6.50 Lettered Lists
6.51 Numbered Lists
6.52 Bulleted Lists

7. Tables and Figures

General Guidelines for Tables and Figures

7.1 Purpose of Tables and Figures
7.2 Design and Preparation of Tables and Figures
7.3 Graphical Versus Textual Presentation
7.4 Formatting Tables and Figures
7.5 Referring to Tables and Figures in the Text
7.6 Placement of Tables and Figures
7.7 Reprinting or Adapting Tables and Figures


7.8 Principles of Table Construction
7.9 Table Components
7.10 Table Numbers
7.11 Table Titles
7.12 Table Headings
7.13 Table Body
7.14 Table Notes
7.15 Standard Abbreviations in Tables and Figures
7.16 Confidence Intervals in Tables
7.17 Table Borders and Shading
7.18 Long or Wide Tables
7.19 Relation Between Tables
7.20 Table Checklist
7.21 Sample Tables

Sample tables


7.22 Principles of Figure Construction
7.23 Figure Components
7.24 Figure Numbers
7.25 Figure Titles
7.26 Figure Images
7.27 Figure Legends
7.28 Figure Notes
7.29 Relation Between Figures
7.30 Photographs
7.31 Considerations for Electrophysiological, Radiological, Genetic, and Other Biological Data
7.32 Electrophysiological Data
7.33 Radiological (Imaging) Data
7.34 Genetic Data
7.35 Figure Checklist
7.36 Sample Figures

Sample figures

8. Works Credited in the Text

General Guidelines for Citation

8.1 Appropriate Level of Citation
8.2 Plagiarism
8.3 Self-Plagiarism
8.4 Correspondence Between Reference List and Text
8.5 Use of the Published Version or Archival Version
8.6 Primary and Secondary Sources

Works Requiring Special Approaches to Citation

8.7 Interviews
8.8 Classroom or Intranet Sources
8.9 Personal Communications

In-Text Citations

8.10 Author–Date Citation System
8.11 Parenthetical and Narrative Citations
8.12 Citing Multiple Works
8.13 Citing Specific Parts of a Source
8.14 Unknown or Anonymous Author
8.15 Translated, Reprinted, Republished, and Reissued Dates
8,16 Omitting the Year in Repeated Narrative Citations
8.17 Number of Authors to Include in In-Text Citations
8.18 Avoiding Ambiguity in In-Text Citations
8.19 Works With the Same Author and Same Date
8.20 Authors With the Same Surname
8.21 Abbreviating Group Authors
8.22 General Mentions of Websites, Periodicals, and Common Software and Apps

Paraphrases and Quotations

8.23 Principles of Paraphrasing
8.24 Long Paraphrases
8.25 Principles of Direct Quotation
8.26 Short Quotations (Fewer Than 40 Words)
8.27 Block Quotations (40 Words or More)
8.28 Direct Quotation of Material Without Page Numbers
8.29 Accuracy of Quotations
8.30 Changes to a Quotation Requiring No Explanation
8.31 Changes to a Quotation Requiring Explanation
8.32 Quotations That Contain Citations to Other Works
8.33 Quotations That Contain Material Already in Quotation Marks
8.34 Permission to Reprint or Adapt Lengthy Quotations
8.35 Epigraphs
8.36 Quotations From Research Participants

9. Reference List

Reference Categories

9.1 Determining the Reference Category
9.2 Using the Webpages and Websites Reference Category
9.3 Online and Print References

Principles of Reference List Entries

9.4 Four Elements of a Reference
9.5 Punctuation Within Reference List Entries
9.6 Accuracy and Consistency in References

Reference elements


9.7 Definition of Author
9.8 Format of the Author Element
9.9 Spelling and Capitalization of Author Names
9.10 Identification of Specialized Roles
9.11 Group Authors
9.12 No Author


9.13 Definition of Date
9.14 Format of the Date Element
9.15 Updated or Reviewed Online Works
9.16 Retrieval Dates
9.17 No Date


9.18 Definition of Title
9.19 Format of the Title Element
9.20 Series and Multivolume Works
9.21 Bracketed Descriptions
9.22 No Title


9.23 Definition of Source
9.24 Format of the Source Element
9.25 Periodical Sources
9.26 Online Periodicals With Missing Information
9.27 Article Numbers
9.28 Edited Book Chapter and Reference Work Entry Sources
9.29 Publisher Sources
9.30 Database and Archive Sources
9.31 Works With Specific Locations
9.32 Social Media Sources
9.33 Website Sources
9.34 When to Include DOIs and URLs
9.35 Format of DOIs and URLs
9.36 DOI or URL Shorteners
9.37 No Source

Reference Variations

9.38 Works in Another Language
9.39 Translated Works
9.40 Reprinted Works
9.41 Republished or Reissued Works
9.42 Religious and Classical Works

Reference List Format and Order

9.43 Format of the Reference List
9.44 Order of Works in the Reference List
9.45 Order of Surname and Given Name
9.46 Order of Multiple Works by the Same First Author
9.47 Order of Works With the Same Author and Same Date
9.48 Order of Works by First Authors With the Same Surname
9.49 Order of Works With No Author or an Anonymous Author
9.50 Abbreviations in References
9.51 Annotated Bibliographies
9.52 References Included in a Meta-Analysis

10. Reference Examples

Author Variations

Date Variations

Title Variations

Source Variations

Textual Works

10.1 Periodicals
10.2 Books and Reference Works
10.3 Edited Book Chapters and Entries in Reference Works
10.4 Reports and Gray Literature
10.5 Conference Sessions and Presentations
10.6 Dissertations and Theses
10.7 Reviews
10.8 Unpublished Works and Informally Published Works

Data Sets, Software, and Tests

10.9 Data Sets
10.10 Computer Software, Mobile Apps, Apparatuses, and Equipment
10.11 Tests, Scales, and Inventories

Audiovisual Media

10.12 Audiovisual Works
10.13 Audio Works
10.14 Visual Works

Online Media

10.15 Social Media
10.16 Webpages and Websites

11. Legal References

General Guidelines for Legal References

11.1 APA Style References Versus Legal References
11.2 General Forms
11.3 In-Text Citations of Legal Materials

Legal Reference Examples

11.4 Cases or Court Decisions
11.5 Statutes (Laws and Acts)
11.6 Legislative Materials
11.7 Administrative and Executive Materials
11.8 Patents
11.9 Constitutions and Charters
11.10 Treaties and International Conventions

12. Publication Process

Preparing for Publication

12.1 Adapting a Dissertation or Thesis Into a Journal Article
12.2 Selecting a Journal for Publication
12.3 Prioritizing Potential Journals
12.4 Avoiding Predatory Journals

Understanding the Editorial Publication Process

12.5 Editorial Publication Process
12.6 Role of the Editors
12.7 Peer Review Process
12.8 Manuscript Decisions

Manuscript Preparation

12.9 Preparing the Manuscript for Submission
12.10 Using an Online Submission Portal
12.11 Writing a Cover Letter
12.12 Corresponding During Publication
12.13 Certifying Ethical Requirements

Copyright and Permission Guidelines

12.14 General Guidelines for Reprinting or Adapting Materials
12.15 Materials That Require Copyright Attribution
12.16 Copyright Status
12.17 Permission and Fair Use
12.18 Copyright Attribution Formats

During and After Publication

12.19 Article Proofs
12.20 Published Article Copyright Policies
12.21 Open Access Deposit Policies
12.22 Writing a Correction Notice
12.23 Sharing Your Article Online
12.24 Promoting Your Article

Back Matter

Credits for Adapted Tables, Figures, and Papers



American Psychological Association. (2019). Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association, Seventh Edition (2020).

Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association, Seventh Edition (2020) (2024)


How to answer questions in APA 7? ›

Use double spacing and one inch margins. Separate the answer from the question by beginning the answer on a new line. Always answer in complete sentences. If your answer is lengthy, it is okay to start a new paragraph.

Is there a 7th edition of the APA manual? ›

With millions of copies sold worldwide in multiple languages, the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association, Seventh Edition is the style manual of choice for writers, researchers, editors, students, and educators in the social and behavioral sciences, natural sciences, nursing, communications, ...

