Important differences between the APA 6th and 7th edition you need to be aware of

The style manual of APA was updated in 2019. This guide will represent several differences between APA 6th and 7th version. The APA 7th edition contains a large number of additions and updates specifically designed to make this style more useful for teachers, students, and educational stakeholders.

Overview of the main changes in APA 7th edition

  • The issue number should always be included for journal articles.
  • Sources that are retrieved from the database should be referenced as print sources
  • The publisher location can be removed from the book reference
  • Examples from social media can be added
  • The “Access from” phrase is omitted from the URL.

Now let’s look at a difference between APA 6th and 7th version.

Citation style for three or more authors

In APA 6th edition, if there are three to five authors then list all authors for the first-time list and after that use et al. If there are six or more than six authors, then use et al. in the in-text citation. On the other hand, as per APA format 7th edition, if there are three or more authors then use et al. for all in-text citations.

Direct Quotes

There is no specific guidance in the APA 6th edition manual regarding direct quotation citation. In APA 7th version, if you are quoting a direct quote then it should be written in double commas followed by page number in parenthesis in the in-text citation. For example,

  • According to Taylor (2020), “Direct quote” (p.1023).
  • Taylor (2020) stated that “Direct quote” (p.1025).
  • (Some statement) “Direct quote” (Taylor, 2020, p.1023)

But if an essay writer is citing a direct quote that is more than 40 words then according to the APA 7th version use a block quote as they don’t need any quotation marks. Taylor (2008) “While studies have recognized that …………………………… access to healthcare systems”. (p. 1123)

Date present in Secondary sources

In APA 6th edition, the date of the source is not included in secondary source citation. On the other hand, In APA 7th edition, the date of the source is included in a secondary source.

Number of names of the author included in a reference list

In APA 6th edition, it is preferred to provide initials and surnames for almost 7 authors in the reference list. If there are more than 8 authors, then add a three-point ellipsis point after the name of the sixth author and followed by the last author name. In APA 7th edition, add initials and surnames for almost twenty authors in the reference list. If there are more than 20 authors then after the name of the 19th author, add ellipsis followed by the name of the last author.

When the author and publisher are the same

When the author and publisher are the same then add the “Author” word as a publisher name in the reference list. In the APA 7th edition, if the name of the author and publisher is the same then do not include the publisher in the reference list.

Journal issue Numbers

In APA 6th edition, add journal issue number when it is separate on the issue number. In APA 7th version, for all periodicals, issue numbers should be added.

Location of Publisher

In APA 6th edition, the publisher's location such as state, city, etc. should be added before the name of the publisher. In APA 7th version, do not add the location of a publisher such as a state, city, etc. after the name of the publisher in a reference.

Online work with no DOI

In APA 6th version, if there is no DOI of an online work then you should provide the URL of the journal and book publisher. In APA 7th version, if online work with no DOI is found through the database of academic research then there is no need for URL. In this case, the reference will look just like a print version.

URL Formatting and Hyperlink in DOI.

In the APA 6th version, DOI mainly starts with either ‘http: //’ or simply ‘doi:’. It is recommended that the URL should be added in a plain black text and follows an example from APA style blog or manual. In APA 7th version, then URL is added mainly as a hyperlink such as http:// or In the text, add a live link so that the college essay papers can be read online.

General Formatting Difference

Quotation marks vs. Italics

In APA 6th version, it is recommended to use italics to highlight the phrase, word, or letter. For example, clarify the difference between further and farther. In APA 7th version, use quotation marks to denote the sentence, phrase, letter, and word as an example of linguistics. For example; make the difference clear between the further and farther.

Abbreviation in headings

Regarding abbreviation, there is no guidance in the manual. In APA 6th edition it is recommended to not use heading. On the other hand, In APA 7th edition, the abbreviation can be used in headings.

Acceptable Fonts and Heading

In APA 6th and 7th versions, different fonts are acceptable. The acceptable fonts are Calibri 11, Sans Serif, Georgia 11 Times New Roman 12, and Arial 11. In both versions, the title should be regular and not bold. In APA 6th edition, the heading levels 3, 4, and 5 should be indented and sentence case, In APA 7th edition, the heading levels 3, 4, and 5 should be title case. Other than this, the level 3 heading should be flush left whereas 4 and 5 should be indented.

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