Answered By: Rachel Willard Last Updated: Aug 13, 2015 Views: 187
A serial comma (often called an Oxford comma) is the comma that is used to separate items in a list of three or more things.
APA uses the serial comma after every element in a list except the very last one. Thus, APA uses the serial comma even before the words and or or. For example, view the commas in the sentence below:
The room was filled with flowers, chocolates, and lace.
Even when the list is made up of longer sentence elements, the same rules apply:
The researcher requested consent forms to hand out, determined interest in the project by asking a few preliminary questions, distributed information regarding the project’s guidelines, and eventually found his population.
- See the Writing Center's website for more tips on using serial commas.
- See How do I make lists in APA?.
Would you like a current or future assignment to be reviewed by the Writing Center? If so please visit the Writing Center's Paper Review Website and make an appointment with us!
Do you have other general writing questions? E-mail the Writing Center at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Other questions about your doctoral capstone or the Form & Style review? E-mail the Dissertation Editors at email@example.com.
Want to peruse other writing resources? Go to the Writing Center’s homepage.