APA Style 2020 Posts You Don’t Want to Miss

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Now that 2020 is in our rearview mirror (thank goodness!), I thought it appropriate to usher in the New Year with a recap of not-to-miss Writing Center blogcasts that concern APA Style as we transition fully to the 7th edition. As those of you who subscribe to the blog know, since the blog began its second life in late July, the focus has been largely on APA Style 7th edition concerns. In 2021, we are going to turn our attention to other writing-related matters such as understanding an assignment, patchwriting, the Oxford comma to name but a few. If you are not a subscriber but would like to subscribe to our blog so that each Friday you receive an email that offers the newest information available, please do so. And tell your friends!

One feature in the 7th edition of APA Style that a couple of blogcasts discussed is the importance of using inclusive language in one’s writing. APA Style’s official website says that writers “must strive to use language that is free of bias and avoid perpetuating prejudicial beliefs or demeaning attitudes. Just as you learned to check for spelling, grammar, and wordiness, practice reading your work for bias.” To this end, the Writing Center has two blogcasts that speak to the importance of using inclusive language, one titled “The Singular ‘They’” and the other “Bias Free Language” that if you haven’t had a chance to check out yet, you are encouraged to do so now. Another blogcast related to inclusivity is “Why Fonts Matter,” which discusses, among other things, APA Style’s recommendations for font size and style and how, ultimately, it all comes down to using a font that is accessible to all. 

Some of the most common APA Style questions we field in the Writing Center concern formatting–formatting the paper in general, formatting in-text citations, and formatting reference entries. With formatting on the mind, you might like to check out “First Impressions” for information about the general formatting for a student paper and title page. If you want content to help you with a research-based paper, “Documenting Sources Made Easy” offers a practical approach to formatting in-text citations and reference entries, and for help formatting “tricky” in-text citation contexts, you’ll want to take a look at “Citation Situations.” 
Two more must-view blogcasts from 2020 include “Top Seven Common User Errors in APA Style 7th Edition,” which will help you avoid the, well, most common user errors in APA Style 7th edition, and, finally, one of our most-viewed blogcasts of this past year “Fabulous APA Style 7th Edition Video & Webinars” that discusses APA Style 7th Edition resources beyond those found on the blog.

Until next week– 

Kurtis Clements

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2 Responses


    OK, so I am an old “Grammar Curmudgeon” and “Language Snob”! Your post has changed my mind on the singular “they”. I also experience “blackboard fingernail scraping” when the a plural noun is followed by a (what I consider ) a singular predicate. An example of this is something including “their life”. Shouldn’t it be “their lives”? I am a Medicare recipient returning to paper-writing for the first time in decades. No kidding. So, I will do my best to keep up with cultural changes in grammar. Thank you.

    • Hi Theresa, Thanks for the response. For some accepting the singular “they” will be a slow process, but I think it’s an important change to make and what I’ve found is that the more I use the singular “they,” the more comfortable I become. In terms of your question, usage would be dictated by what “their” refers to. If “their” refers to a singular antecedent, then life would be the correct word to use. So in a sentence like “The person ran for their life,” the use of “their” would be correct because “person” is clearly singular and so is “their” in this context. Most are used to “their” being plural, but the pronoun can now also be singular. I hope this helps! –Kurtis

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