Prominent Changes in the APA Manual 7th Edition

In Oct’ 19, the American Psychological Association (APA) replaced APA manual 7th edition by introducing APA Manual 7th edition. This latest edition of Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association provides a thorough understanding and improved guidelines for people associated with research. APA Manual 7th edition is designed for students, teachers, authors, editors and all research professionals.

APA Manual 6th edition was published in 2009 and APA Manual 7th edition arrived after its ten years. Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association needed to be upgrade because things have drastically changed within these ten years. People have now become tech-savvy and are more dependent on data available on online sources.

With this change, research professionals and students need some more appropriate and clear guidelines to make their research authentic. Therefore, the American Psychological Association (APA) Publication Manual obsolete few things from APA Manual 6th edition and published a new edition.

APA 7th edition changes make research writing easier and clearer for students, teachers and all researcher professionals. It is a detailed manual, covering all parts of a research paper. If we compare APA 6th edition to APA 7th edition, we can see that not everything is changed. There are few major changes made in APA Manual 7th edition that everyone needs to know.

Those major APA 7th edition changes include the formatting of academic and professional papers, changes in in-text citation and referencing method, language, style mechanics and much more. A detailed list of such changes can be viewed in the Introduction chapter of the APA Publication Manual (7th ed.), which is available from the APA 7th edition PDF from here.

Everyone associated with research needs to understand APA Manual 7th edition and APA 7th edition changes. Writers must focus on all those changes mentioned in it. This will provide them more extensive and improved guidelines. If you are curious to know what’s new in the APA 7th edition, this article will surely help you by mentioning some major APA 7th edition changes,

APA manual 7th edition

Changes in APA Style Referencing:

Citing sources is one of the most important task for researchers. It ensures authenticity of the research paper. APA Manual 7th edition provides clearer guidelines to cite online sources. This latest edition of Publication Manual of the American Psychology covers referencing and citation method of each and every category of online source. It ranges from websites to research papers, social media to audiovisuals, and periodicals to books. Some of the major changes referencing and in-text citations that are added in the APA Manual 7th edition are as follows:

1. Do not include place of publication in the reference.

❌Sittler, R. L. & Cook, D. (2009). The library instruction cookbook. Chicago, IL: American Library Association.
Sittler, R. L. & Cook, D. (2009). The library instruction cookbook. American Library Association

2. It is obligatory to add surnames and initials of 20 authors in the reference list instead of 7 authors.

❌Miller, T. C., Brown, M. J., Wilson, G. L., Evans, B. B., Kelly, R. S., Turner, S. T., … Lee, L. H. (2018).
Miller, T. C., Brown, M. J., Wilson, G. L., Evans, B. B., Kelly, R. S., Turner, S. T., Lewis, F., Lee, L. H., Cox, G., Harris, H. L., Martin, P., Gonzalez, W. L., Hughes, W., Carter, D., Campbell, C., Baker, A. B., Flores, T., Gray, W. E., Green, G., … Nelson, T. P. (2018).

3. For electronic sources, Digital object identifiers (DOIs) and URLs now both are presented as hyperlinks. APA Manual 7th edition recommends same formatting for both DOIs as URLs. It is no longer required to mention DOI as label.

❌doi: 10.1080/02626667.2018.1560449


4. Unless there is a requirement of retrieval date, ‘Retrieved from’ is no more required to start a URL. Website name should be given in the reference and web page titles are italics in APA.

❌Toner, A. (2017, Mar 23). Better Buy: Apple Inc. vs. Samsung. Retrieved from

✔ Toner, A. (2017, Mar 23). Better Buy: Apple Inc. vs. Samsung. The Motley Fool. ttps://

5. For ebooks, publisher name must be included and there is no need to include name of the device, format or platform in the reference.

❌Kumar, A., Koushik, M. and Kumar, T. (2020). Intelligence in Big Data Technologies—Beyond the Hype. Human Annotation and Emotion Recognition for Counseling System with Cloud Environment Using Deep Learning. [Kindle version].

✔ Kumar, A., Koushik, M. and Kumar, T. (2020). Intelligence in Big Data Technologies—Beyond the Hype. Human Annotation and Emotion Recognition for Counseling System with Cloud Environment Using Deep Learning. Springer Nature.

APA Citation Format 7th Edition

To understand APA 7th edition in-text citation of multiple authors and to apply proper citation guidelines, an easy template is provided for each reference category.

1. It is no longer required to include three or more authors in the in-text citation, instead write “et al.” with the first author’s name.

