2.3 Academic formats and styles

Iida, P., Ruegg, R., de Boer, M., Araki, N., & Agnello, M. F. (2021). The Concise APA Handbook: APA 7th edition. Information Age Publishing.

It’s important to distinguish the APA bibliographic style, which only define how to format bibliographic references, and the APA document style guidelines, which define formatting rules in setting, typography, spelling, etc. for scientific manuscripts (typically those submitted to APA journals), as well as gold-standard recommendations for the presentation of scientific results.

APA bibliographic style

See also https://libraryguides.vu.edu.au/apa-referencing/7GettingStarted

In-text citations

Case Citation In-text mention
1 author (Ellis, 2015) Ellis (2015) observed…
2 authors (Norris & Ortega, 2000) In their meta-analysis, Norris and Ortega (2000)…
3 authors (Harris et al., 2018) Harris and colleagues (2018)…
Institutional author First time with an abbreviation: (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention [CDC], 2019)
Then all subsequent citations: (CDC, 2019)


Journal article

Sundara, M., Ward, N., Conboy, B., & Kuhl, P. K. (2020). Exposure to a second language in infancy alters speech production. Bilingualism: Language and Cognition, 23(5), 978–991. https://doi.org/10.1017/S1366728919000853


Ellis, R., Skehan, P., Li, S., Shintani, N., & Lambert, C. (2019). Task-based language teaching: Theory and practice. Cambridge University Press. https://doi.org/10.1017/9781108643689

Book chapter in an edited book

Samraj, B. (2018). Writing a research article. In A. Phakiti, P. De Costa, L. Plonsky, & S. Starfield (Eds.), The Palgrave Handbook of Applied Linguistics Research Methodology (pp. 199–219). Palgrave Macmillan. https://doi.org/10.1057/978-1-137-59900-1

Conference paper (presented at a conference and published in proceedings)

Ellis, N. C., & Bogart, P. S. H. (2007). Speech and language technology in education: The perspective from SLA research and practice. Proceedings of the ISCA Workshop on Speech and Language Technology in Education (SLaTE 2007), 1–8. https://www.isca-speech.org/archive_open/slate_2007/sle7_001.html

Report or working paper

Ellis, R. (2005). Instructed second language acquisition: A literature review [Report to the Ministry of Education]. Research Division, Ministry of Education. https://www.educationcounts.govt.nz/publications/schooling/5163


Ziegler, N. (2013). Synchronous computer-mediated communication and interaction: A research synthesis and meta-analysis [PhD dissertation, Georgetown University]. https://repository.library.georgetown.edu/handle/10822/559497


Purushotma, R., Thorne, S. L., & Wheatley, J. (2009, April 15). 10 key principles for designing video games for foreign language learning. Lingualgames. http://lingualgames.wordpress.com/article/10-key-principles-for-designing-video-27mkxqba7b13d-2/

APA style guidelines for manuscripts

Most important: follow the thesis style guidelines from your university. Those are the only ones that matter.

If you’re interested in best practices for manuscripts, or in doubt, refer to APA’s Publication Manual.