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David Becker
Washington, DC
APA Style Expert and Development Editor in APA Books
Interests: psychology, writing, music, drums, mandolin, martial arts, wisecracking, serial commas
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Hello, The sixth edition of the Publication Manual is still the most current version, and we have no plans for releasing a new edition in the near future. Thus, the advice provided on page 201 of the manual about citing a newspaper's home page to avoid nonworking URLs will remain unchanged for the foreseeable future. Page 192 also advises APA Style users to cite a home page's URL when a source is not easily accessible through a more direct link. The APA Style Blog features a post that provides further guidance about when to cite a home page.
Toggle Commented 5 days ago on How to Cite a News Report at APA Style Blog
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I think it's reasonable to argue that "number one" could be written as "Number 1" given that the Publication Manual (6th edition) advises APA Style writers to use numbers instead of words when denoting "a specific place in a numbered series" (p. 112) and to capitalize the noun that precedes such a number (p. 103). Although, describing something as "the number one [blank]" is usually a figure of speech that doesn't refer to a literal series of items, so it may not make sense to follow the guidelines on pages 103 and 112 in that case. In my post, however, I was referring to a specific series of items, which means that, again, "Number 1" could arguably be the best choice in that situation. However, I should note that the guidelines in the Publication Manual were designed with draft journal articles in mind and can be adapted to meet one's particular stylistic needs (in fact, we encourage this). Depending on the context, it may be worthwhile to make a stylistic choice that deviates from the manual's guidance. Writing "number one" is the stylistic choice that made the most sense to me within the context of a blog post.
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Hi Tanya, When citing numerical data from an existing source, you do not need to treat it like a direct quotation, which means you would not enclose it within quotation marks. A simple text citation indicating the original source of this data should be sufficient. You only need to use quotation marks when quoting another author's words. Therefore, if you were quoting a full sentence that included this data, then you would enclose that sentence within quotation marks. Best regards, David
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Hello Lise, You raise a very interesting question. APA Style generally treats tables as supplements that are distinct from the main text. In fact, the Publication Manual advises that tables "should be designed so that they can be understood in isolation" (p. 128). This advice is echoed in another APA Style Blog post that offers tips for creating tables: "Ensure that your table can be understood apart from the text." With all this in mind, I recommend treating tables as being separate from the main text for citation purposes. That is, if your first citation to a source written by three to five authors (e.g., Ogle, Rubin, Berntsen, & Siegler, 2013) appears in a table, also include the full citation when it first appears in your paper's narrative. Likewise, if you first cite a source written by three to five authors in the main text then cite it again in a table, include the full citation in the table instead of using et al.
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I'm glad you were able to find the answer to your question!
Toggle Commented Jun 29, 2017 on Using Serial Commas at APA Style Blog
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You do not need to use the phrase "According to..." when integrating a text citation into the narrative flow of your sentence. There are many valid ways of doing this. Several examples can be found in the sixth edition of Publication Manual, particularly in the first two sample papers on pages 41–56 (these can also be accessed online via our "Best of the Blog" post) and in Chapter 6's review of direct quotations and text citations on pages 170–179. Multiple examples can also be found in other APA Style Blog posts. I especially recommend reading our posts about creating text citations, citing direct quotations, and citing the same source multiples times within a single paragraph.
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Hello, APA Style does not include the name of the publisher when citing a periodical. The "Author" rule you mention applies to nonperiodicals, which includes books and reports (see the heading at the bottom of the previous page in the Publication Manual). For a periodical, you would cite the title of the journal, magazine, or newspaper. However, the BBC's website would not be considered a periodical, so you would not name the BBC in your reference, just as I did not name WJLA in my first reference in the above blog post. When the author of a news article is not specified in a byline, the title of the article is typically moved to the author position. With this in mind, your second reference would be most accurate. However, it would need a few tweaks to better fit APA Style guidelines. Here is how I would cite the article you linked to: Ex-national security adviser 'lied' on security clearance. (2017, May 23). Retrieved from http://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-40004300
Toggle Commented May 23, 2017 on How to Cite a News Report at APA Style Blog
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Hello Rose, Because you are adapting the contents of a single source (i.e., a psychological test) into a table or figure with permission, it seems best to cite that source in a credit line at the end of a table note or a caption to properly acknowledge that you have obtained permission to adapt. You can find templates for creating credit lines in this other APA Style Blog post. None of the examples from that post show how to cite a psychological test in particular, but you can simply adapt the guidelines from this other post to create a proper credit line.
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Dear Elaine, The time should be indicated using both hours and minutes. Thus, you would write 8:00 a.m.
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Hello, APA Style does not require you to include a list of tables and figures in your paper. APA Style was designed with draft journal articles in mind, which typically don't contain tables of contents. However, if you are writing in another context that requires you to create a list of tables and figures, we encourage you to adapt existing APA Style guidelines to meet your needs. We also encourage you to check with your dissertation advisor, professor, publisher, or other relevant individual to see if he or she has any particular standards you should be following.
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You bring up excellent points, Emily. Determining the authenticity of a YouTube account can be difficult. Although, YouTube has made this somewhat easier by adding verification check marks next to some usernames to confirm their authenticity, much like Twitter and Facebook have done. As I mention at the end of my post, writers should use caution when determining whether or not a YouTube comment is an appropriate source to cite, depending on the topic of their paper. Although, if more and more researchers, scholarly organizations, and other reputable sources turn to social media to share their findings—which as you point out is a growing trend—and they begin conversing with one another via comment threads, I wonder if universities might start being less strict regarding online resources.
