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APA 7th Edition: Key Changes Explained

Changes can be frustrating. But, they are a necessity, especially when it comes to style guides. In an attempt to keep up with the changing world, APA updated their style guide in 2019. View the APA 7th edition changes covering in-text citations, the reference page, formatting, mechanics of style, and tables.

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APA 7th Edition Changes in In-Text Citations

When APA made their changes in 2019, one area they looked at was the in-text citations. In APA 7th edition, in-text citations with three or more authors use the last name of the first author, then et al. As a result, you’ll save your fingers some writing.

In-Text Citation Example

×  (Garrett, Betts, & Dover, 2020)

  (Garrett et al., 2020)

Additionally, the new APA guidelines don’t call for an in-text citation for quotes from research participants. Therefore, all you need to do is attribute the quote to a research participant, and you are done.

APA 7th Edition Changes for the Reference Page

APA 7th edition also made some significant changes to its reference page. And by big changes, that means they offered more examples. Therefore, you can now find over 100 examples. And, these new examples show you how to cite anything from a scholarly journal to a youtube video. Other changes to their references include:

  • Removal of publisher location in citations
  • Including up to 20 author names in reference citation
  • Formatting DOIs like URLs
  • Contributor guidelines for TV series and podcasts
  • Inclusion of website name in citations and removal of retrieved from
  • Deletion of [Kindle] in ebooks and addition of publisher in the citation

Example of Website Citation

×  Betts, J. (2020, July 18). APA format and citations. Retrieved from Bibliography.com: www.bibliography.com/apa/apa-format-and-citations/

√  Betts, J. (2020, July 18). APA format and citations. Bibliography.com: www.bibliography.com/apa/apa-format-and-citations/

Example of Ebook Citation

×  Morrison, T. (1970) The bluest eye. [Kindle version]. www.amazon.com/Bluest-Eye-Vintage-International/dp/0307278441

√  Morrison, T. (1970) The bluest eye. Vintage International. www.amazon.com/Bluest-Eye-Vintage-International/dp/0307278441

APA 7th Edition Changes: Formatting

When it comes to formatting, APA separated formatting for students and professionals. The most significant difference is the omission of the running header and abstract for students unless requested by professors. Other fundamental changes include:

  • Expanded definition of the formatting of the title
  • Instructions for byline formatting
  • How to label and format appendices
  • Flexible order of pages including tables and figures
  • Flexible font choices like 11-point Calibri and 11-point Georgia
  • New guidelines for formatting headings
  • Removal of words “running head” on the first page for professional papers
  • Recommendations for using word count rather than paper length

example APA format rules research paper

Mechanics of Style in APA 7th Edition Changes

Because APA wants to make sure your writing is in tip-top shape, it outlined strategies for improving your writing. You can also find strategies for bias-free writing.

Bias-Free Language Guidelines

Inclusive and bias-free language is essential. This is especially true when you are creating a science research paper. To further make sure APA is ahead of the times, they have outlined guidelines for the singular “they” pronoun and best practices for discussing age, gender, disabilities, ethnicity, and sexual orientation.

Inclusive Language Example:

The APA Manual of Style takes the person-first orientation in their new edition.

× “the autistic child”

  “the child with autism”

Singular They Example: 

Use the gender-neutral ‘they’ rather than a gender-specific pronoun.

×  The results will depend on how he or she is tested.

  The results will depend on how they are tested.

Age Example: 

Exact age ranges rather than broad ones.

×  Individuals 45 and over

√  Individuals from 45-50

Punctuation, Capitalization, and Abbreviations

In addition to inclusive language, the APA 7th edition includes new examples covering punctuation, capitalization, abbreviations, and numbers in chapter 6 of the guideline. While there are quite a few changes, some of the highlights include:

  • One space after punctuation
  • Preferred spelling for common tech words
  • Capitalization of proper nouns
  • Number presentation guidelines

Table and Figure Guidance Changes

One of the last vital changes from APA 6th edition to the 7th edition happened to the tables and figures. APA worked to make tables more accessible by modifying where you can place them. For example, they can be placed in the body of the paper where you discuss them, or they can be placed after the reference list on separate pages. Additionally, they include a table checklist along with precise components your tables and figures should consist of, like Table 1 and Figure 1.

example table APA format

Keeping Up-To-Date on APA 7th Edition Changes

Change is never fun. But sometimes, it’s for the best. In the instance of APA writing style, they worked to clear up some issues and keep up with the current culture. And if you don’t know all the rule changes just yet, don’t worry, APA 6 is still being used.

FAQ APA 7th Edition: Key Changes Explained

What are the changes in APA 7th edition?

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 there a 7th edition of the APA manual?

Yes, in 2019, APA came out with the 7th edition of their APA manual. This new edition has several changes in areas like in-text citations, reference lists, writing style, and tables.

What is the difference between APA 6th edition and 7th edition?

The difference between APA 6 and APA 7 are the updates the writing style made to their reference list, writing style, tables, and formatting. Some of the key changes included the removal of the running header and abstract requirements for students.

What is the latest APA format?

The latest edition of the APA format is the 7th edition. This new edition came out in 2019 and outlined several changes.

Is there a running head in APA 7th edition?

Yes, there is a running header in APA 7th edition. However, it is only required for professional papers. Students are not required to include a running header unless it is called for by their teachers.

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