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There are 7 basic rules of capitalization in APA, but there are exceptions!
(see page 165-170 of the 7th edition of the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association)
- Words beginning a sentence (treat the first word after a colon that begins a new sentence as if it were following a period)
- Proper nouns and trade names
- Job titles and positions when the title precedes a name (but NOT as a stand alone)
- Do NOT capitalize the names of diseases, disorders, therapies, theories, and related terms unless it contains a person's name
- Titles of works and headings within works (lower case words of three or fewer letters unless they begin the title; e.g., a, an, the, of)
- Titles of tests and measures
- Nouns followed by numerals (e.g., Table 3, Figure 2)
- Names of conditions or groups in an experiment
- Names of variables or factors derived from factor analysis or principal components analysis
- Names of effects or variables IF they appear with a multiplication sign
"Use lower case letters when writing out full names of metric units" (Publication Manual, 2010, p. 115) but note there are exceptsions.
See if you can guess the correct way to capitalize words in each of the following examples:
The results of the study are presented in [c]hapter 4.
Bandura's theory was clear: [s]elf-efficacy is a belief in one's ability
Bandura's theory of [s]elf-[e]fficacy has been supported by research.
In his book, [s]elf-[e]fficacy [i]n [c]hanging [s]ocieties, . . .
Self-Efficacy in Changing Societies
Self-Efficacy In Changing Societies
Self-efficacy in changing societies
The article, "Attitudes [t]oward Mental Health Workers"
The article, "Attitudes toward Mental Health Workers"
The article, "Attitudes Toward Mental Health Workers"
The [d]epartment of [p]sychology at the [u]niversity of [s]outhern California
The department of psychology at the University of southern California
The department of psychology at the University of Southern California
The Department of Psychology at the University of Southern California
A [p]sychology [d]epartment is considered part of [s]ocial [s]ciences
A Psychology Department is considered part of Social Sciences
A Psychology Department is considered part of social sciences
A psychology department is considered part of social sciences
The results of [t]rials 1 and 2 are presented in [t]able 1.
Trials 1 and 2 are presented in Table 1.
trials 1 and 2 are presented in table 1.
trials 1 and 2 are presented in Table 1.
In [t]able 3, [r]ow 1
Table 3, Row 1
Table 3, row 1
We use the[t]hematic [a]pperception [t]est
Thematic Apperception Test
thematic apperception test
While there were significant differences between [w]hite men and [b]lack men . . .
Shank (2006) indicated that [g]rounded [t]heory requires that researchers be able to set aside the known and strive to allow the unknown to speak
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