APA Manual 7th edition: The most notable changes

APA Manual 7th edition coverIn October 2019, the American Psychological Association (APA) introduced the 7th edition of the APA Publication Manual, which replaces the 6th edition published in 2009.

In that time a lot of things have changed. Citing online material has become more common, the use of inclusive and bias-free language is increasingly important, and the technology used by researchers and students has changed.

The 7th edition addresses these changes by providing better and more extensive guidelines. This article outlines the biggest changes that you should know about.

References and in-text citations in APA Style

When it comes to citing sources, more guidelines have been added that make citing online sources easier and clearer.

In total, 114 examples are provided, ranging from books and periodicals to audiovisuals and social media. For each reference category an easy template is provided that helps you to understand and apply the citation guidelines. The biggest changes in the 7th edition are:

  1. The publisher location is no longer included in the reference. Instead of “New York, NY: McGraw-Hill” it’s just “McGraw-Hill.”
  2. The in-text citation for works with three or more authors is now shortened right from the first citation. You only include the first author’s name and “et al.”.
  3. Surnames and initials for up to 20 authors (instead of 7) should be provided in the reference list.
  4. DOIs are formatted as urls (https://doi.org/xxx). The label “DOI:” is no longer necessary.
  5. URLs are embedded directly in the reference, without being preceded by “Retrieved from,” unless a retrieval date is needed.
  6. For ebooks, the format, platform, or device (e.g. Kindle) is no longer included in the reference.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.

Inclusive and bias-free language

Writing inclusively and without bias is the new standard, and APA’s new publication manual contains a separate chapter on this topic.

The guidelines provided by APA help authors to reduce bias around topics such as gender, age, disability, racial and ethnic identity, and sexual orientation, as well as being sensitive to labels. Some examples are:

  1. The singular “they” or “their” is endorsed as a gender-neutral pronoun.
  2. Descriptive phrases such as “people living in poverty” are preferred over adjectives as nouns to label people (e.g., “the poor”).
  3. Instead of broad categories (e.g., over 65 years old), you should use exact age ranges (e.g., 65-75) that are more relevant and specific.

APA Paper format

In the 7th edition, APA decided to provide different paper format guidelines for professional and student papers. For both types a sample paper is included. Some notable changes include:

  1. Increased flexibility regarding fonts: options include Calibri 11, Arial 11, Lucida Sans Unicode 10, Times New Roman 12, and Georgia 11.
  2. 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 title.
  3. The running head is omitted in student papers (unless your instructor tells you otherwise).
  4. Heading levels 3-5 are updated to improve readability.

Mechanics of style

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 (e.g. APA endorses the use of the singular pronoun “they”) instead of italics.

When to start using APA 7th edition

The American Psychological Association anticipates that most people will start using the 7th edition in the spring of 2020 or thereafter. It’s best to check with your supervisor or check the website of the journal you want to get published in to see which APA guidelines you should follow.

Is this article helpful?
Raimo Streefkerk

Raimo is an expert in explaining plagiarism and citing sources. He has been writing helpful articles since 2017 and is continuously improving Scribbr's Citation Generators.

116 comments

Boma Luckyn
October 22, 2019 at 1:24 PM

Very interesting and commendable. Good work !!!

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Dr Maurice Aniebo
October 22, 2019 at 12:48 AM

APA 7th end. is timely and thoughtful. It shines a bright light on very crucial research issues. For the academics, it is an essential guide.

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Elechi, Stella O.
October 21, 2019 at 12:44 PM

Timely and informative. Thanks to APA for continuously contributing to knowledge

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Sylvester D. Polit
October 21, 2019 at 12:37 PM

This is very helpful especially for student researchers.

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Prof. Ashutosh Biswal
October 21, 2019 at 10:55 AM

It is a very good news from APA. Waiting to see the 7th edition.

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Abdul M Sarki
October 21, 2019 at 10:14 AM

This update is a very good job especially it's giving more multiple options for different fonts styles.

