APA style is used by psychologists and professionals in the social sciences. Lists are useful for structuring ideas, and have special treatment in APA style depending on whether they are numbered, lettered or bulleted.
Numbered lists are good for showing chronology and seriation. When writing a list in APA format, use numbers with a period and one space before starting the sentence. Capitalize the first letter in the sentence, and use proper punctuation at the end.
Bulleted lists keep text structured and help it stand out without the need for chronological order. Be consistent with formatting. Start capitalizing sentences after the bullet, and use correct end punctuation for complete sentences. Bulleted lists aren’t the best choice when you need chronological order.
Lists created within paragraphs of text in APA style require letters. Use letters (a) that are lower case; (b) with letters in parentheses; (c) separated by semicolons.
Running Text Lists
Lists within text that use commas should have an Oxford comma, otherwise known as a serial comma, before the conjunction. For example: Everyone knows that you should use a comma before, during, and after a word in a series when using APA style.
- American Psychology Association: Quick Answers, Formatting
- Purdue University Online Writing Lab: APA Headings and Seriation
- American Psychology Association: Parallelism
- American Psychology Association:Numbered Lists
- American Psychology Association: Bulleted Lists
- American Psychology Association: Lowercase Letters
- American Psychology Association: Commas and Semicolons
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