Talk:APA style

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What we need[edit]

We need an article on the book itself, not just the style... possibly discussing the various editions and what changes were made in each, and also if there is a plan for the next (6th) edition. The article could be titled The Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association. 2010 (UTC)

The article might need to be in one language... One section is in Spanish. Brady (talk) 06:17, 1 April 2010 (UTC) Big bootys bruh!!!!!!!!!!\ — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 14:24, 31 May 2017 (UTC)


Do we have examples to show, as The MLA style manual article does? ~ RoboAction 07:59, 31 Jan 2005 (UTC)

We should have examples of all APA rules cited in Wikipedia policy, eg. the recommendation of APA citation style in WP:CITE. I've made a small start... --- User:Chalst/ 29 June 2005 04:42 (UTC)

URL citations in text[edit]

I can't seem to find in the manual how to format in-text URLs. Does anyone know how to do this? Gary 17:34, 1 September 2005 (UTC)

APA style for online encyclopedia[edit]

This is obviously important since this is an online encyclopedia. The format is not to be found on, and not here. Someone put it on!

Generally, online encyclopedias are not acceptable resources for papers that require APA Style. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 22:55, 18 July 2009 (UTC)

Et al. needs the dot?[edit]

et al. is an abbreviation of "et alii", so it should have the period, right? I'm not sure what the APA style says about this, though.

Yes, I'm sure that "et al." followed by a dot. However, DO NOT use italic. --Pbice 00:20, 21 March 2006 (UTC)

Actually, in the natural sciences we do Italicize "et al." in in-text citations, but for all I know it might not be Italicized in the social sciences and humanities. Whether APA varies by field or whether this is entirely the fact that the natural sciences are not entirely APA (hybrid, somewhat MLA except that in-text citations are by year of publication, not by page number as in full MLA), I'm honestly not sure. Perhaps the Article could clarify that matter, especially if the former is true. The Mysterious El Willstro (talk) 01:21, 16 May 2011 (UTC)

Needs wikipedia example[edit]

This article really needs a good solid explanation of how to handle wikipedia articles. This thing is the world's fastest-growing and most comprehensive single source of information.

This also needs a style for DVDs and Video Cassettes

Yes, I'll second the DVDs and add movies, TV shows, etc. to the list. I think my citation of a TV show is wrong in the paper I'm writing, but I don't think the professor will nit-pick. However, I don't want to repost it here and spread bad examples. But it would be nice to see the correct way of citing media.
Also, FYI for the poster: Wikipedia can auto-cite for you at this link:
(But I'm all for comprehensiveness!) Theinsanecultist 00:54, 1 August 2006 (UTC)
Um... hate to ruin your short-cut, but you really really can't cite Wikipedia in any sort of formal paper. Maybe in high school your teachers might let it slide, but from post-secondary onward you will most definitely be docked a lot of marks for using Wikipedia as a source. Wikipedia is more for getting background information and (assuming the article provides references) shows you other sources to look for information on your topic. Drbn (talk) 23:36, 2 March 2008 (UTC)

Removed criticism in intro[edit]

The style strikes many authors as imperfect. It forbids authors to number their section headings, a common practice in science journals that permits cross referencing. APA style also requires cited authors to be identified just by their initials, as in "J. A. Smith" rather than "Joan A. Smith", making it hard for readers to look up references. The Manual is long and forces scholars to spend many hours trying to conform to its prescriptions. Finally, APA style is established by a small, unelected editorial committee, who offer users no way to request changes. A further issue with APA style is that it supports an extremely wide variation of in-text citation styles, so reference management software (e.g., bibtex, Endnote) may not conform perfectly to APA style. --This is unsourced and sounds very editorial.--Tznkai 21:10, 30 December 2005 (UTC)