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Othman B M
October 21, 2019 at 10:07 AM

That's good

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Dr.B.Gopal singh
October 21, 2019 at 2:51 AM

New changes are welcome in the light of new new sources of information , it is is hastle free.

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Sani A. Garba
October 20, 2019 at 11:34 PM

Sincerely this information is timely and will equally make it more easier for researchers! Thanks & God bless..

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Anaweokhai AIJ
October 20, 2019 at 10:35 PM

This is coming at a really great time.

I know the younger generation of researchers would really take advantage of this remarkable opportunity.

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Hafsat Muhammad Hassan
October 20, 2019 at 8:22 PM

Welcome development, thanks for improve our knowledge

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Daspan Sam-Sallau
October 20, 2019 at 7:10 PM

This is an innovative drlepment for researchers, its quite timely and awesome.

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Abubakar Yahaya Kagarko
October 20, 2019 at 6:47 PM

That's Very Nice!

We're expecting more as technology improves.

Keep it up APA.

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Kagarko
October 20, 2019 at 6:43 PM

That's great!

We're are expecting more changes as technology improves.

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Dr Sr.LissyJose
October 20, 2019 at 5:14 PM

Great work indeed.
Thanks to APA

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Sobola, Isaac
October 20, 2019 at 4:18 PM

Wahoo, what a wonderful job. Kudos to the dynamic world of research

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Dr. Ayodele M. O
October 20, 2019 at 1:54 PM

This is a good development. Kudos to the initiators.

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Abdulkarim Umar Muhammad
October 20, 2019 at 10:52 AM

This is a great contribution to the Academia in particular, and to the world in general. Once again thanks for this significant contribution to the mankind.

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Jamiu Fatai Owolabi
October 20, 2019 at 10:31 AM

It is a welcome development and people will adapt to it as soon as possible.

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Alh Sanusi Mato
October 20, 2019 at 8:48 AM

Indeed, this is a must read article, guide and informative resource. Its flexible and timely.... Thanks

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Alh Sanusi Mato
October 20, 2019 at 8:46 AM

Indeed, this is a must read article, guide and informative resource. Its flexible and timely....

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Mohammed Dahiru Zakari
October 20, 2019 at 7:34 AM

Thanks for contributing to the knowledge

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Ben Woke
October 20, 2019 at 4:27 AM

Wonderful innovation. Thanks APA.

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Marham Jupri Hadi
October 20, 2019 at 2:27 AM

Thanks very much. It is very imformative and helps a lot. You should provide more detail information on PDF format accessible to everyone

(Greeting from Beruga' Alam Institute & University of Nahdlatul Wathan Mataram, Indonesia)

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Dr Clement O Omagbemi
October 19, 2019 at 10:15 PM

A good job. Helpful.

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Bashir Adamu Sulaiman
October 19, 2019 at 10:08 PM

Well done for the Job

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Adeniyi Aremu
October 19, 2019 at 9:29 PM

A good step in the right direction. APA refreecing style is indeed Writers and Researchers Companion in this Technological age which begs for an App.

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SANI shuaibu Rogo
October 19, 2019 at 9:14 PM

Timely and needful to all schoolars.

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SANI shuaibu Rogo
October 19, 2019 at 9:12 PM

Change is inaavitable..

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Dr. Ainoko Samson
October 19, 2019 at 7:52 PM

This is quite commendable. APA, keep it up as dynamism is the beauty of research.

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Ogbo Ann
October 19, 2019 at 7:25 PM

They dynamic nature of research has been strengthened with this value innovation.

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Dr Uchenna Gerald Eze
October 19, 2019 at 7:07 PM

very interesting. The format should be made available as quick as possible

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Katlong Simon
October 19, 2019 at 7:05 PM

This is quite remarkable and apt... It is a good step in the right direction for an improved research work

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Dr Shetima Abdullahi
October 19, 2019 at 6:45 PM

This is a wellcom development hope to improve END NOTE and Microsoft word reference. update thanks for APA format

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Ibrahim Dalatu Marte
October 19, 2019 at 5:54 PM

This is a product of dynamic nature of knowledge. Kudos to APA team.

