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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.

Other APA Guidelines: Overview


APA style is so much more than citations and references. Walden follows every aspect of the Publication Manual and some of the most common elements are listed here.

These elements are often topics of blog posts, webinars, and tweets from our Twitter account.

You can also find information on other aspects of writing covered in the APA manual in both the Grammar & Composition and Scholarly Writing tabs on this website. Some commonly encountered aspects include:

Ten Common APA Nuances

  1. Font
    Use a 12-point serif font for all text, including what appears on your cover page and reference list. Walden prefers Times New Roman. Minimum 8 point type can be used in tables and figures.
  2. Spacing
    Double space all text, including the reference list and block quotes. Use one space or two spaces between sentences, as long as the writer is consistent through the paper.
  3. Margins and Page Numbers
    All margins should be set to 1” on each side of the paper. Page numbers go in the upper right corner.
  4. Boldface and Underlines
    Do not use underlines. APA does not allow boldface except in tables and figures (in rare instances where you would want to highlight specific data) and for Level 1, 2, 3, and 4 headings.
  5. Punctuation
    • APA requires the use of the serial (or Oxford) comma in lists of three or more items (i.e., Groucho, Harpo, and Zeppo).
    • Most prefixes are not hyphenated: semistructured, nondenominational, multimedia, antisocial, posttest, pretest, and so forth.
  6. Capitalization
    Do not capitalize job titles unless immediately preceding a person's name: the superintendent, but Superintendent Williams; the vice president of the school board, but Vice President Agnew. Additionally, do not capitalize the names of theories, models, conditions, or diseases.
  7. Lists (Seriation)
    Seriation refers to how to list information. Within a paragraph, list items that must appear in a certain order using (a), (b), and (c). If you do not need to imply a particular order, then remove the letters and/or use bullet points. Use vertical lists when expressing information that must appear in a certain order (e.g., steps in a procedure or itemized conclusions).
  8. Numbers and Percentages
    Numbers 10 and higher appear as numerals; nine and lower are written out. There are exceptions: precise elements of time, age, distance, ratios, and percentages always appear as numerals unless at the start of a sentence.
  9. Latin Abbreviations
    Do not use Latin abbreviations (like e.g., i.e., and etc.) within the text of the sentence; APA only allows these types of abbreviations within parentheses. In the text of the sentence, write out the abbreviation’s English translation.
  10. Use Respectful, Bias-Free Language
    The APA manual outlines important concerning avoiding bias with respect to gender, race, disabilities, and so forth. When discussing different racial groups, make sure that your terms are parallel. When possible, avoid the generic pronouns he and she, or he/she by using they.