Some of it is editorial. Some of it is backed up. My version of Endnote (9.0) says this in the documentation for the APA 5th Style "The APA style is a very complex style. EndNote can handle most of the requirements of this style, but EndNote does not include the full spectrum of reference types that are described in the APA manual."
Similarly, the documentation with apacite (a bibtex style package) says "The apacite package and bibstyle are the zillionth attempt at capturing the requirements of the American Psychological Association concerning citations and reference list. It was written because the theapa package and bibstyle I was using, which seemed to me the best available, turned out to be far from good enough to me. The apacite package and bibstyle will not handle every possible citation correctly, but more usual ones are all handled correctly (I hope...). "
There is, as you note, some editorialising there. --Limegreen 00:45, 21 March 2006 (UTC)

Wikify tag?[edit]

This article was recently given a Wikify tag, but in comparison to most such tagged articles this one is in good shape, I suggest removing this tag, which I will do in a day or two unless I get negative comment. The tag was added by an Anon with almost no edit history on his IP address, but who knows if that is complete..... SailorfromNH Talk - Contrib 00:11, 6 April 2006 (UTC)

You should take it off. It looks pretty good to me compared to the other ones. Black and WhiteBlack and WhiteUSERTALKCONTRIBSBlack and White 01:36, 17 April 2006 (UTC)
I agree. Since there seems to be no objection, I've removed the Wikify tag. Davnor 14:39, 23 June 2006 (UTC)


I just had to congratulate whomever's idea it was for the titles of those articles... I was glancing through and saw Kramer, C. ... very clever, and a nice touch, I thought. Narnia and Detroit, perpetual foes?

Anyway, just thought I'd congratulate everyone, it's touches like these that make reading Wikipedia a joy. --Jackson 02:16, 20 April 2006 (UTC)


Am I the only one who thinks it's wacky that a page on a form of standard formatting has a tag saying it needs just that?

Quite true. :-) I've removed the Wikify tag, per discussion above. Davnor 14:40, 23 June 2006 (UTC)

Convert wikipedia "cite journal" links into APA style links?[edit]

Does anyone know of a program that converts wikipedia "cite journal" links into APA style links?

Does anyone know of a program that converts APA style links to wikipedia "cite journal" links?


Johnston, G. (2006, August). Anti-Americanism: An Exploration of a Contested Concept in Western Europe. The Department of Political Science, Louisiana State University. Retrieved October 1, 2006, from

Converts into:

Or, alternatively:

Converts into:

Johnston, G. (2006, August). Anti-Americanism: An Exploration of a Contested Concept in Western Europe. The Department of Political Science, Louisiana State University. Retrieved October 1, 2006, from

Thanks in advance. RWV 16:35, 7 October 2006 (UTC)

Can't provide you with any such thing, though be aware that page 231 of the APA Publication Manual points out that no period is supposed to be placed after an Internet address. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 17:01, 18 April 2008 (UTC) Ænertia (talk) —Preceding undated comment was added at 12:30, 5 August 2008 (UTC)

APA Revision History? ~ Skippy 11:43, Dec 6, 2006[edit]

Does anyone know where to find what specific changes made to APA Style recently? —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk) 16:45, 11 December 2006 (UTC).

Try here[1]. I think mostly just referencing online stuff has been refined of late.


Photo: Diners sitting at an outdoor eatery Photo: Homes sitting on a steep hill along the coast Photo: A tourist viewing a statue of Constantine Photo: A man preparing meats and cheeses in a cellar Photo: A man preparing meats and cheeses in a cellar Photo: Clouds floating through mountain peaks Photo: Lights casting a glow on the Colosseum at night photos of Italy (including the Colosseum, Venice, Florence, and more) in this travel photo gallery from National Geographic.

Fair use rationale for Image:Apapubman.jpg[edit]

Nuvola apps important.svg

Image:Apapubman.jpg is being used on this article. I notice the image page specifies that the image is being used under fair use but there is no explanation or rationale as to why its use in this Wikipedia article constitutes fair use. In addition to the boilerplate fair use template, you must also write out on the image description page a specific explanation or rationale for why using this image in each article is consistent with fair use.

Please go to the image description page and edit it to include a fair use rationale. Using one of the templates at Wikipedia:Fair use rationale guideline is an easy way to insure that your image is in compliance with Wikipedia policy, but remember that you must complete the template. Do not simply insert a blank template on an image page.