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Dr Mong Emeka
October 19, 2019 at 5:41 PM

It's lovely that this is getting to us at this time. Thanks.

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Emina w.u
October 19, 2019 at 4:30 PM

Comment
This is quite commendable,this issue of 6th and 7th came up during my ph.D.defense in 2016 and it became am issue. I hope all those professors can update themselves now and move with the trend of events.

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Ofcoz, is a very good development ! After a good decade for d existence of d 6th edition of d APA, now d new edition (7th) has introduced. Thank u very much d APA Management for keeping us updated.
October 19, 2019 at 3:04 PM

I really appreciate d efforts of d APA Management towards making researchers updated .

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Dr.E.I.Itanyi.
October 19, 2019 at 2:49 PM

This is apt. I thank the APA team so much for this information and update. More grease to your elbows.
Chief Itanyi.
UNN.

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Rabiatu Muhammad ahmad
October 19, 2019 at 1:58 PM

Thanks for the update.please make the PDF format available to be more accessible and useful.

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Tine Vaungwa
October 19, 2019 at 1:35 PM

Very good work by APA. It will surely improve the way citations are handled in research works, as it's always done.

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Chibuike Ndubuisi Kenneth
October 19, 2019 at 1:06 PM

Your efforts are highly appreciated.

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Abdulazeez Abdulmumin
October 19, 2019 at 12:38 PM

This is advancement of knowledge by APA team. you guys are doing great job.

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Dr. Abba Ya'u
October 19, 2019 at 11:48 AM

What a shared information and a good work of the APA team...How should I get the PDF copy of this seventh edition?

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Dr. Priscilla Bempah Botwe
October 19, 2019 at 11:46 AM

Knowledge is power! it's always good to improve upon our existing knowledge to bring about new things.

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Malextive Abeeikyaa
October 19, 2019 at 11:39 AM

Thanks immeasurably for the input in order to move us towards the dynamic and new social changes in sciences and behaviour well as community inclusion in this new development.

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Kabiru Muhammad El-Yakub
October 19, 2019 at 11:33 AM

This is a welcome development. Kudos to APA team

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Niyi Yusuff
October 19, 2019 at 11:26 AM

A good wake up knowledge. Cheers

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Lizzy Anierobi
October 19, 2019 at 10:35 AM

This is apt and a welcome development. Thanks to APA team

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Emma Nwajiobi
October 19, 2019 at 10:32 AM

Thanks for the update information

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Kenneth Nwinkoh
October 19, 2019 at 10:07 AM

This development is most welcome in academic Research world.

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Dr Ahmad Muhammad Gumel
October 19, 2019 at 9:49 AM

Certainly, this is a welcome development. We have been expecting this development for quite a long time

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Sani Musa Shehu
October 19, 2019 at 9:44 AM

This is a very good development, keep it up.

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Dr Popoola
October 19, 2019 at 9:40 AM

This is unique and timely . Students , researchers and academia should borrow leaves from this magnificent template

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Ibrahim Suleiman
October 19, 2019 at 9:04 AM

This milestone achievement is timely ;it would assist immensely in terms of research and Academic presentation.

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Umar Shuaibu Bajoga
October 19, 2019 at 9:02 AM

Wonderful, this is very impressive APA Sky is your limit

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Chris
October 19, 2019 at 7:38 AM

Please can you develop a template for APA 7 that can be adapted and included to Endnote Reference Manager?

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Charles Alajemba
October 19, 2019 at 7:36 AM

Dynamic world needs a prompt and dynamic follow up. The change is timely.

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Dr. Charles Okeke
October 19, 2019 at 1:03 AM

Kudos! When shall it be made available for students and researchers to download?

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Ibrahim Muhammad Sani Mainagge
October 19, 2019 at 12:32 AM

A great, relevant and timely information APA keep it up.

