APA STYLE - THE MOST SIGNIFICANT CHANGES IN THE 7TH EDITION.


A college student reading APA 7th manual book.

The American Psychological Association (APA) introduced the revised copy of APA style 7th edition. All students and educators should therefore know the massive changes that have occured to the APA 6th edition.


In this resourceful article, we disucss cearlly some of the changes that you should be aware of when writing an essay, research paper , or any academic paper in an APA format ,7th edition.


It is important to note that there are several changes that occured to the APA but for the benefit of teachers and students, we will only concentrate on the most important changes for them. So, if you are a student or teacher, you are free to use our guide.


Table of contents.

  1. References and in-text citations in APA Style

  2. Inclusive and bias-free language

  3. APA Paper format

  4. Mechanics of style

  5. Most Asked Question


1. References and in-text citations in APA Style


In academic writing, a student must properly cite the infromation retrieved from educational materials such as articles, authentic websites, books, and many more. The APA 7th edition guidline in chapter 8 of the new APA 7th edition manual book entails specific instructions on how in-text citations and references for academic sources should be written.


According to the APA 7th edition, you should use Author–Date Citation System. In this citation system, every work included in a paper has two main components which are ; an in-text citation and a corresponding reference list entry. Here's what we mean by this:


In text citations can often take the narrative or parenthesis form.


  • In parenthetical citations, we use an ampersand (&) between names for a work with two authors or before the last author when all names must be included to avoid ambiguity. For example; (Johnes & Mark, 2020).

  • In narrative citations, always spell out the word “and.” For example; Johnes and Mark (2020) argued that....

How many authors should you include in an in-text citation?



Based on the APA 7th edition guildines, the format of the author element of the in-text citation changes depending on the number of authors and is abbreviated in some cases.

  • For example, if you have a work with one or two authors, include the author name(s) in every citation.

  • For a work with three or more authors, include the name of only the first author plus “et al.” in every citation (even the first citation).


However, there are a few scenarios when the basic intext citation rules for the APA 7th edition do not apply:

  • when two works in a paper would both abbreviate to the same “et al.” form  (spell out as many surnames as needed to disambiguate)

  • when multiple works in a paper have an identical author (or authors) and publication year  (append letters to the years)

  • when the first authors of multiple references in a paper share the same surname but have different initials  (use initials in the in-text citations)

Writing the dates on an APA inext citation:

  • The year included the in-text citation must match the year in the reference list entry.

  • Use only the year in the in-text citation, even if the reference list entry contains a more specific date (e.g., year, month, and day).

  • For works with no date, use “n.d.” in the in-text citation.

  • For works that have been accepted for publication but have not yet been published, use “in press.”


2. Inclusive and Bias Free Language


According to the American Psychological Association 7th edition, students and teachers who use their style should talk about all people with inclusivity and respect. As a writer, using APA Style always strive to use language that is free of bias and avoid perpetuating prejudicial beliefs or demeaning attitudes in your writing.


It is equally important to cross-check what you write for spelling, grammar, and wordiness, practice reading your work for bias.


The APA 7th edition guidelines for bias-free language entails both general guidelines for writing about people without bias across a range of topics and specific guidelines that address the individual characteristics of age, disability, gender, participation in research, racial and ethnic identity, sexual orientation, socioeconomic status, and intersectionality.


Keep note of the following;


Always use gender neutral pronouns such as "they" or "their":

For example, instead of writing ; A student's success often depends on how he /she uses the citations given, you can write; A student's scussess often depends on how they use the citations given.


Instead of using adjectives as nouns to label groups of people, descriptive phrases are preferred: For example; instead of using the mentally-disabled, write people living with mental illness.


Avoid Essentialis: The APA rejects the use of Languages that essentializes or reifies race . For example, phrases such as “the Black race” and “the White race” are essentialist in nature, portray human groups monolithically, and often perpetuate stereotypes.


Be specific: For example, when writing about disability, names of conditions (e.g., Alzheimer's disease) are more specific than categories of conditions (e.g., types of dementia) or general references such as “people with disabilities.”


3. Format of an APA Paper


Order of Pages: When writing a paper in an APA format 7th edition, always remember to arrange the pages of an APA Style paper in the following order: 

  • title page

  • abstract

  • text

  • references

  • footnotes (when asked, so it's not mandatory).

  • tables

  • figures

  • appendices


Student title page format of an APA style paper: The new APA 7th edition adopts a new title page format compared to the 6th edition.


These are the key elements that a student must always include in an title page formatted in an APA 7th edition format;


  • The paper title.

  • Author names (the byline).

  • Author affiliation.

  • Course number and name for which the paper is being submitted.

  • Instructor name.

  • Assignment due date.

  • Page number.


As shown in the below title page APA 7th edition example:


APA title page sample 7th edition

4. Mechanics of Style.


When it comes to mechanics of style, not much has changed in the 7th edition. In addition to some updated and better explained guidelines, there are two notable changes:

  1. Use only one space after a period at the end of a sentence.

  2. Use double quotation marks instead of italics to refer to linguistic examples.


5. Frequently Asked Questions about APA 7th edition style


What is the most current edition of the APA manual?

The most current edition of the APA manual is the 7th edition resleased by APA in October 2019.


When will students start using the 7th edition APA Manual?

According to the American Psychological Association anticipation, most students will start using the 7th edition in the spring of 2020 or thereafter.

Feel free to ask your supervisor or check the website of the journal you want to publish in to see which APA guidelines you should follow.


Do we include running head in an APA 7th edition?

No, students should not include running head in the APA 7th edition. Check the APA title page format included in our website to learn more.



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