If there is other fair use media, consider checking that you have specified the fair use rationale on the other images used on this page. Note that any fair use images lacking such an explanation can be deleted one week after being tagged, as described on criteria for speedy deletion. If you have any questions please ask them at the Media copyright questions page. Thank you.

BetacommandBot (talk) 06:57, 1 January 2008 (UTC)


I have a question... does anyone else feel that this article violates the "what wikipedia is not" in the sense of it reads like a "How-to."


V. Joe (talk) 19:31, 24 January 2008 (UTC)

It does have specific examples, but I don't think this is just as instructions. It should include more on comparison of APA style versus other styles and possibly different wording but I think the examples are necessary for the comparison. Also add a focus on the history and reasoning behind the style. Several of the other style guide articles (ACS, ISO690, MLA Handbook and MLA Style Manual) have examples, so this may be the case for several others. -Optigan13 (talk) 01:47, 27 January 2008 (UTC)


I have removed the

template after adding a short introduction about the use of heading. Of course, this is just to describe what heading are and not to explain how to. The APA Manual is used for actual reference in how to use heading in an APA manuscript. Legohead1 (talk) 15:33, 23 September 2009 (UTC)

APA style not acceptable to International Publishers[edit]

I recently attempted to have college papers published in Grin. The respectfully decline to accept APA style citations because APA on authored books do not require a page number. I am assuming that reason for the disuse of the Ibid and Op cit style of publication was for convenience. I am assuming the professors that require this style have good intentions. However, the rules the professors abide by are akin to that of the NCAA towards professionalism in college sports. Only there is no professional league for the academic student to attempt to reconstitute after a lifetime of dedication to learning.

Direct quotation from Grin Publication: "At some quotations the page numbers about the quoted sources are missing (like f. ex.: Clark, T. J. (1999), Grady, R. B. (1996) Pfleeger, S. L. (2001) aso.)

At much information it is not obvious where the presented findings are derived from. However, the exact identification of the sources one wins information from is imperatively at academic research and writing.

Unfortunately, a reference at the end of the work within a bibliography and without the exact page numbers does not satisfy copyright claims.

You're welcome to hand out a corrected version of your text by e-mail (please indicate the archive number V136988, if you hand your corrected text in later).

Best regards GRIN Publishing

P.S. Invite your friends and earn 10 Euros for each new author:

-- GRIN Publishing - GRIN Verlag GmbH Marienstr. 17 80331 München Germany E-Mail: Tel: +49-(0)89-550559-0 Fax: +49-(0)89-550559-10 Registergericht: Amtsgericht München, HRB 175803" —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 20:04, 15 October 2009 (UTC)

Fifth edition info should be removed[edit]

Since the sixth edition was published in July and contains many changes, is anyone here insisting that descriptions of the fifth edition rules continue? I suggest the fifth edition rules be replaced with the corrected sixth edition. Skywriter (talk) 13:57, 25 December 2009 (UTC)

Article in desperate need of reorganization[edit]

As it is right now, the article is not so much an article about APA style as it is a gigantic bitch- piss- and kvetch-fest about errors in the most recent edition of the APA style guide. The article is in desperate need of a good introduction, a thorough discussion of APA style itself, and THEN a criticism section (if not a link to a separate criticism article). I really really want to like Wikipedia, but it's exactly this kind of poorly-organized unevenly-edited excuse for content that makes Wikipedia seem less like an encyclopedia and more like a turd with a thin veneer of competence. Stromcarlson (talk) 09:02, 28 December 2009 (UTC)

Article in need of updating from 5th to 6th edition[edit]

