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If you’ve been working in APA-5 and now must switch to using APA-6, certainly one of the most obvious changes will be the formatting of headers. Both editions of the APA Manual of Style provide for up to five levels of headings and subheadings, and both direct that numbers and letters should not be used. But the details of each of those levels have changed. 


APA-5, §§3.31, 5.10

(©2001)

 

LEVEL 1. CENTERED,

UPPERCASE

 

Level 2. Centered, Upper-

and  Lowercase

 

Level 3. Centered, Italicized,

Upper- and Lowercase

 

Level 4. Flush Left, Italicized, Upper- and Lowercase

 

Level 5. Indented, italicized, sentence-case capitalization, ending with a period.

APA-6, §3.03

(©2010)

 

Level 1. Centered, Boldface,

Upper- and Lowercase

 

Level 2. Flush Left, Boldface, Upper- and Lowercase

 

Level 3. Indented, boldface, sentence-case capitalization, ending with a period.

 

Level 4. Indented, italicized, boldface, sentence-case capitalization, ending with a period.

 

Level 5. Indented, italicized, sentence-case capitalization, ending with a period.

 

 


APA-6 boasts a more streamlined explanation of the formatting of headings, replacing the four separate sections provided in APA-5 (one for each scenario: articles with two levels of headings, articles with three levels of headings, articles with four levels of headings, and articles with five levels of headings). In APA-6, the same material is handled with a simple description:

 

Regardless of the number of levels of subheading within a section, the heading structure for all sections follows the same top-down progression. Each section starts with the highest level of heading, even if one section may have fewer levels of subheading than another section.

-APA-6, §3.03

 

As with the earlier edition, APA-6 directs that the label “Introduction” should not be used at the beginning of the manuscript, as it is presumed that the first part of the manuscript is an introduction.

 

While not as important to the substance of documents as some of the other new features of APA-6, the changes in heading format will likely produce the most readily apparent differences from documents written in APA-5 style. Get this part wrong, therefore, and it will be pretty clear that you didn’t follow the newest version of the APA Manual of Style. That alone makes it a change worth mastering!

 

This article is archived from the original Edits Made Easy website and is re-posted here to our new blog under a new date.

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