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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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By David Becker Are you trying to create a reference for the second edition of a multivolume handbook but aren’t sure where or how to include the edition, volume, and page numbers? This is a frequent conundrum that APA Style... Continue reading
Posted Sep 19, 2018 at APA Style Blog
Hello Bruno, APA Style generally presents numbers 10 and above using numerals. Pages 112–113 in the Publication Manual, Sixth Edition list some exceptions to this rule, but presenting large numbers is not one of them. Therefore, the preferred way to present the numbers from your example sentence would be $80,000, $8,000,000, and $1,000,000,000 (without italics).
Toggle Commented Aug 27, 2018 on Comparing MLA and APA: Numbers at APA Style Blog
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When citing a news piece with no byline, the title of the article is moved to the author position, rather than citing the news organization as the author. Example 9 on page 200 in the Publication Manual, Sixth Edition shows how to do this. Although this sample reference cites a newsletter, the same principles apply to citing a newspaper.
Toggle Commented Jul 18, 2018 on How to Cite a News Report at APA Style Blog
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Hi Charlotte, The guideline in Section 4.31a of the Publication Manual, Sixth Edition about using numerals to present numbers 10 and above takes precedence over the exception about presenting estimations. Thus, I suggest writing "approximately 20 years."
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Plural possessives of acronyms and initialisms follow the same guidelines as plural possessives of nonabbreviated words. Thus, "CPAs' clients" would be correct.
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Hello Robert, In your case, it seems like you might be presenting the numbers as numbers. That is, the numbers don't appear to represent amounts, but they are being presented simply as numbers. If that is the case, then write them using numerals and not words, as per the guidance provide in Section 4.31e on page 112 in the sixth edition of the Publication Manual. Numerals are also used when presenting units of measurement, statistics, mathematics, specific dates and times, scores, grades, and other figures. These circumstances are also covered in Section 4.31 in the Publication Manual, as well as another APA Style Blog post that reviews when to use numerals. If you are not using these numbers for any of these purposes, then it may be appropriate to use a combination of numerals and words. For example, you might write, "We expected seven to 12 people to arrive."
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That quotation is a little tricky to format because, as you say, its meaning is somewhat unclear. The way you presented the numerals looks fine to me though. What complicates things is that tens seems like it's being presented as the end result of a mathematical equation, so I would be tempted to present it as 10s. However, writing it that way could potentially introduce more confusion, so it might make sense to keep it as you have written it, depending on what you think will most clearly convey the speaker's intended meaning to your readers.
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Hello Diana, When the main title of a source ends with a punctuation mark other than a colon, APA Style recommends maintaining it instead of replacing it with a colon (or with a period if there is no subtitle). Also, the first word of the subtitle should be capitalized, regardless of what kind of punctuation precedes it. Thus, the correct way to cite the article title in your reference list would be "Indian homemade firearm—A technical review." In fact, you can find a sample reference that uses an em-dash in place of a colon in another APA Style Blog post about citing standards and guidelines (see the example under the "ISO Standards" heading).
Toggle Commented Feb 23, 2018 on Capitalization After Colons at APA Style Blog
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Yes, it would be correct to write "9 plus 4" given the Publication Manual guideline you quoted. Also, "numerals and numerals" simply refers to when you are presenting a number not as an amount, but as the number itself. An example might be more helpful in this case: "The teacher asked the preschoolers to point to the number 5." I hope this makes sense. If not, please let me know, and I will be happy to clarify.
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Hello, Considering that page 112 in the sixth edition of the Publication Manual states that numerals are used to express numbers that represent time, write 3 o'clock instead of three o'clock. However, in the interest of precision and economy of expression (two principles of good writing discussed on pages 67 and 68 in the manual) I recommend writing 3:00 p.m. or 3:00 a.m. instead.
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Hello Shannon, As noted on page 113 in the sixth edition of the Publication Manual, ordinal numbers are treated like cardinal numbers. Cardinal numbers equal to or above 10 are generally presented as numerals; therefore, you would write "21st century," regardless of whether you are presenting it as an approximation. There are exceptions to this general rule that the Publication Manual covers in more detail, beginning on page 111.
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Hi Shiron, Yes, the first letter of the subtitle should be capitalized, even if it isn't capitalized in the source itself. Guidelines for capitalizing titles can be found in a couple other APA Style Blog posts about title case vs. sentence case and how to format titles in the reference list.
Toggle Commented Dec 18, 2017 on Capitalization After Colons at APA Style Blog
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By David Becker Dear APA Style Experts, Is it okay for a heading to be alone at the very bottom of a page while the first paragraph of that section begins at the top of the next page? I checked... Continue reading
Posted Oct 5, 2017 at APA Style Blog
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 Aug 18, 2017 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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