Is American Psychological Association 7th edition the same as Harvard? ›

7th edition guidance

A new version of the APA style was published in 2019. Departments will gradually switch to this version - check your course handbook. APA 7th edition differs significantly from APA 6th edition and other Harvard styles in that the place of publication is usually omitted from the reference.

Is APA on 7th or 8th edition? ›

Available now!

The Mastering APA Style Student Workbook is an online and interactive workbook for teaching and learning seventh edition APA Style.

What is APA 7 citation example? ›

Journal Article From Library Database no DOI - One Author
ExampleCarlisle, D. (2012). In the line of fire. Nursing Standard, 26(39), 18-19.
In-Text Paraphrase(Author's Last Name, Year) Example: (Carlisle, 2012)
In-Text Quote(Author's Last Name, Year, p. Page Number) Example: (Carlisle, 2012, p. 18)

What is the question answer format? ›

The question and answer format is an essay whereby a professor presents an inquiry, and the students write a solution to the query. In this format, you quickly provide valuable information by involving the readers when asking the question and proving your answer.

Is there a difference between APA and APA 7th edition? ›

Most of the general formatting remains the same in APA 7. However, the reference page, which should be found at the end of the document, now features “References” in boldface at the top of the page.

What should APA 7th edition look like? ›

Set page margins to 1 inch on all sides. Double-space all text, including headings. Indent the first line of every paragraph 0.5 inches. Use an accessible font (e.g., Times New Roman 12pt., Arial 11pt., or Georgia 11pt.).

What has changed with the 7th edition of APA? ›

In the 7th edition, APA made changes to their in-text citations and reference list by including fewer authors in in-text citations, removing the 'retrieved from' in web citations, and remove the [Kindle] from ebooks. They also modified their language to cover a bias-free writing style.

Is APA better than Harvard? ›

While they share some similarities, there are also several key differences between the two formats. APA referencing focuses on providing a more detailed citation level than Harvard; it provides specific information about the cited source and its authors, such as the date of publication and publisher.

Is APA college level? ›

APA Style is the dominant writing style used in college in the United States, particularly at the bachelor's degree level and higher.

Who uses APA 7th edition? ›

The seventh edition of the APA Publication Manual contains a number of updates and additions designed to make APA style more useful for students, teachers, and other educational stakeholders.

What edition of APA is the publication manual? ›

The Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association, Seventh Edition is the official source for APA Style.

Is APA 7th edition single or double spaced? ›

Line Spacing: In general, double-space all parts of an APA Style paper, including the abstract, text, block quotations, table and figure numbers, titles, and notes, and reference list (including between and within entries). Do not add extra space before or after paragraphs.

How to cite the APA manual 7th edition itself? ›

1. American Psychological Association, Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association: The Official Guide to APA Style, 7th ed. (Washington, DC: American Psychological Association, 2020). American Psychological Association.

How do you present results in APA 7? ›

In an APA results section, you should generally report the following:
  1. Participant flow and recruitment period.
  2. Missing data and any adverse events.
  3. Descriptive statistics about your samples.
  4. Inferential statistics, including confidence intervals and effect sizes.
Dec 21, 2020

How do you quote a question in APA? ›

Punctuation Junction: Question Marks and Quotation Marks
  1. When the quotation itself is a question, put the question mark inside the quotation marks. ...
  2. When the sentence as a whole is a question, but the quoted material is not, put the question mark outside the quotation marks.
Apr 18, 2013

How to properly answer a question? ›

How to respond to questions effectively
  1. Prepare for tough questions. ...
  2. Pause before responding. ...
  3. Monitor your body language. ...
  4. Reword the question. ...
  5. Take more time if you need to. ...
  6. Acknowledge the other person's emotions. ...
  7. Answer a portion of the question. ...
  8. Ask questions about the question.
Jun 9, 2023

How do you cite a questionnaire in APA 7? ›

You do not need to cite an original survey. Instead, you can quote it in your academic paper and incorporate its results in the appendix section of your paper. You do not require any citation if the survey is not part of your paper's appendix.

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