Thursday, October 10, 2019

APA Style: the 7th edition

On October 1st, the American Psychological Association (APA) released the 7th edition of its APA Publication Manual. Our New Canaan High School library copy is on order and we are eager to start pouring over it. So far, we see two major changes in the citation format.

  1.  The words "Retrieved from" are removed from citations for sources found online
  2. The place of publication is removed from citations for books

At New Canaan High School, we tend to focus our instruction on MLA for the first 3 years of high school, then we introduce APA to seniors across disciplines. We did our best to update our LibGuide on APA today. We will add more when we get our book!

The @APAStyle Twitter feed has done a great job of building hype around the release, as you can see in the video below. They aggregated their Tweets about the new manual into one feed here.

The APA Style website features a bounty of instructional aids on its website including the useful Quick Reference Guide in PDF:

The Reference Examples page categorizes examples by material type: 
  • journal article
  • magazine article
  • newspaper article
  • whole book
  • edited book chapter
  • dictionary entry
  • government report
  • YouTube video
  • Tweet
  • Facebook post
  • webpage on a website
The last one in the list above - the web page on a web site - is new. This was not well covered (or covered at all, really) in the 6th edition. 

We suspected (totally guessing here) that the APA's decision to omit this information from the last edition had to do with scholarship. Many webpages on websites are not considered "scholarly" and are therefore not worth referencing. Date of publication and authorship are extremely important in APA. If a web page does not feature this information, one should probably reference something else instead. We teach students to consult and reference books, magazines, newspapers and scholarly journals. 

Having said that, there are times when open web content is pertinent and appropriate for an inquiry task. It is a relief to have guidelines for citing it. 

The Instructional Aids page also features links to sample papers. These are exceptionally helpful as they are annotated with lots of detail that contextually informs the reader about APA Style.

That's all I have for now. Stay tuned! We will update when we receive our book. 


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