Skip to Main Content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.

APA Citation Style (7th edition)

September 2020: Moving from the 6th edition to the 7th edition

The APA Publication Manual was updated from the 6th edition to the 7th edition in October 2019.

Many institutions have opted to implement the 7th edition changes by September 2020. This page highlights comparisons between the 6th and 7th editions and the most significant changes that might impact students and faculty who are familiar with the older edition.

A quick overview of some changes

Author mentions (sec 8.17, sec 9.8)
  • For three or more authors, the first in-text citation of a work may list only the first author, followed by “et al.” Previously, up to five authors were listed in-text before a subsequent entry allowed for the use of et al. 
  • The reference entry now lists up to 20 authors for a single work; previously it was limited to 7 authors.
Book and chapter references (sec 9.28)
  • Location is no longer required in the reference entry.
Database information in the reference entry (sec 9.30)
  • The new guidelines suggest that database information/links is no longer required. Please check with your instructor to see whether the links should be included.
Indigenous knowledge (sec 8.9)
  • New guidance is provided on how to cite recorded or unrecorded traditional knowledge and oral traditions of Indigenous Peoples.
Fonts (sec 2.19)
  • There are more font options available with this new edition i.e. no longer limited to Times New Roman.
One space or two? (sec 6.1)
  • One space after a period at the end of a sentence!
Running heads (sec 2.8)
  • The rules for the running head have been simplified. The title page will no longer include the label Running head:
  • Student paper guidelines do not require a running head. Please check with your instructor to see whether it should be included.
Student papers (sec 2.2)
  • The manual now includes student-specific resources, including a sample paper with specifics about how to create your title page, guidelines for formatting an annotated bibliography, and recommendations for adapting a dissertation or thesis into a journal article.
DOI or URL format (sec 9.36)
  • When a DOI or URL is long or complex, you may use shortDOIs or shortened URLs

Student paper vs Professional paper

New with the 7th edition are specific instructions for student papers. Please check with your instructor to determine whether to use the student or professional version. Student papers do not require all the same elements (e.g. no running head) but some instructors may require a blended version of required elements.

What's new in APA style (from APA)

Still using the 6th edition?

We've got you covered. The APA style 6th edition guide is still available.