Answered By: Rachel Willard
Last Updated: May 02, 2017     Views: 440

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.



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