Semicolons are punctuation marks used to separate parts of sentences. Use a semicolon in the following instances.
Example: Jones (2014) argued that intelligence was fixed; Smith (2011) argued that ability could be fluid.
Example: This structure joins two independent clauses; moreover, it creates cohesion in the text by showing how one idea relates to another.
Example: I had difficulty obtaining a large number of participants; however, I still reached saturation in the interviews.
Example: Amy ordered three pizzas: one with pepperoni, sausage, and mushrooms; one with bacon, ham, and green peppers; and one with tomatoes, olives, and red peppers.
Example: Many have claimed that the sky is blue (Hawking et al., 1994; Lima, 2003; Steinberg & Jordan, 2001).
For more information about semicolons, see the following links:
Also watch the Mastering the Mechanics 2 and 3 webinars. Semicolon usage is frequently discussed in these two webinars.
In addition, refer to APA, Section 6.4 for more information about semicolon usage.
Note that these videos were created while APA 6 was the style guide edition in use. There may be some examples of writing that have not been updated to APA 7 guidelines.
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