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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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You are correct, the plural of NCC would be NCCs, just like CV is pluralized as CVs. Regardless of how a term is pluralized when spelled out in the full, its abbreviation should conclude with an s when pluralized.
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As stated in the Introduction of the Publication Manual, Sixth Edition, "The rules of APA Style are drawn from an extensive body of psychological literature, from editors and authors experienced in scholarly writing, and from recognized authorities on publication practices" (p. 3). This includes the parenthetical citation system, which Chicago Style notes is standard practice across scientific disciplines. Although there is no official statement on why parenthetical citations are preferred in the sciences, I imagine it's because they create a more direct link between the text and the cited works than footnotes. Knowing the timeliness of a source is very important in the sciences, so including the publication date in text immediately conveys this information to readers. Even the MLA Handbook, Seventh Edition notes that parenthetical citations are "the most practical way" to acknowledge other works in text (p. 214). I don't have access to the eighth edition of the MLA Handbook, but MLA's website states that "the principles behind in-text citations in MLA style are unchanged."
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Non-English words, phrases, and abbreviations should indeed be italicized, except for foreign terms that are common in the English and can be found in Merriam-Webster's Collegiate Dictionary (see the bottom of page 105 in the Publication Manual, Sixth Edition). When translating a non-English term, we recommend presenting the translation in parentheses after the term without quotation marks, like this: The country's administration now consists of 34 provinsi (provinces), 416 kabupaten (regencies), 98 kota (cities) and 7,217 kecamatan (districts).
Toggle Commented Aug 5, 2019 on Dear Professor... at APA Style 6th Edition Blog
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By David Becker Dear APA Style Experts, When I cite page numbers in text, does that mean I have to include them in the reference as well? If not, then when should I include page numbers in a reference? —Laurel... Continue reading
Posted Jul 11, 2019 at APA Style 6th Edition Blog
Citing each source in a separate column is certainly a reasonable strategy, similar to Table 1 in the above post. Alternatively, you could connect each row to a text citation in a table note using superscript lowercase letters, as demonstrated in Table 2 above.
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Abbreviations generally are not plural by default. For instance, in your case, FGCS could easily refer to a single first-generation college student. Therefore, I recommend pluralizing this abbreviation as "FGCSs" when referring to multiple first-generation college students and writing "FGCSs'" for the possessive form.
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By David Becker It’s time for some relationship advice! No, I’m not talking about romantic relationships. APA Style doesn’t cover that sort of thing (although, we do suggest that you never use et al. when writing to your one true... Continue reading
Posted May 30, 2019 at APA Style 6th Edition Blog
Hello Sally, The Publication Manual, Sixth Edition says, "Give the periodical title in full" (p. 185), which means that, yes, if the journal has a subtitle, it should be included in your reference. Providing full titles helps readers find the sources you are citing. I should also point out that Crossref has updated their guidelines for formatting DOIs so that they are presented as URLs (e.g., https://doi.org/10.1111/zygo.12351). Although the DOI format in your above reference is still technically correct in APA Style, we recommend using the newer format, which has been adopted by most scholarly publishers. This other APA Style Blog post provides more details about the new DOI guidelines.
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For grammatical topics not covered in the Publication Manual, Sixth Edition, we recommend that APA Style users consult other style manuals that address these topics in more detail, particularly The Chicago Manual of Style, 16th Edition, which is also accessible online. There's also a Chicago Style Q&A page that, like the APA Style Blog, contains a lot of useful style tips. Other books we have referred to internally include Words Into Type, Revised Third Edition, which is over 40 years old at this point but is still a handy, comprehensive resource, and Joseph Williams's Style: Ten Lessons in Clarity and Grace (now in its 11th edition), which is more about general principles of good writing. APA has also published a few writing guides for students and academics that aren't grammar guides, per se, but might still be helpful, including Undergraduate Writing in Psychology, Revised Edition, Writing Your Psychology Research Paper, Write It Up, How to Write for a General Audience, and How to Write a Lot, Second Edition.
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Good question, Lisa! The quick answer is no. The APA Style rule for citing works by eight or more authors applies only to the author portion of a reference—the element before the publication date. It does not apply to the editor portion of a reference. Instead, the Publication Manual, Sixth Edition states that "for substantial reference works with a large editorial board, naming the lead editor followed by et al. is acceptable" (p. 184). In other words, you can cite either all of the editors' names or just the first one followed by et al. There is no set standard for the amount of editors necessary to justify using et al., so deciding when to use it is left to the writer's discretion. If you were to cite the whole edited volume instead of one or more individual chapters, then the editors' names would be placed in the author position and would be subject to the APA Style rule for citing eight or more authors.
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By David Becker A common issue I encounter as a book editor is when an author labels something as a table or a figure that doesn’t qualify as either. Often, it’s just a numbered list or a bulleted list inside... Continue reading
Posted Mar 4, 2019 at APA Style 6th Edition Blog
Based on your description of the situation, a full "Adapted from" credit line does not seem necessary. A copyright permission note like this is only necessary for an item that requires permission to adapt or reproduce. Permission would need to be obtained if the table in the question were an adaptation or reproduction of an existing table. Because there is no such table in the original source, then seeking permission and creating a copyright permission note do not seem necessary. A standard author–date citation should suffice. The Publication Manual, Sixth Edition provides more details about creating copyright permission notes on page 38 and about seeking permissions on pages 231–236 (the first bullet at the bottom of page 232 is particularly relevant in this case).
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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 6th Edition 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).
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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.
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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).
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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.
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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 6th Edition Blog