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Although originally conceived for the use of the Psychology community, APA is now the style sheet of choice for a number of disciplines, including Education, Social Work, Nursing, and Business. Many of our clients, therefore, are using APA style in their academic writing. Since the Fall of 2009, when APA released the 6th edition of its Manual of Style, EME clients have been asking us “WHAT’S NEW?”

APA-6 is the result of a thorough re-working of the widely used style manual. The entire structure of the book has been reorganized with the intention of more closely following the process writers actually follow in their writing. Since APA-5, online research has grown by leaps and bounds, and changes in both computer technology and the publication process have had profound effects on academic writing. With modifications of the guidelines in earlier versions, and with the addition of entirely new sections, APA-6 addresses these changes.

To help users navigate the modifications and new additions in APA-6, the American Psychological Association has prepared a helpful tutorial, available at So that our clients will have a convenient listing of these changes, we have summarized them here, drawing them from the APA tutorial. What follows here is simply a summary of the changes as presented in the APA tutorial. In future blog posts, we will examine some of the more significant changes to the APA Manual of Style in more detail.

In the meantime, if you have questions about APA-6 or want to share some of the insights you’ve garnered through your own use of the new edition, please feel free to post them as comments to this blog. We’d love to hear from you!



CHAPTER 1: Ethical Issues

o   NEW: Data retention and sharing (1.08)

o   NEW: Self-plagiarism (1.10)

o   NEW: Publication credit (1.13)

o   NEW: Protecting the rights of research participants (1.11)

o   EXPANDED: Duplicate and piecemeal publication (1.09)

o   EXPANDED: Confidentiality of research participants (1.11)

o   EXPANDED: Conflict of interest (1.12)


CHAPTER 2: Journal Article Reporting Standards

o   JARS in the Abstract (2.04)

o   JARS in the Method section (2.06)

o   JARS in the Results section (2.07)

o   JARS in the Discussion section (2.08)

o   NEW: Meta-analyses (2.10)

o   NEW: Using supplemental materials in online supplemental archives (2.13)

o   NEW: Sample papers using the revised rules of style


CHAPTER 3: Headings and Reducing Bias in Language

o   MODIFIED: Five levels of headings, simplified (3.02-3.03)

o   NEW: Using heading levels consecutively (3.02-3.03)

o   NEW: historical language that is no longer appropriate (3.17)

o   MODIFIED: Gender (3.12)

o   MODIFIED: Sexual orientation (3.13)

o   MODIFIED: Racial and ethnic identity (3.14)

o   MODIFIED: Disabilities (3.15)

o   MODIFIED: Age (3.16)

o   NEW: Table of recommended changes to language usage available at


CHAPTER 4: Mechanics of Style

o   MODIFIED: Two spaces instead of one after periods in draft manuscripts (4.01)

o   NEW: Numbers expressing approximate lengths of time written as words (4.31-4.32)

o   NEW: When to use a zero before a decimal fraction (4.35)

o   NEW: Reporting p values to two or three decimal places (4.35)

o   NEW: Reporting effect sizes and confidence intervals with statistics (4.44)

o   NEW: Format for reporting confidence levels (4.44)


CHAPTER 5: Displaying Results

o   NEW: Determining the purpose of data displays and designing tables (5.01)

o   NEW: Guidelines on reporting statistical significance in tables (5.15)

o   NEW: New tables, structured according to the kinds of data being displayed

o   NEW: New table examples to illustrate hierarchical multiple regression and multilevel models

o   NEW: Principles of figure use and construction (5.20)

o   NEW:  Presenting electrophysiological, radiological, and biological data (5.26-5.29)

o   NEW: Ethical ramifications of manipulating data in photographic images (5.29)


CHAPTER 6: Crediting Sources

o   Definition of “plagiarism” (6.01)

o   Rules for direct quotation of material in text (6.03)

o   Guidance on getting permission to reprint or adapt (6.10)

o   How to construct in-text citations (6.11-6.21)

o   How to construct the reference list

o   NEW: What to cite and recommended level of citation (6.01)

o   NEW: Citing passages from electronic text with no page numbers (6.05)

o   NEW: Citing the archival version or version of record (6.24)

o   EXPANDED: Electronic sources and locator information, with expanded emphasis on DOI (6.31)

o   NEW: What to include as publication information, with focus on electronic sources (6.32)


CHAPTER 7: Reference Examples (NEW: Showing electronic and print formats side-by-side within each category of source material, and drawing examples from a wide range of fields)

o   NEW: Data sets and software (7.08)

o   NEW: Internet message boards (7.11)

o   NEW: Archival documents and collections (7.10)

o   NEW: Podcasts (7.07)


CHAPTER 8: Publication Process

o   NEW: Peer review (8.01)

o   NEW: Editorial decision-making (8.02)

o   NEW: Getting assistance with scientific writing in English (8.03)

o   CONDENSED: Complying with ethical, legal, and policy requirements (8.04)

This is a brief overview of what’s new in APA-6. Stay tuned for detailed discussions about many of the key changes, in future postings over the weeks ahead.


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