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OASIS Writing Skills

APA Style:
APA at Walden

This guide includes links to the Writing Center's pages on APA style.

APA at Walden

The chief academic officer at Walden University along with faculty across programs have designated the 7th edition of the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association for style and citation matters. This style guide is comprehensive and focused on preparing a document for coursework and publication.

Gender-Neutral Pronouns

Walden University is an inclusive institution that serves a diverse population of students. Committed to broadening the university’s understanding of inclusivity and diversity, Walden accepts gender-neutral pronouns in student writing. This practice acknowledges APA’s endorsement of the singular "they" and embraces alternative pronouns currently in circulation (e.g., the nominatives xe, ve, ze/zir, ey, and zhe and their associated derivations). Walden recognizes that discussion around gender identity is ongoing. As such, the university will accept any pronoun in student writing so long as evidence can be provided that it is accepted as a respectful term by the community it represents.


People-First and Identity-First Language Policy

Walden University follows APA standards for bias in language recommendations when referring to groups or individuals. Student writers should ensure that they are following the conventions and preferences of all the group or population they are describing. This may mean person-first language or identity-first language. Whichever the student writer chooses should be done with intention and respect.

As such, while the APA (2020) recommends using people-first language when addressing persons with disabilities (e.g., children with ADHD; p. 13). It is important to follow the convention and preferences of the group. 

Alternatively, APA and Walden also recognize that certain groups or subgroups thereof prefer identity-first language (e.g., autistic children, p. 136). Form and Style Editors will accept people-first and/or identity-first language in student capstone writing so long as evidence can be provided that it is accepted as a respectful term by the community it represents.

Walden student writers should refer to APA for guidance as well as the preferences of the groups they are describing. More information can be found in the APA Manual’s guidance on Choosing Between Person-First and Identify-First Language (and other, relevant information) in APA Section 5 on Bias-Free Language, and Section 5.4, specifically. 

Running Head Policy

Back in April 2016, CAO Eric Reidel announced that Walden University students would no longer use running heads in their course papers despite APA 6's recommendations to include a running head. APA 7 now no longer requires the running head in student papers, so Walden University will continue this approach. Our paper templates are formatted without running heads.

The page number in the top right-hand corner of the page is still required.

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