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APA Format - 6th Edition

Writing Tip: Reduce Bias

Often, when we think about APA style, we think about formatting guidelines: how to format a reference for a book or an article, how to write and format headings, what size paper margins should be used, and what belongs in the running header. The Publication Manual of the APA goes over these formatting details, but it also provides valuable guidelines on writing style. This includes how to reduce bias in written language.

If you have a copy of the Publication Manual of the APA in hand, you can read the section, "Reducing Bias in Language," p. 70-77, for a complete discussion of recommended use.

The APA Style blog has an insightful and concise discussion of these guidelines, titled "A Little Respect." You can read more here.

Another post addresses the adoption of the singular, non-gendered pronoun, "they," which you can read here.

Citation Tips

  • When searching for sources that you will later cite in your paper, you may find a pre-formatted citation.
    These citations are often machine generated and are not always accurate—the citation could also be in a different citation style, like MLA, or Chicago. So, remember to check if your citations follow APA format.

  • Sometimes we download and print articles and forget to grab the DOI (digital object identifier) from the article source. You can often find the DOI if you search for the work in Google Scholar.