APA 7th edition changes for students

Some of the most notable changes to APA in the transition from the 6th edition to the 7th, as relevant to our undergraduate students.

There are many more changes that are relevant to graduate students and faculty who are preparing manuscripts of original research for publication - consult the actual manual.

Big principle: don't assume anything you knew about APA before this still applies - check the new manual if you're trying to be 7th-edition compliant!

  • student papers are now differently laid out than "professional" papers but students need to confirm with their profs whether the prof allows them to use the simplified student layout (no running head!). There are full "sample paper" examples for both the professional and student types at the end of the elements chapter (page 52+)
  • multiple co-authors: in-text citations,  stop at 2 names instead of up to 5 BUT in the reference list, give up to 20 co-authors' names instead of just 7 before using the ellipsis structure
  • DOIs are now standardized to always be the full URL starting with: https://doi.org/  so the use of "doi:" is gone
  • For other URLs, no longer include the words "Retrieved from" in front
  • URLs into databases/products that require a login to "resolve at all" (not just to have full text access) should go to the public top of the database product, not the item-specific, account-specific link
  • Annotated bibliographies - there is now official guidance on this, 9.51 and even an example (p. 307-308) although students should continue to make sure they understand what their own prof means by that term for their assignments
  • Reference Examples section much bigger including a lot of web multimedia examples like YouTube, TedTalks, etc. - look under Audiovisual Works (10.12-14), not websites (10.16), for the multimedia examples; also a separate set of examples for social media like Facebook posts, Tweets, Instagram images, etc. (10.15)
  • Journal articles now always include the issue number regardless of pagination
  • Book citations don't use publisher location (city) anymore
  • Use the List of Tables and Figures that comes right after the Table of Contents to find examples like "sample student title page", "use of headings", "basic in-text citation styles", "examples of direct quotations". There are many more examples as formal tables and figures in this edition. Figure 9.4 (p.309) 'Use of asterisks..." also doubles as a good sample for the reference list layout formatting overall
  • Bias-free language: Much expanded section about bias-free language, includes advice about terms for Indigenous peoples from various geographic areas (5.7) and a lot about gender identity language; singular "they" now officially approved even for specific individuals (5.5)
  • Expanded "personal communication" in-text citation section (8.9) helps with citing classroom/Moodle PowerPoints, Indigenous oral traditions, and other non-published sources. Personal communications do not have corresponding reference list entries.
  • Articles and books that don't have DOIs can be cited as if print - no reference to the database name, retrieved date, or anything else needed - this applies to materials found in our "research" databases like OneSearch and Proquest - basically anything that is widely published in print as well as online. Of course, if there is a DOI, the same is true except for adding the DOI URL.
  • The only time a citation would ever name a particular database ("Retrieved from...") is if the content is unique to that database (found nowhere else) such as ERIC ED documents and specialty medical and business reports created for and found only in the one proprietary database. Our PEN Nutrition database would be an example of this.
  • Retrieval date is now limited to a narrow range of cases, when the content of the site is designed to change and not archived. (I'm not clear on how the student is supposed to know that last part.)  Look in the Reference Examples table of contents under "Date variation - retrieval date" for the specifics.  Basically, things like continuously-updated online reference works (not the ones with fixed editions, which is what we mostly have), and web pages that are designed to keep changing (eg world population clocks, someone's Twitter profile).

While most students focus on the References / in-text citations aspects of APA style, the rest of the book has a lot of good advice about grammar and writing style and really can be used as a general handbook on good academic writing.
The Library keeps one copy at the Service Desk and a second copy in the Reference collection, BF76.7.P83 2020.