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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
Recent Activity
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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Thank you for your question, Steve! Section 4.29 (pp. 110–111) in the Publication Manual does not identify author-created abbreviations or those that end with an S as exceptions to the pluralization rule. Thus, the plural of PRS would be PRSs.
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By David Becker It’s Thanksgiving, that time of year when you can thank your friends, family, and all the other important people in your life by bringing them together for a massive, fun-filled feast. If you’re a researcher about to... Continue reading
Posted Nov 25, 2015 at APA Style Blog
If your student is citing a webpage that is no longer active, she can no longer provide a reliable path to that source. Therefore, the best course of action would be to search for a retrievable source that provides the same or similar information and cite that. If no alternative source exists, then there is no reliable path to the information she obtained. Therefore, she should cite the non-existent webpage as a personal communication in text and not include it in the reference list.
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Hello Jennifer, Because you are citing a video that is available in streaming format, I recommend citing it is as such and linking directly to the video itself. For simplicity's sake, you may want to cite it as a YouTube video instead of citing the UNC webpage in which the YouTube video is embedded. Here's how that reference would look: uncpublichealth. (2012, June 13). 18th national health equity research webcast (2012) [Video file]. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Itcg1JcwKe0 If you need to quote directly from the video, you can include timestamps in your in-text citations as needed.
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If the link to a particular webpage is no longer working, then I recommend citing the website's home page in the "Retrieved from" portion at the end of your reference. If that webpage simply does not exist anymore, you may want to see if you can find the same information from a different source. Or, because a reliable path to the webpage no longer exists, you could cite it as a personal communication.
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The rule about using numerals to reflect specific units of time trumps the below 10 rule. There are other instances in which you would use numerals to represent numbers below 10, and those are covered in more detail on pages 111–112 of the Publication Manual.
Toggle Commented May 1, 2015 on Comparing MLA and APA: Numbers at APA Style Blog
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By David Becker Dear APA Style Experts, I want to cite an illustrated book and give proper credit to the illustrator, but I can’t find an example of how to do that in the Publication Manual. Can you give me... Continue reading
Posted Mar 17, 2015 at APA Style Blog
Hello, Thank you for your question. Yes, you should use a serial comma before either an ampersand or the word and in a series of three or more items, whether they're words, acronyms, part designations, or something else.
Toggle Commented Jan 7, 2015 on Using Serial Commas at APA Style Blog
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Hello Bas, Thank you for the excellent question! The comma is inserted between two authors in a reference entry because the names are inverted (i.e., the initials come after the surname and are set apart by commas). However, only the authors' surnames are used in parenthetical citations, so there is no need to include a comma between the two authors. In situations when you do need to provide initials in a parenthetical citation, the names are not inverted, so there is still no need for a comma between the two authors.
Toggle Commented Dec 18, 2014 on Using Serial Commas at APA Style Blog
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Hello Nancy, Thank you for your comment. Just to clarify, if an online source doesn't specify a publication date, that doesn't necessarily mean you have to include a retrieval date. In general, you should only include a retrieval date for an online source that is updated frequently, and the absence of a publication date doesn't necessarily indicate how often content is changed. Your example of the Internet Archive is interesting. Citing a source from that website could be tricky, so we're thinking of writing a separate post on that topic. However, I will say that the Internet Archive could be considered a secondary source, so it's generally better to find the original source if possible.
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By David Becker Let’s take a look back at a classic guest post for our blog based on an article by Onwuegbuzie, Combs, Slate, & Frels (2010) that highlighted some of the most common APA Style errors. The number one... Continue reading
Posted Dec 9, 2014 at APA Style Blog
Hi Malene, Thanks for your question! You are correct that the sample reference list entry in that FAQ page does not need a retrieval date since it is a news article with a set publication date, and its content will probably not change over time. We will be updating that FAQ page and using a different example that will not include a retrieval date.
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Hi Joanne, Thanks! In response to your first question, the Publication Manual is primarily designed for writing articles that will be formally published in academic journals, so it's not necessary to include a publication date with the title of an article. For a class paper, your instructor will likely have rules for including a date. I'm not quite sure how to answer your second question. We do have a FAQ about creating running heads (http://www.apastyle.org/learn/faqs/running-head.aspx), but I would recommend going to your school's writing center for assistance with using Word.
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Hi Nicole, Thanks for the question! I apologize for the delay in responding, but this is a somewhat complex issue you bring up, so we're considering a follow-up blog post. Stay tuned!
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By David Becker We’ve all had that experience when a dog or a child walks up to you holding something dangerous, disgusting, or some other d-word that you absolutely do not want in the house. What’s the one question we’ve... Continue reading
Posted Aug 21, 2014 at APA Style Blog
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