APA Formatting & Style: Lists
Last updated 5/6/2020
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Audio: Guitar music
Visual: Slide changes to one with the following title: Lists
Lists with lower-case letters
A survey should include (a) clear wording, (b) convenient access, and (c) concise directions.
Numbers: Particular order, only vertical lists
When collecting data, I will
- develop the survey questions,
- send out the survey link to the participants, and
- gather the data after 1 month.
Bullets: No particular order
A survey should include
- clear wording to avoid confusion,
- convenient access so participants can easily respond, and
- concise directions that do not overwhelm participants.
Audio: As you are writing, you might find that it’s helpful to organize information you have in a list so that you can direct your reader’s focus in your list and make the list easier to navigate. This can be particularly helpful when we are listing complex items or indicating information that needs to go in a particular order.
APA has outlined specific guidelines when using lists to help you format them in a way that won’t be distracting. First, you can outline lists within your sentence by using lower-case letters. This option works well when you have a short list or you want to maintain the cohesion of your writing by keeping the list within a sentence. Note that when using this option, you can only use lower-case letters, as we’ve shown here.
The second option for using lists is to provide a numbered list that’s separated from your paragraph. Numbered lists should only used in this format, so we can’t add numbers as part of our sentence. Additionally, we should only use numbered lists when the list has a particular order, like steps in a process.
If you have a list that you’d like separated from your paragraph but that doesn’t have a particular order, you can then use a bulleted list.
These are the primary options APA provides for using lists in our writing, which you can now model to help readers navigate lists of information in your own writing!
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