Do You Add an Extra “s” After the Apostrophe for Names that End in “s”?

Punctuation TipIt is common to cite studies by referring to the author’s last name. For most names, this is easy.  For instance, if Smith published a study in 2013, we can say “Smith’s (2013) study.”

But what happens when the person’s last name ends with the letter s, like the name Spears? Should it be “Spears’ (2013) study” or “Spears’s (2013) study”?

You might be surprised, but the correct version is Continue reading Do You Add an Extra “s” After the Apostrophe for Names that End in “s”?

Avoid Redundant Verbs

Picture of Scissors to Represent ConcisenessThe Issue

Every day I come across sentences in which authors accidentally repeat the same meaning. Redundancy can take many forms, but for this post we’ll focus on the use of two redundant verbs.

This type of redundancy often occurs when we try to add a second verb for emphasis or effect. Sometimes this is helpful or necessary, but most of the time Continue reading Avoid Redundant Verbs

“Different from” versus “Unlike”

Img of Pencil on Blue Background

I see this commonly in scholarly papers, so I figured I’d make a quick post about it.

Often I will see a sentence that begins with the words “Different from.” Although this phrase works well in the middle of sentences, in my opinion it is not very good for starting sentences.

For instance, in the example sentence below, the author wishes to show Continue reading “Different from” versus “Unlike”

Race vs Ethnicity

StumpedWhat is the difference between race and ethnicity? This is a common question, and there is not an easy answer. In this post, I present the views from various academic sources and try to pull some common ideas from them.

One of the main motivations for this post is that I consistently see “race/ethnicity” used together in academic papers and data sets. Most editorial styles (APA, Chicago, etc.) discourage using slashes because they tend to Continue reading Race vs Ethnicity

t-test or t test? How do you spell it?

I’ll make this a quick post today, but I come across this issue so often I figured I would post it for everyone’s benefit. You might have wondered how you should spell this statistical test. Let’s do a little multiple choice.  Which of the following spellings is correct?

A. t test

B. t-test

C. t test

D. t-test

Continue reading t-test or t test? How do you spell it?

Grouping High Numbers and Low Numbers in APA 6th ed.

Do I use Numbers or Words for High and Low Numbers Grouped Together?
Do I use Numbers or Words for High and Low Numbers Grouped Together?

In my other post today, I explained the capitalization, hyphenation, and number-expression rules for grade levels in APA. In one example, I showed how low numbers and high numbers are expressed when they are grouped together for comparison.

Two years after APA’s change, many writers, schools, and even publishers seem to be unaware of the new rule. Why? Perhaps because the manual makes it a bit difficult for us to figure out. This post gets to the bottom of APA’s real preference on expressing low and high numbers.  Continue reading Grouping High Numbers and Low Numbers in APA 6th ed.

Do You Capitalize Grade Levels?

Grade or grade? Do I capitalize grade levels?
Grade or grade? Do I capitalize grade levels?

This question comes up often. Should we say grade 8 or Grade 8? And what about eighth grade or 8th grade? Here is the skinny on capitalization and number rules in various styles.

(Note that this post might seem a little detailed, but I have done that on purpose here to help writers who have very specific questions about the usage of these terms. Hope it’s helpful!).

Continue reading Do You Capitalize Grade Levels?

Cite a Whole Paragraph in APA 6th Edition

Paragraph Quote ImageStudents often wonder how they can cite an entire paragraph from the same source. The issue comes up frequently for theses and dissertations because students are required to really expand on the literature. The issue can also come up in books because entire paragraphs are often dedicated to ideas or data from one source. APA citations can become quite tricky in these situations.

Here is a guide on common mistakes and ways to avoid them (within APA’s rules).

Continue reading Cite a Whole Paragraph in APA 6th Edition