Thank you, Stromcarlson, for sharing your rant that is not at all helpful. Editors, writers and scholars most interested in APA Style will be most interested in the sixth edition. APA took a giant hit with its latest stylebook and, contrary to your claims, the information presented about the sixth edition ought not be buried at the end of the article. This is not a criticism of APA style. It is an encyclopedic guide to consumer aspects of that agency's most current style book and how to get around its errors. For anyone writing a thesis, a book, or an article for a journal that requires APA style, 6th edition, the information at the top of this page is exactly what is needed to make an informed choice on how to buy a version of the style guide that is not riddled with error. This information is not easy to come by--APA does not make it easy to come by as this information is now buried in several places on its blog. If I had not been editing a doctoral dissertation that requires the application of APA style, I would not have known of the pitfalls in the current edition. The value of this information is not as presented in your vulgar explosion but in the items that aid researchers in coming to terms with the problems of a poorly published style book. This is not my opinion. The facts about the sixth edition are properly documented and voiced by scholars. The information regarding fifth edition should be modified to reflect the many changes over the fifth edition. Perhaps Stromcarlson, unless you are simply blowing hot air, you will make a positive contribution such as adding to the article by describing APA sixth edition style and the changes in this edition. Skywriter (talk) 00:15, 30 December 2009 (UTC)


It's been more than a month and no one has commented to suggestion that article be updated to reflect changes from the 5th to 6th edition. Meanwhile, I have read WP:NOTHOWTO and believe it applies here. Does anyone object to the removal of the how-to directions for the 5th edition manual? I don't want to blank all those sections without hearing what you have to say. Please advise. Skywriter (talk) 03:00, 3 February 2010 (UTC)

They should only have been removed if you were replacing them with the new ones, otherwise the article is only about the manual and its publication and actually has nothing to do with the style itself, which was an all too prominent aspect of the article as it was. Valethar (talk) 13:08, 4 February 2010 (UTC)

Fifth edition directions restored until sixth edition directions are provided as a replacement. Valethar (talk) 13:21, 4 February 2010 (UTC)

Perhaps you will say how inclusion of the old set of how-to rules reflects WP:NOTHOWTO, which states that Wikipedia is not a how-to manual? Skywriter (talk) 18:49, 4 February 2010 (UTC)

I tend to agree that there is too much "how to" content in the article. A citation to a third party summary, plus a briefer summary and a few examples, is all the WP article needs. Tayste (edits) 20:10, 4 February 2010 (UTC)

Sorry, misunderstood why you deleted them. I think the information is all necessary, but maybe the examples are not. Without the information it ceases to become about the style though, so good midground needs to be found. Valethar (talk) 13:41, 7 February 2010 (UTC)


Edits to this article are apparently being made by an APA employee with access to APA internal documents. The changes that were made caused this article to sound like a public relations response and not a Wikipedia article. The article was then edited with references to APA's internal documents removed. Those edits were reverted. Links critical of APA's handling of errors in the 6th edition were deleted; adjectives and adverbs and other excess verbiage were added to put a positive spin on APA's handling of this matter, despite public criticisms which were censored in this article.

Changes to this article should reflect Wikipedia guidelines for style and no free advertising. This means that editors must be aware that articles can not appear to be written by personnel of a public relations department or firm. It also means that critical viewpoints can not be censored.

The link to this article, written by a North Carolina librarian, was inappropriately deleted. [2] It will be reinstated. Please do not remove it again.

Skywriter (talk) 19:40, 4 February 2010 (UTC)

Thanks for pointing this out. I'll keep an eye on it, as I hope other watchers will. Tayste (edits) 20:07, 4 February 2010 (UTC)

Cleanup needed[edit]

This article is in urgent need of cleanup. As it stands, it is now mostly a manual on how to follow the APA style, which is exactly what WP is not. --Crusio (talk) 17:39, 25 June 2011 (UTC)

What a joke. Now the article is completely useless, because apparently listing the number of errors in the manual is more appropriate than listing what the manual says. The article was informative, useful and clear, but hey, that's exactly what WP is not, right? -- (talk) 14:48, 7 November 2011 (UTC)
Agreed. This article is about APA style as a subject - its history, use by authors, reception and criticism, etc. This is an encyclopedia article, not a cheat-sheet for students or authors. ElKevbo (talk) 05:18, 5 February 2012 (UTC)

APA Style and WP:NOT[edit]

I believe we have some disagreement about the WP:Not and the utility of this page. It looks like there was a previous discussion a couple years ago that did not end in consensus. Let us reopen that discussion here and see if a consensus is reached. Until such time the info should be left up so it can be evaluated. Either way I will abide by it. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Avalongod (talkcontribs) 05:31, 5 February 2012 (UTC)