❌(Morady, Kapucu, Yalçınkaya, 2017)

✔ (Morady et al., 2017)

2. Instead of including authors and editors, clear guidelines are provided to include contributors in the reference. For example, to cite a podcast episode, it is important to include the host of the show and to cite a TV series show, it is important to include the names of director and the writer of the episode in in-text citation.

3. To make the understanding clearer, several examples for citing online source types are added including Youtube videos, social media posts, and podcast episodes in APA Manual 7th edition. Guidelines are also provided for the use of emojis and hashtag.

Use of Bias-Free and Inclusive Language

New standard focuses on inclusive and bias–free language and for this reason a separate chapter is added in APA Manual 7th edition. It emphasizes on keeping the writing bias-free by maintaining secrecy and respect of every individual. Writers must write generally and must reduce bias around topics such as race and ethnicity, sexual orientation, age, gender, intersectionality and socio-economic status. It is important to avoid any kind of disrespect of anyone.

APA manual 7th edition sample paper

4. Use exact range of age instead of using broad category to make your writing more specific and relevant.

❌Women over 50 years

✔ Women from 50 to 60 years

5. Prefer descriptive phrases to label groups of people instead of using adjectives as nouns.

❌The illiterate

✔ People who are unable to read and write

6. Use gender neutral pronoun instead of using he or she.

❌It’s every citizen’s responsibility to keep his/her country clean.

✔ It’s every citizen’s responsibility to keep their country clean.

Paper Formatting Guidelines for New Users

For new users, specified chapter is included which covers page elements and format in APA style. It also includes sample papers specified for student writers and professional writers. In APA Manual 7th edition, paper formatting guidelines are different for professional and student paper.

7. Use of fonts is not limited to one or two types, instead the flexibility of using fonts have increased. Options include Calibri 11,Georgia 11, Lucida Sans Unicode 10 and Arial 11 and Times New Roman 12.

8. APA 7th edition title page instructions are different for students and research professionals.

9. APA 7th edition running head includes a shortened title with page number. There is no need of adding word ‘Running Head’



10. APA Manual 7th edition does not emphasize on mentioning Running Head in student papers. It can only be added if there are specific instructions by the teacher.

11. Headings are important to seek readers’ attention and guide them through a document. There must be a level one heading to start every new section of an academic paper. APA Manual 7th edition has also updated 3-5 heading levels to improve readability. It is now recommended to write all headings irrespective of their levels in title case and boldface. Levels of headings are differentiated only by the use of italics, periods and indentation.

APA Manual 7th Edition:  

Reporting Standards for Journal Article

It includes a new chapter on the topic of journal article reporting standards. This chapter is comprised of some updated reporting standards for quantitative research and new reporting standards for qualitative and mixed methods in APA style.

In quantitative research, these standards will be used when study data is collected in numerical form or are reported through statistical analysis. In qualitative research, these standards will be used when research data is collected in the form of natural expression and language. In mixed methods research, these reporting standards will be used in combined methods of quantitative and qualitative research.

Use of these standards will make your research more accurate, clear and transparent for the readers. By using these standards, the reproducibility of science will be increased for quantitative research. For qualitative research, by using these standards the methodological integrity of research will be increased.

Sample Figures and Tables

Dozens of samples and examples of figures and tables are added in this manual and also explains complete method of reproducing a figure or a table from another source. There is are no prominent changes in the formatting of tables and figures in seventh edition, a few relevant changes are mentioned here.

12. They are now formatted in parallel.

13. Tables and figures can be presented either after the reference list on separate pages or n the text of the document.

Expanded Ethics

APA 7th edition changes also focus more on ethics which refers to avoid plagiarism and ensure accurate citation by using the author-date citation system. Proper citation includes not only an in-text citation, but also a complete reference list entry. A reference list must include all the work cited in the text and there must be no such reference that is not cited in the text.

As per the instructions mentioned in APA Manual 7th edition, it is unethical:

14. To hire someone for research writing

15. To construct any reference or citation by your own.

Mechanics of Style

There are several minor changes present in the APA Manual 7th edition but among all of them, two are very important to be noted.

16. When a sentence is completed, use only one space.

17. In order to refer to linguistic examples, instead of italics using double quotation marks are recommended.

If you still feel any ambiguity or difficulty in writing your research paper, at Creative Savants we are 24/7 ready to assist you by offering professional assistance in writing. Our specialists guide students not only through their blogs and articles but also through assisting them individually in their academics.

Table of Contents