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APA Style & Citation 7th edition

How to format your paper and cite your sources using 7th ed. APA style.


Use words to express numbers under 10. Use numerals to express numbers 10 and above.

Also use numerals:

  • in your abstract
  • in measurements (5 cm)
  • in mathematical functions (multiplied by 5; 3 times as many; 5% of the sample)
  • when expressing time, dates, ages, scores, sums of money

Use words:

  • when numbers appear at the beginning of a sentence
  • in fractions (one fifth of the class)
  • for universally accepted usages (the Twelve Apostles)

Never use an apostrophe when expressing numbers in plural form (in the 1970s; 10s and 20s).



  • The first word in a sentence, even if it would normally be lower case
  • Titles: capitalize every major word
  • Proper nouns, including:
    • brand name drugs (not generic names)
    • names of specific departments (Department of Graduate Studies)
    • nouns followed by numbers or letters (Day 2, Figure 3B)
      • but not nouns followed by a variable (trial n)



  • titles of:
    • books
    • journals
    • movies
    • TV shows
  • a new key term, but only the first time used
  • words and letters used as examples (the letter a)
  • variables/statistical symbols

Avoid using italics for emphasis. See section 6.22 of the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association (7th ed.) for full list or instances to use italics.