Writing in APA Style presents significant challenges. Neither students nor professionals have the leisure to commit to memory the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association. To complicate matters, the first printing of the Sixth Edition of the publication, printed in July 2009, contained errata on over 80 pages. For this reason, do not purchase a used copy. Amazon.com and the American Psychological Association are presently selling only later, corrected printings of the work. Although the Sixth Edition is more concise than its predecessor, this is partly because it lacks the wealth of examples provided in the Fifth Edition. Also, there are numerous rules in the Fifth Edition that have been changed in the Sixth Edition. I present below a few important changes in the mechanics of APA Style:
Whereas the Fifth Edition recommended inserting one space after punctuation marks at the end of a sentence, the Sixth Edition stipulates two spaces, as in this article.
Both editions provide a general rule to use numerals to express numbers 10 and above and words to express numbers below 10. However, the Fifth Edition made an exception that the Sixth Edition does not: When numbers 10 and above are grouped together in the same sentence with numbers below 10, the latter are also expressed in numerals.
Two examples of this outdated rule follow:
4 of 29 analyses
3 of the 36 groups
There is also a difference between the two editions in another exception to the rule of expressing numbers 10 and above with numerals and those below 10 with words. Whereas the Fifth Edition stipulates that all numbers denoting time should be in numerals (e.g., 2 months), the Sixth Edition states that this exception no longer applies for approximate designations of days, months, and years (e.g., about two months ago).
Report p values to two or three decimal places (e.g., p = .031, p = .03). However, the Sixth Edition states to report p values less than .001 as p < .001.
Whereas the Fifth Edition did not allow bulleted lists, such as this one, the Sixth Edition suggests that writers who wish to avoid connoting an "unwanted or unwarranted" ordinal relationship (e.g., chronology, priority, importance) among items in a list may wish to resort to bulleted lists rather than numbered ones.
Making APA mistakes can cost a significant amount of time and money. You may need to revise an entire manuscript, which could entail enrolling in school for another semester or more. To avoid such inconveniences, seriously consider enlisting the expertise of a competent APA editor.
About the Author
JAMES N. POWELL, with MA degrees in both English Literature and Religious Studies, is a former Professor of English Literature. He has been editing, coaching, and tutoring writers and students for years. He was inhouse APA proofreader of doctoral dissertations at the Fielding University. He excels at working with international / ESL students. Specializing in APA and MLA styles, he has proofread hundreds of doctoral dissertations and papers. He is an internationally published writer, with books issued by major houses: Prentice Hall, William Morrow, and Hosei University Press (Japan).
If you have a book, dissertation, or paper that needs to be in APA format, rather than attempting to master the 272-page Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association, turn your manuscript over to an editor with years of APA experience. I have edited doctoral dissertations published at the following universities, to name just a few: Adelphi University, Adler Graduate School, Alliant University, Antioch University, Argosy University, California Institute of Integral Studies, California State University, Capella University, Century University, City University of New York, Concordia University, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, Fielding Graduate University, Grand Canyon University, Harvard University, Hunter-Bellevue School of Nursing, Hunter College, John F. Kennedy University, Kwangwoon University, Leiden University of Social Sciences, Liberty University, Longwood University, Medaille College, Morgan State University, Northcentral University, Nova Southeastern University, Pacifica Graduate Institute, Pepperdine University, Regent University School of Global Leadership and Entrepreneurship, Regis University of Professional Studies, Rider University, Santa Barbara Graduate Institute, Saint Mary’s University, Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, University of California, University of Florida, University of Hartford, University of Kansas, University of Miami, University of Oslo, University of Phoenix, University of Texas, University of the West Indies, University of Wisconsin, Walden University, Warren National University, William Howard Taft University, Yeshiva University, and York University.
Once your e-mail is received, the network coordinator will forward it (plus any attached files) to the consultants you selected. If no selection is made, your submission will be forwarded to several consultants who might be a good match. Final choice of consultant is yours.
If you do not receive a response within 3 hours (M-F, 7a-7p Eastern), please RESEND your submission. You may also use the chat button or leave a message: 469-789-3030.
Allow a longer response time if you sent your submission during the weekend or after U.S. business hours.
All of the consultants listed on this site are freelance. They are located throughout the U.S. The coordinator cannot answer cost/timeframe questions for each consultant. You must go through the submission process to receive direct responses from the consultants listed on this site.
Need help with your submission? Call 1-855-EDITING (553-3484) Note: The coordinator is not able to provide price quotes or turnaround times for the freelance consultants in this network. Ethical Limitations: Our editors will not perform research or write original content for students, and our statisticians will not answer homework or test questions.