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Abdullah Ibrahim
October 18, 2019 at 11:58 PM

This is timely and commendable. Keep it up APA.

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Auwalu A.Labaran
October 18, 2019 at 11:57 PM

A fruitful development.

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Badamasi Ja'afaru
October 18, 2019 at 11:56 PM

Good development though long over due, please kept it up APA for making us abreast of new development.

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Dr. Muhammad Salihu Zubair
October 18, 2019 at 11:50 PM

It is a good development and contribution to librarianship. Hope it will be available at a reasonable price soon.
Thank you

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Ernest kansangabata
October 18, 2019 at 11:43 PM

Very good and timely

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Umar I. Aliyu
October 18, 2019 at 11:32 PM

This is a welcome development in this age of technology.

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Ajala Alimi
October 18, 2019 at 11:32 PM

It has indeed added to the frontier of knowledge with the fresh updates.

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Dr. A.A.OKEDIJI October 18, 2019
October 18, 2019 at 10:38 PM

This is an informative, educative and innovative transformations for the research scholars

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Anselm I.O.
October 18, 2019 at 10:20 PM

It is a nice one. Although, wish it can come out in PDF with a lucid examples so that one can download it. Thanks.

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Gideon Abugri
October 18, 2019 at 10:00 PM

Well noted

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Adenike Oladipo
October 18, 2019 at 9:57 PM

Great work APA. It has been a culture of continuous improvement . Keep it up . Thanks Raimo for sharing.

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Dr. Joseph N. Jatbong
October 18, 2019 at 9:34 PM

Changes are the inevitable constants. Well done APA for waking up to the challenge and taking the lead in a technologically changing world. Congratulations.

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Dr. I. J. Chikezie
October 18, 2019 at 8:23 PM

Thank you so much APA for working so hard.
Does this imply that we continue with 6th edition until 2020?

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Barakatu Abdullahi
October 18, 2019 at 8:17 PM

Good job

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Bura Muhammad Ilallah
October 18, 2019 at 7:26 PM

Well done job

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Bura Muhammad Ilallah
October 18, 2019 at 7:18 PM

Nice idea nest level for researchers.

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Ibrahim Abdullahi
October 18, 2019 at 6:39 PM

This is a welcome development. It is equally timely and informative. Thank you

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Great! It's flexible, timely, and concise.
October 18, 2019 at 10:45 PM

Good job

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Badamasi Ja'afaru
October 19, 2019 at 12:29 AM

Very useful & indeed helpful to students. Keep that UP APA.. Thanks to the realm

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Badamasi Ja'afaru
October 19, 2019 at 12:32 AM

Very useful & indeed helpful to students. Keep that UP APA.. Thanks to the team

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The APA 7th edition is very interesting and timely
October 19, 2019 at 2:45 AM

APA 7th edition is quite interesting and its introduction is very timely.

Many thanks to the American Psychological Association (APA)

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Raphael Caleb Ogechi
October 18, 2019 at 6:35 PM

Truly, this information is timely. I hope students, researchers, institutions and instructors get to know this in time so as to work on the same pedestal.
Kudos to APA team and you Raimo Streefkerk for sharing this...

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Prof. Garba Shuaibu(BU)
October 18, 2019 at 6:24 PM

Keep it up APA

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Prof. Garba Shuaibu(BU)
October 18, 2019 at 6:15 PM

Since technology transform the world we should indeed expect transformation and further transformations from APA to take the lead in information writing standard. APA...keep it up.

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Dr Ojeka Ebibi
October 18, 2019 at 6:10 PM

What a proactive step? Quite ingenious, innovative and timely. A copy should be made in PDF format and uploaded for people to download. It is a great work.

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Robert Ohene-Bonsu Simmons
October 18, 2019 at 5:54 PM

Good work! Technology decides

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Phoebe M
October 18, 2019 at 4:26 PM

I think that this is timely and okay.

