In general, avoid false hierarchies in your writing and compare groups with care. Bias occurs when authors use one group (often their own group) as the standard against which others are judged [ex. using the word "normal" insinuates other research and writing is "abnormal"].
When writing about people, take these identities into consideration:
Age - for example, persons 12 years and younger can be identified as "infant" "child" "girl" "boy"
Disability - for example, use person-first and identity-first language such as "a person with paraplegia" instead of "a paraplegic"
Gender - for example, refer to all people by the name they use to refer to themselves, which may be different from their legal name or the name on their birth certificate
Racial and Ethnic Identity - for example, refer to people of African origin as "Black" or "African American" instead of "Negro" and "Afro-American," which are outdated and inappropriate
Sexual Orientation - for example, use identity-first language such as "bisexual people" instead of "gays," which is ambiguous
Socioeconomic Status - for example, when referring to “low-income participants” or “high-income participants,” classify whether reported incomes take into account household size, or provide information about the relation between household incomes and federal poverty guidelines
If you are unsure how to identify someone, APA 7 introduces the singular and gender-free noun "they" to represent a person.
For more information and examples, see the APA Style Blog on Bias-free Language.
APA allows lists, which help readers understand a set of related points in a paper. Lists should be use sparingly.
You can format a list in three ways, but note the different formatting for each:
Using bullet points:
Replace the number or bullet with (a), (b), (c), etc.
For more information see APA Style on Lists.
APA has several recommendations for formatting tables and figures in your paper, helping to make sure they are attractive and accessible.
Tables should have the following components:
For more information see APA Style on Tables.
Figures, or images, are similar. They should have:
For more information see APA Style on Figures.
APA Style is considered a "down" style, meaning words are lowercase unless there are specific guidelines.
For example you should always capitalize:
For more information see APA Style on Capitalization.
Abbreviations are shortened forms of words or phrases, and should be used sparingly. Additionally, periods should not be used in abbreviations (CDC not C.D.C., for example).
Use abbreviations when: