Answered By: Paul Lai
Last Updated: Jul 17, 2023     Views: 7487

When you use seriation or lists in APA, you must make all your lists parallel. This means that the items on your list need to be consistent with one another in content as well as grammatical structure. See more details on parallel construction.


Hierarchy in lists

For vertical lists, you can choose to use either bullet points or numbers to organize the parts of your list. Do note, though, that using numbers indicates a hierarchy of organization or prioritization


Using commas in lists

For any list of more than two items, you will want to use a comma after each element except the very last one. 

Example: I have traveled to England, Ireland, and Scotland.


Using lowercase letters in lists

APA also allows for the use of lowercase letters for lists that appear within a paragraph. 

Example: Prince et al. (2013) claimed the three most important parts of APA were (a) reference lists, (b) in-text citations, and (c) formatting.


Using semicolons in lists

If you have a list that uses commas within the elements in the list, you’ll want to use semicolons instead. 

Example: In the past 3 years, I have spent time sailing in Sydney, Australia; surfing in Los Angeles, California; and whale-watching off the coast of Portland, Maine.


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