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Mughele Sophia
October 18, 2019 at 4:17 PM

Thanks to APA team a job well done, this is innovative and it will foster dynamism in research.
Kudos

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Adeleke, Ibrahim Taiwo
October 18, 2019 at 3:45 PM

This is timely and quite informative.

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Prof.F.A.Okwo
October 18, 2019 at 3:31 PM

Thanks for the information. Citation and referencing will continue to change as technology improves.

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Ahmad Hashim
October 18, 2019 at 3:25 PM

An application should ve developed for all this purposes to avoid obsolate knowledge

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Man Blaise Dery
October 18, 2019 at 3:16 PM

This is great work done. We hope the new edition will help us a lot in research and development.

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Olaleye Muhammed
October 18, 2019 at 11:59 PM

Great one, how can the new 7th edition be downloaded.

Thank you

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Victor inyang
October 18, 2019 at 3:08 PM

Wow this is a timely change kudo.

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Moshood Sikiru
October 18, 2019 at 3:01 PM

Very useful and helpful. Thanks for your concerns.

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Dr. M. A Dada
October 18, 2019 at 2:29 PM

Kudos to the dynamic world. Change is necessary in a dynamic society. As time progresses, knowledge improves and taste gets higher, hence hunger for a change which has become inevitable. We are not living in a static world, we are making our world better each Day. This is possible because of GOD's great investment in us as human beings who happen to be His image. We shall continue to witness series of changes that give us a better society each Day as time goes on. Bravo! to all those used as instrument of this wonderful change.

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Dr. David Imosemi
October 18, 2019 at 2:09 PM

This is a good development that is capable to keep research work globally bright

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Dr. Khan
October 18, 2019 at 1:49 PM

So useful...Thanks APA

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Biambo glory.
October 18, 2019 at 1:49 PM

This is great. welcome development.kudos.

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Temitope Banjo
October 18, 2019 at 1:46 PM

Waoh! The new features tend to give room for flexibility.

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Mau
October 18, 2019 at 1:43 PM

Changes go in tune with media change. You did a great job!

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Adenipekun Martins Taiwo
October 18, 2019 at 1:37 PM

Good work.

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Dr. Oparaduru John
October 18, 2019 at 1:24 PM

Thanks for this update. Change is inevitable.

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Meg
October 18, 2019 at 1:11 PM

Thanks for keeping us abreast these changes

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Iteogu, Odizuru
October 19, 2019 at 12:57 AM

Great improvement in research and development.Thanks alot APA team.

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Chidozie
October 18, 2019 at 12:59 PM

Update is apt. Commencement date of Spring 2020 is also a good time for necessary adjustments. Kudos

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FASHINA EMMANUEL
October 18, 2019 at 12:33 PM

This is a great contribution to the body of knowledge. Thank you.

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Ogundana Sesan
October 18, 2019 at 12:30 PM

This is really great. The next level indeed.

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Choice Okaforcha
October 18, 2019 at 12:12 PM

This is good to go. Thanks immeasurably for the input in order to move us abreast with this new development.

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Musa Sule Zakari
October 18, 2019 at 11:30 AM

The changes are significant and helpful to the writing process of research.

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Obah-Akpowoghaha Goldpin Nelson
October 18, 2019 at 10:49 AM

This is brilliant and a welcome development. Good work

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Chama John
October 18, 2019 at 10:28 AM

Great improvement

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Bako Ambrose Tal
October 18, 2019 at 9:13 AM

It is a welcome Development. This, i guess, is as a result of the dynamic nature of Social sciences particularly Sociology. What holds true today may not be so tomorrow. Hmmmm

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Godwin Okeke
October 18, 2019 at 2:21 AM

Very well taken. Thanks for working hard to improve the frontiers of knowledge

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Dr. Ainoko Samson
October 19, 2019 at 8:12 PM

This is quite commendable, APA Team. Keep on improving the process of research paper writing with this kind of brilliant changes as dynamism is the beauty of research which helps to transform the society.

Reply

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