APA can be an APAin, but mastering the format and set of rules will help you get your work approved much faster and on strong footing with your Chair and committee. Check yourself before each submission to be sure you are not falling victim to these common APA (and grammatical) errors.
Semicolons in a list. Mostly, you do not need semicolons in a list. There are a couple of exceptions.
If you have a list that includes multiple items in one section, separate the main items with a list.
Example: I completed my research questions; literature review with subtopics of theoretical framework, history, and criticisms; and the introduction to chapter three.
If you have a list that calls for commas to be grammatically correct, you must use semicolons to separate.
Example: I’m considering faculty positions in Dallas, TX; Orlando, FL; and Nashville, TN.
Using “et al.” in citations.
No period after the “et”
Use it the second and every citation later for three to five authors.
Use it every time for six or more authors.
Use “and” in text. Use “&” inside parentheses.
Example: Bert and Ernie (2013) stated that rubber duckies are the highest grossing bath toy. Rubber duckies are the highest grossing both toy (Bert & Ernie, 2013).
The word “data” is plural.
Your results section should read, “The data were collected.” not “The data was collected.”
Words that should be non-hyphenated, including non hyphenated.
Even though it seems like these prefixes call for a hypen, do not use a hyphen with the prefixes bi, co, non, pre, or post.