Answered By: Dave Harmeyer
Last Updated: Jun 11, 2020     Views: 10607

Below are a number of notable changes that have occurred between APA 6th edition and APA 7th edition (which came out in October 2019, the publication date is 2020).

Also, please visit APU Library's How to Cite Resources in APA 7 LibGuide.

First, a few housekeeping notes.

All APU libraries have print copies of APA 7th edition. For call numbers and locations click here

In regards to implementation at APU, the following is from the approved minutes of the Doctoral Studies Council of September 9, 2019,

"New doctoral cohorts (students entering Fall 2019 and later) will generally be expected to implement this edition by spring 2020; but existing students will be able to continue to work with the 6th edition through the summer of 2021 (which was clarified as August 31, 2021, per the approved minutes of Doctoral Studies Council for February 10, 2020). Any dissertations published after the end of the summer 2021 semester (that is to say after August 31, 2021) must conform to APA 7th edition. Students who are working with the Writing Center and/or the Graduate Student Publications office between Spring 2020 and Summer 2021 will need to identify which edition they are working with, so that reviews of their work will conform to their preferred edition."

APA's has a great website explaining the 7th edition and provides other resources for free like student and professional paper examples: 

Some Notable Changes (for sample papers scroll to the bottom under Other Resources)

Student papers no longer require running heads. There are two types of title pages 1) professional manuscripts requiring running heads and 2) student coursework, no longer requiring running heads, (i.e., a brief title of the document in the header). For professional manuscripts, the running head on the title page no longer includes the words “Running head.” It now contains only a page number and the (shortened) paper's title, the same on all pages (no longer different on the title page). For dissertations, theses, and capstones at APU (which could be considered professional manuscripts) check with your faculty adviser or program chair.

The first in-text citation of a work by more than two authors, may list only the first author, followed by “et al.” Example: the 6th edition included up to five authors before going to et al. (Kernis, Cornell, Sun, Berry, & Harlow, et al. 1993). In the 7th, after two authors, list the first author's last name followed by et al. (Jones et al., 2020).

Book references omit publisher location. 6th edition: Harmeyer, D., & Baskin, J. J. (2018). Implementing the information literacy framework: A practical guide for librarians. Lanham, MD: Rowman and Littlefield; 7th edition: Harmeyer, D., & Baskin, J. J. (2018). Implementing the information literacy framework: A practical guide for librarians. Rowman and Littlefield.)

More guidelines have been added that make citing online sources easier and clearer. In total there are 114 examples, ranging from books and periodicals to audiovisuals and social media.

Surnames and initials for up to 20 authors (instead of 7) should be provided in the reference list.

DOIs are formatted as urls ( The label “DOI:” is no longer necessary.

URLs are embedded directly in the reference, without being preceded by “Retrieved from,” unless a retrieval date is needed.

For ebooks, the format, platform, or device (e.g. Kindle) is no longer included in the reference.

Clear guidelines are provided for including contributors that are not an author or editor. For example, when citing a podcast episode, the host of the episode should be included; for a TV series episode, the writer and director of that episode are cited.

Dozens of examples are included for online source types such as podcast episodes, social media posts, and YouTube videos. Also, the use of emojis and hashtags is explained.

Writing inclusively and without bias is the new standard. The 7th edition contains a separate chapter on this topic. The guidelines reduce bias around topics such as gender, age, disability, racial and ethnic identity, and sexual orientation, as well as being sensitive to labels. Examples: the singular “they” or “their” is endorsed as a gender-neutral pronoun. Descriptive phrases such as “people living in poverty” are preferred over adjectives as nouns to label people (e.g., “the poor”).

APA paper format changes. There is increased flexibility regarding fonts: options include Calibri 11, Arial 11, Lucida Sans Unicode 10, Times New Roman 12, and Georgia 11.

Heading levels 3-5 are updated to improve readability. (see the manual for examples)

In terms of style, not much has changed in the 7th edition. In addition to some updated and better explained guidelines, there are two notable changes: 1) use only one space after a period at the end of a sentence.
2) use double quotation marks to refer to linguistic examples instead of italics, (e.g. APA endorses the use of the singular pronoun “they”) instead of they being in italics.

Examination and desk copies of APA print books are available to college faculty within the United States, Canada, and Mexico who are considering or have decided to use the APA 7th for educational and training purposes in institutions of higher learning. See

Other Resources:

Purdue University's Online Writing Lab now has their APA 7th edition guide up. Click here to go to it. 

Purdue University's OWL has two sample papers, one for APA 7 Student Paper and one for APA 7 Professional Paper. Click here to view and download one or both. The two papers are almost identical except for the title page and in particular the running head (required for Professional Papers but not for Student Papers). 

This link takes you to a brief overview that may be helpful: 

This link includes an overview with a side-by-side column explaining a few differences between the 6th and the 7th: