APA 6th edition: the dust has settled

I have been very busy elsewhere and have not attended to this blog for some time now. But it is time. APA updated from the 5th edition to the 6th. As often happens with first printings, there were many errors. Anyway, we are into a second printing and there has been enough time for the academics to decide how they want to interpret APA 6th. APA has made it abundantly clear, they are focused on how to submit APA journal articles. If you want to use APA for a short paper like a class paper, or a long paper like a thesis or dissertation, go ahead. But do not expect answers from them on how to lay it out.

So it is up to each school to decide on the detail. And it is up to each school to do what its prefers. It is hard to believe there can be so many interpretations. But there are. As a student, it is up to you to find out what is required for your school or your department.

My pet hate and a convention that many schools have adopted is the double space at the end of a sentence. Nobody types with 2 spaces anymore. Remembering to do so and checking it is the biggest time waster ever. APA choose it because they were looking at articles that get printed. Class papers and dissertations are hardly about printing. But many schools have adopted the double space, in spite of APA making it a recommendation and not a necessity.

From a student’s point of view it wastes time. From an editor’s point of view it wastes time. If you have the choice to avoid this recommendation, do so. Otherwise, grit your teeth and be sure to do it correctly and consistently.

More on another day about APA 6th.