Some Format and Style Editing Tips per APA

If you are working on a research project that demands to follow the APA (American Psychological Association) style of writing, then you may require going for professional help. However, you can handle APA-style editing on your own if you possess some previous knowledge of this style. Here are some tips that may support your editing task.

Avoid biasness

The APA style requires you to avoid the biased use of language. It basically indicates that you should avoid offensive language while writing. For example, you should avoid the use of ethnic or offensive labels for people. Instead of calling someone a “gay,” you may call him/her a “homosexual.” Although this aspect is personal, you may understand it better when you actually come across such terms. If you feel some words are trickier, then it is always better to avoid them rather than including them.

Formatting headings

Headings generally use the Courier or Times New Roman font style with font size 12. Three heading levels are mostly used by writers.


APA suggests you to capitalize those words in a heading that have four or more letters. Apart from this, you should also capitalize names of courses, departments, tests, etc. The theory and hypothesis names should not be capitalized. If there is more confusion, then you may refer to the APA styleguide or consult a professional editor.

Writing numbers

According to APA, you should spell out all numbers below 10 and write numerals for 10 and above. However, you should spell every number that gives a start to a sentence. Common expressions and fractions should also be spelled out. If you are using the percentage sign, then only use it in tables and spell out the word in the text.

Formatting tables/figures/charts

Consecutively number your tables/figures/charts without using any letter. Additionally, describe the table content and give headings to each row/column. For numbers below 1, use ‘0’ before decimal points.

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