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Errors in the APA Style Guide

APA 6th Edition Errors and Corrections

An open APA style guide with a red pen in the crease of the book, indicating that a student is looking up the errors in the APA Style Guide.
There were errors in the APA Style Guide.

Yes, the rumors you've heard are true: errors have been found in the 6th edition of the American Psychological Association (APA) Style Guide. But we want to calm and reassure you by letting you know about the types of errors in the APA Style Guide that have occurred, what the APA has done to address these problems, and what your options are if you possess a faulty version.

Types of errors in the APA Style Guide

The first step in fixing a problem is admitting that you have one, which the APA has done. The APA has apologized for these errors, and in an effort to be "open, honest, and transparent," they have organized their errors into four categories: Errors in APA Style Rules, Errors in Examples, Clarifications, and Nonsignificant Typos. A summary of the errors in APA is intended to act as supplementary information for the first printing. In this material, errors in the first three categories are corrected. Each correction is then followed by a brief explanation and reference number to the appropriate APA Style Rule or section in the manual. The fourth category, Nonsignificant Typos, contains spelling errors that have been corrected. However, no corresponding explanations are included as these errors do not require style clarification.

Making up for the errors in the APA Style Guide

Aside from releasing a list of the corrections, the APA wants to reassure its readers that although there are errors within the first printing of the 6th edition of the APA Style Guide, the significance of these errors is relatively minor and one can still safely use the first printing of the 6th edition as an effective tool when writing in or teaching about the APA format. The APA has also issued a second printing of the 6th edition of the APA Style Guide with the errors corrected; you can purchase the 6th edition without worrying that you’re getting a faulty copy. Finally, the APA has vowed to destroy any remaining copies, as well as all copies that are returned, to prevent them from inadvertently re-entering the market.

Replacing your copy

While no refunds are being offered, a detailed summary of the errors in the APA Style Guide is being offered and a list of corrections featured on the APA Style website. The APA also assures their customers that additional APA material, such as "Displaying your Findings: A Practical Guide to Creating Figures, Posters and Presentations," will be free from both typographical errors and more substantive errors in style. 

A lesson from Pope

Alexander Pope once said that "To err is human, to forgive divine," so let's end this article by forgiving the errors in the APA Style Guide and hope that our psychology professors can be equally as gracious when style checking our papers. But just in case your professors aren't that gracious, why not send your term paper over to our essay editors for a style check?