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The instructional pages on our website will be updated to APA 7 guidelines on May 4, 2020. For more information, please visit our APA 7 Transition page.

APA Style: APA 6 & 7 Comparison Tables

APA 6 & 7 Comparison Tables

Here at the Writing Center, we are busy preparing revisions to our APA resources, which will be released when the university adopts APA's seventh edition this summer. In the meantime, see the following comparison tables for a preview of what will change when we move to APA's seventh edition.

These comparison tables offer highlights of some changes between APA 6 and APA 7. Note that these are not comprehensive tables of all changes between the two editions.


Topic APA 6 (location and old guideline) APA 7 (location and new guideline)
In-text citation format for three or more authors Table 6.1: In in-text citations of sources with three to five authors, list all authors the first time, then use et al. after that; for sources with six or more authors, use et al. for all citations. 8.17 (Table 8.1): In in-text citations, use et al. for all citations for sources with three or more authors.



Topic APA 6 (location and old guideline) APA 7 (location and new guideline)
Number of author names listed in a reference 6.27: Provide surnames and initials for up to seven authors in a reference entry. If there are eight or more authors, use three spaced ellipsis points after the sixth author, followed by the final author name (no ampersand). 9.8: Provide surnames and initials for up to 20 authors in a reference entry. If there are 21 or more authors, use the ellipsis after the 19th, followed by the final author name (no ampersand).
Issue numbers for journal articles in references 6.30; see also 7.01: Include issue number when journal is paginated separately by issue. 9.25: Include issue number for all periodicals that have issue numbers.
Publisher location 6.30: Provide publisher location (city, state, etc.) before publisher name. 9.29: Do not include publisher location (city, state, etc.) after publisher name in a reference.
Reference for online work with no DOI 6.32: If an online work has no DOI, provide the home page URL of the journal or of the book/report publisher. 9.34: If an online work (e.g., a journal article) has no DOI and was found through an academic research database, generally, no URL is needed. The reference will look just like the print version.
Hyperlinks in DOI and URL formatting 6.32: DOI begins with either "doi:" or with "" in references. The recommendation that URLs should be in plain black text, not underlined, follows examples from APA 6 and the APA Style Blog. 9.35: Both DOIs and URLs should be presented as hyperlinks (beginning with "http://" or "https://"). Standardize DOIs as starting with "". Blue/underlined is fine for hyperlinks in references, as is plain black text, not underlined.
URL retrieval information in references 7.01: URLs include a retrieval phrase (e.g., "Retrieved from"). 9.35: The words "Retrieved from" or "Accessed from" are no longer necessary before a URL. The only time the word "Retrieved" (and not "Retrieved from") is needed is in those rare cases where a retrieval date is necessary (see p. 290, 9.16).


Avoiding Bias

Topic APA 6 (location and old guideline) APA 7 (location and new guideline)
Singular usage of "they" 3.12: No mention of singular human pronouns other than traditional, binary "he" and "she" and their related forms. 4.18: Use singular "they" and related forms (them, their, etc.) when (a) referring to a person who uses "they" as their preferred pronoun (b) when gender is unknown or irrelevant.
Disability 3.15: Use person-first language. 5.4: Both person-first and identity-first language "are fine choices overall" (p. 137). Okay to use either one until you know group preference.
Gender and noun/pronoun usage n/a: No guidance. 5.5: Use individuals' preferred names and pronouns even if they differ from official documents, keeping in mind concerns about confidentiality.
Race and ethnicity--Latin@ n/a: No guidance. 5.7: "Latin@" for Latino and Latina can be used to avoid "Latino," which is gendered.
Race and ethnicity--Latinx n/a: No guidance. 5.7: "Latinx" can be used to include all gender identities.


General Formatting/Mechanics

Topic APA 6 (location and old guideline) APA 7 (location and new guideline)
Italics vs. quotation marks 4.07: Use italics to highlight a letter, word, phrase, or sentence as a linguistic example (e.g., they clarified the distinction between farther and further). 6.07: Use quotation marks to refer to a letter, word, phrase, or sentence as a linguistic example of itself (e.g., they clarified the difference between "farther" and "further").
Numbers 4.31: Numbers in the abstract of a paper should be expressed as numerals. 6.32: Use numerals for numbers 10+ for all sections of the paper including the abstract (numbers in abstracts now follow general APA number rules).
Spacing after punctuation marks 4.01: Recommendation to space twice after punctuation marks at the end of sentences to aid readers of draft manuscripts. 6.1: Insert only one space after periods or other punctuation marks that end a sentence.
Preferred spellings of technology terms Based on how words were written in 6th edition manual, not explicit examples of spelling, preferred spellings were as follows: "e-mail," "Internet," and "web page." 4.12 indicates spelling should conform to standard American English as in Merriam-Webster's Collegiate Dictionary. 6.11: Commonly used technology terms are listed and should be spelled as follows: "email," "internet," and "webpage."


Paper-Specific Formatting

Topic APA 6 (location and old guideline) APA 7 (location and new guideline)
Paper title length 2.01: Recommended title length is no more than 12 words. 2.4: No prescribed limit for title length (though recommendation for conciseness).
Title formatting 2.1: Title in regular type (not bold).

2.4: Title in bold type.

(Doctoral Capstone students should check the APA 7 template for their program posted on the Doctoral Capstone Form and Style Programs page after the May 4/June 1 transition dates to see whether there is a Walden institutional variation for doctoral capstone manuscripts.)

Heading levels 3,4, and 5 formatting 3.03: Levels 3, 4, and 5 are all indented and sentence case. 2.27-2.28: Levels 3, 4, and 5 are all title case. Level 3 is now flush left, while 4 and 5 remain indented.


Tables and Figures

Topic APA 6 (location and old guideline) APA 7 (location and new guideline)
Tables 5.1 and 5.16: Table number is plain type, table title is title case and set in italics; see Sample Tables 5.1 to 5.16. 7.2 and 7.24: Table number is bold; table title is title case and set in italics. See Sample Tables 7.2 to 7.24.
Figures 5.1 and 5.12: Figure number and caption are on same line and are placed below the figure; see Sample Figures 5.1 to 5.12. 7.2-7.21: Figure number and caption are on separate lines and are placed above the figure, and the style matches that for tables: Figure number is bold, figure caption is title case and set in italics; see Sample Figures 7.2 to 7.21.


Update from February 4, 2020.