Toggle Commented Mar 23, 2017 on How to Cite a YouTube Comment at APA Style Blog
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Thanks for your question, Jani! Unfortunately, there is too much variability out there in the wilds of the Internet to develop a hard-and-fast rule that covers all web-based sources. A lot of online content is actually static and unchanging (e.g., news articles and blog posts), so citing a retrieval date in those situations wouldn't really add much value. Even WebMD features a fair amount of static content along those lines. Thus, whether or not to cite a retrieval date is a gray area that's largely left up to the writer's own judgment, depending on the context.
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Hello Charlotte, The exception in the sixth edition of the Publication Manual only lists days, months, and years, but these are only examples of a broader rule. All estimated units of time—including minutes and seconds—are expressed in words. Thus, you would write "about five minutes." Having said that, I would like to reiterate the point from my post that it's best to be precise whenever possible. Writing "3.11 seconds" would be preferable than writing "about three seconds," for example.
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Hello Kristina, The Publication Manual does not directly address the issue of capitalizing pronouns when referring to God or any other deity or religious figure. However, APA Style advises that writers maintain original spellings in a direct quotation to avoid misrepresenting the original author's intent (see Section 6.06, p. 172 in the Publication Manual). So, it would be appropriate to capitalize "He" when quoting a source that does so. Outside of this context, we generally recommend that writers consult The Chicago Manual of Style regarding matters of style not addressed in the Publication Manual. Chicago Style advises writers to use lowercase pronouns unless they are writing for a field, such as religious studies, in which capitalizing a pronoun that references God or another religious figure is an accepted and common practice. Thus, it may be appropriate to capitalize such pronouns, depending on your audience. But, if there is no known standard to follow, I recommend using lowercase pronouns.
Toggle Commented Oct 7, 2016 on How to Cite a YouTube Comment at APA Style Blog
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By David Becker When researching a topic for your paper or manuscript, you may come across a few relevant YouTube videos—perhaps a TED Talk or two—that you would like to cite. Being the intrepid explorer of the Internet that you... Continue reading
Posted Sep 21, 2016 at APA Style Blog
Hello, The term "24/7" could be considered a colloquial expression. Page 68 of the Publication Manual recommends against using such expressions because their informality can diffuse their meaning. I would recommend instead writing "24 hours a day, 7 days a week" or some other variant that expresses the same meaning.
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By David Becker Dear Style Experts, I am creating a table that presents information from multiple sources, and I can't figure out how to cite these sources within the table. What should I do? —Vera K. Dear Vera, How you... Continue reading
Posted Jun 22, 2016 at APA Style Blog
If both the introduction author and the foreword author are given credit on the cover of an authored book and neither of them are one the book's primary authors, cite them both in your reference as part of a parenthetical "with" statement. Their names should be cited in the order in which they appear on the cover. Using the sample "with" statement from the post above, here's how you might do that: (with Todd, C., & Mohr, T. P.) If the introduction author or the foreword author—or both—are not mentioned on the book's cover, do not include them in your reference. Whether these authors are cited in your reference or not, they should not be included as part of your author–date text citation. You can, however, identify them in your narrative, as illustrated in the post above.
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According to page 96 in the Publication Manual, APA Style users should refer to Merriam-Webster's Collegiate Dictionary to answer spelling questions and when determining which of multiple possible spellings is correct. Psychological terms, such as tests and disorders, can be looked up in the APA Dictionary of Psychology. Both dictionaries use the possessive form when spelling Alzheimer's disease, so that is the correct way to spell it in APA Style.
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Thank you for your question! As explained on pages 171–172 in the Publication Manual, paragraph numbers are only cited when no page numbers are available. The article you are citing does have a page number, so that's what you would use when quoting that source: (Ito, 2016, p. AR13).
Toggle Commented Mar 29, 2016 on How to Cite a News Report at APA Style Blog
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By David Becker Dear APA Style Experts, I want to cite a chapter from Theoretical Basis for Nursing, 4th Edition, which is an authored textbook. However, the author of this chapter is not one of the authors listed on the... Continue reading
Posted Mar 21, 2016 at APA Style Blog
Thank you for the question, Chris! The Publication Manual does not stipulate any exceptions for acronyms that end with S. Therefore, the plural of OS would be OSs. Including an apostrophe would indicate the possessive form. If you are worried about OSs being potentially confusing for readers, then you might consider spelling out operating systems in full.
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That's a great question! My recommendation would be to cite this source as a webpage because it's technically not from a newspaper or a blog.
Toggle Commented Feb 8, 2016 on How to Cite a News Report at APA Style Blog
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Although the Publication Manual does not specify whether or how use a number symbol when protecting the anonymity of interviewees or research participants, there are no other instances where this symbol is used before a number. For instance, on page 112 you will see a few examples written as "Grade 8," "Table 3," and "row 5" rather than "Grade #8," "Table #3," and "row #5." In these cases, the number symbol is not needed for clarity—it's superfluous (see also the "Nouns Followed by Numerals or Letters" section on page 103). The same would apply when anonymously referring to interviewees. It's also worth noting that there is an sample sentence in the second post I linked to above that says "Case 24" rather than "Case #24." Keep in mind that research participants and interviewees can be identified by letters rather than numbers. Thus, you could potentially avoid the number symbol issue altogether by referring to "Nurse A," "Nurse B," etc. If you do use number symbols, don't insert a space between the symbol and the numeral. Doing so might confuse readers.
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Thank you for the great question! APA Style generally does not include information about the location of a publisher when citing periodicals, including newspapers and magazines. Even when citing a book, you don't need to identify the publisher location if your reference list entry includes a DOI or a URL—linking directly to the source supplants the need for this information about where the source was published. With that in mind, I would use the first of your two sample references. (Don't forget to italicize Daily Press!)
Toggle Commented Jan 29, 2016 on How to Cite a News Report at APA Style Blog
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