Some of us have already begun this discussion in the section above so I'm not sure why we need another section. And you don't seem to have said anything about how or why your disagree with what seems to be a straight forward application of a policy with widespread support. ElKevbo (talk) 05:42, 5 February 2012 (UTC)
And a review of the more recent discussions about this topic seem to indicate a very clear consensus. So how do you reach the conclusion that there isn't a consensus? ElKevbo (talk) 05:44, 5 February 2012 (UTC)
  • Exactly. There is a community-wide consensus that WP is not a "how to" guide. If you want to argue that this article should be an exception somehow, fine, we can have that discussion. Until that discussion ends in a decision to go against community policy here (highly unlikely, I have to say), the article should remain conform policy. Anybody wanting to "evaluate the info" can do so by looking at the article history. --Guillaume2303 (talk) 09:43, 5 February 2012 (UTC)
Well there are two different sections above that addressed the issue and in *both* there was obvious disagreement among users, so I'm not sure how you're calling that a consensus. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 14:55, 5 February 2012 (UTC)
I see several editors - at least 5 - that have agreed that this is a problem. Only 1 editor other than yourself has denied that this is a problem and another editor has partially agreed that it's a problem. ElKevbo (talk) 17:26, 5 February 2012 (UTC)
  • Note also that consensus is not the same as unanimous. --Guillaume2303 (talk) 17:47, 5 February 2012 (UTC)
Understood. Very well, I shall withdraw my objections, and go with what appears to be the group consensus. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Avalongod (talkcontribs) 02:21, 6 February 2012 (UTC)
I am not denying Wikipedia is not a 'how to' guide. The point is that it makes perfect sense to give a number of examples of how a style guide is applied in practice. Right now there is no way of knowing what APA-style actually looks like! By the same token the examples from serial comma and the cooking process from boiled egg would have to be removed, because these *could* be used as a guide by some. A how-to guide consists of examples, but examples don't automatically make something a guide. -- (talk) 17:53, 12 February 2012 (UTC)
This is my perceptions as well. Perhaps the previous version went too far? I wonder if there is a compromise between the two perspective. Avalongod (talk) —Preceding undated comment added 18:43, 24 February 2012 (UTC).

Possibly add link to scholarly discussion forum about APA:[edit]

Link I added was removed: "If you feel the link should be added to the article, please discuss it on the article's talk page rather than re-adding it" Well, here I am. I still think a link to my site is warranted, given that is it the only current (2012) web site that combines a citation generator and a scholarly discussion forum on the topic of styles, e.g. APA. Sincerely, Kent Loffy (talk) 12:35, 15 April 2012 (UTC)

There are dozens of citation generators and your forum has no activity. This is an encyclopedia article, not a venue for you to promote your website(s). ElKevbo (talk) 04:29, 17 April 2012 (UTC)

Exemplify APA style in notes and references[edit]

The notes and references for this article should exemplify the APA style format conventions. For example, APA style specifies that article dates should be given with the year first, then a comma, followed by the English month name and then day, for example: Smith, John (2013, April 1). The title of some article. <other information>. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 17:27, 8 June 2013 (UTC)

No. Wikipedia has its own style guidelines. ElKevbo (talk) 19:08, 8 June 2013 (UTC)

Citation to Guidelines for Nonsexist Language in APA Journals is wrong[edit]

The citation to this document--APA Publication Manual Task Force (June 1977). "Guidelines for nonsexist language in APA journals [Change Sheet 2]". American Psychologist. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association. 30 (6): 682–684. doi:10.1037/0003-066X.32.6.487. ISSN 0003-066X. OCLC 696450842. Retrieved October 27, 2011.--lists the wrong volume (it's 32) and the wrong page numbers (they're 487-494). I tried to change them but my changes seem not to work. The citation link goes to the correct citation, which shows the text here is incorrect. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Ronny8 (talkcontribs) 14:05, 18 May 2017 (UTC) Ron Foster 13:36, 20 June 2017 (UTC)Ronny8