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WriteCast Episode 73: APA 7 Top 10 Proofreading Tips

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WriteCast Episode 73: APA 7 Top 10 Proofreading Tips

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© Walden University Writing Center 2020


[Introduction music]


CLAIRE: Welcome to Write Cast: A Casual Conversation for Serious Writers, a monthly podcast by the Walden University Writing Center. I’m Claire Helakoski,


KACY: and I’m Kacy Walz. Today Claire and I will discuss the APA 6-7 transition and ten changes that you’ll want to proofread for as you make that shift!


CLAIRE: As you may have heard, the American Psychological Association has come out with a new 7th edition of the APA manual. 


KACY: You know, I had heard something about that!


CLAIRE: It has been a hot topic for Walden students, faculty, and especially the Writing Center staff for while now.


KACY: And we know students have been worried about the transition, but your friendly neighborhood Writing Instructors have been hard at work creating and updating resources to make the change as painless as possible.


CLAIRE: And regular listeners might have caught our previous episode on our favorite APA changes in the new 7th edition, and we hope it and our other Writing Center resources have helped to calm some of your nerves!


KACY: Much of the concern probably stems from students’ concerns about the particulars they need to watch out for in their future assignments. 


CLAIRE: Right, and since Walden students will now be using the 7th edition rules for coursework—as of our June start date, all courses and programs should be making this switch. 


KACY: So, if you’re familiar with APA 6 and looking for some of the most likely changes to watch out for as you learn APA 7, this is the WriteCast episode for you! 


CLAIRE: First we’ll cover proofreading points for in the body of your text itself. And these are, again, our top 10 changes to proofread for:

So, Change 1 to look out for: Et al. We covered this in our last APA 7 episode, but in APA 6 you would use et al. when dealing with five or more authors, but with three to five authors you needed to list all the authors the first time, then use et al. In APA 7, it’s much simpler, if you have more than two authors you just use et al. every time! So, be sure to check if you have more than two authors listed and revise to just the first author followed by et al. throughout. 


KACY: Yeah, I really like that rule. So, our second is, in APA 7, writers should use singular “they” to refer to people whose gender is unknown or irrelevant and/or people who use the pronoun “they” to refer to themselves. So if you find yourself using both “he or she” and “his or her” you can just replace both with “they”, in addition to other adjustments.


CLAIRE: Change Number 3 to look out for: You’ll use quotation marks (rather than italics) to refer to a linguistic example like a word, letter, or phrase.


KACY: Number 4: When citing a secondary source (which you should do sparingly – only when you cannot find a copy of the original!) you’ll need to list the publication year for both sources. So, for example, if I published an article and quoted Claire, you’re citation would be: (Helakoski, 2015, as cited in Walz, 2020).* You’ll still only include the most recent source—the one you actually read—in your reference list. 

Now we’re going to talk about some proofreading tips for your references!


CLAIREAll right so, in your references, Tip Number 5 to look out for: you will italicize the titles of webpages. Previously, webpages were not italicized—so be sure to consider them a self-contained work and italicize webpage titles throughout your references. 


KACYNumber 6: In your references, list the names of up to 20 authors. So that means that, if there are 21 or more authors, you’ll use an ellipses after the 19th author and then list the last author.


CLAIRE: And it was far fewer authors in APA 6. So that’s why we mention that one.


KACY: Far fewer! 


CLAIRESo Number 7: For a journal article, if you aren’t able to find a DOI via, and if you found it in a major database (which is probably likely) you’ll just stop the reference after the page range, just like you would for a print source). So if you are still placing web page addresses, or the journal homepage, at the end of your article references, be sure to go ahead and check these things out, make sure there’s no DOI, double check that it’s in a database, and then remove that link in most cases.


KACY: Our eighth tip: We also mentioned in a previous episode, but DOI (digital object identifier) rules have been adjusted so that you should list the URL version of the DOI—that means you’ll start each with In APA 6 you could also use the format with just the numeral. But now all of your DOIs should be formatted as a URL.


CLAIRE: Right. So you could just go and add in that extra formatting at the beginning, if you have already formatted your references and have the numbers. You can just add that URL information that Kacy mentioned beforehand.


KACY: Exactly.


CLAIRE: Alright, Tip Number 9: You should no longer should include “Retrieved from” prior to either the link for a DOI or a webpage URL. And, there are a couple really specific exceptions to this, but in general, when you’re proofreading, you’re going to delete that “Retrieved from” language for most sources.


KACY: And, finally, Number 10: In your references for book entries you should not list the location information of the publisher. In APA 6 you needed the city and state or country information, followed by a colon and then the publisher. In APA 7, you just need the name of the publisher after the title of your book and you’re all set!


CLAIRE: Alright, so that was a lot of information, but we hope it will help you proofread as you make the shift from APA 6 to APA 7. You might also find our APA 6/7 comparison tables and our APA 7 Transition webinar helpful resources as well! And you can read those in our show notes. You can also find all ten of these items written out in the transcript for this episode if you would find  text version more helpful. Until next time, keep writing!


KACY: Keep inspiring.




KACY: WriteCast is a monthly podcast produced by the Walden University Writing Center. Visit our online Writing Center at Find more WriteCast episodes on iTunes, Stitcher, TuneIn, or your favorite podcast app. We would love to hear from you! Connect with us on our blog, Facebook, and Twitter, and at Thanks for listening!