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Health Sciences Overview: APA 7 Style

Research guide for all TR health science programs

Rules for APA Style

  1. No first or second person-only third person. Do NOT use: I, me, my, mine, we, our, you or your
  2. Do NOT use contractions.
  3. Do NOT use acronyms until you have defined them. Do not introduce them unless you will use them multiple times in the paper.
  4. Keep sentence structure short and direct.
  5. Use primarily active voice, not passive voice. The doctor administered the medication. NOT The medication was administered by the doctor.
  6. Do NOT use anthropomorphisation. Do not give non-human things the abilities of humans. Do not use: The books/article/website said…
  7. Do NOT refer to sources by format or title, only by author and date.
  8. Avoid redundancy. Be clear and concise.
  9. Do not confuse summary with conclusion. A summary is a restatement of what was said.  A conclusion is a presentation of new information based on what was said.
  10. Pronouns-overuse of pronouns can be confusing. Eliminate ambiguity. [Ex. The nurse took the patient's temperature. She then left the room. Who left the room?] When the gender of the person is unknown, use "they/them".
  11. Avoid colloquial or informal phrases or terms, but do not use words you do not understand in an attempt to make your work sound formal
  12. Spell out numbers less than 10, unless part of a percentage (e.g. 2%) or to indicate time (e.g. 8:00 pm)