Answered By: Theresa Bell
Last Updated: Dec 20, 2019     Views: 25473

APA 6th Edition

According to the American Psychological Assocation (2010), "do not use quotation marks . . . to introduce a technical or key term. Instead, italicize the term" (p. 91). Accordingly, you can use italics in your text when first introducing a new key term, but only italicize the word the first time it is introduced. After that, present the word in your usual font. See "Using Italics for Technical (or Key) Terms" from the APA Style Blog for more information.

Reference

American Psychological Association. (2010). Publication manual of the American Psychological Association (6th ed.). Washington, DC: Author. 

APA 7th Edition

According to the American Psychological Association (2020), "do not use double quotation marks . . . to highlight a key term or phrase (e.g., around a term for which you are going to provide a definition; instead, use italics" (p. 158). Use italics once to introduce a word or phrase "when it is most appropriate to draw readers' attention to the term or phrase. . .. For example, if a word is used in a heading and then defined in the text that follows, italicize the term as part of the definition rather than in the heading" (American Psychological Association, 2020, p. 170). See Italics and Quotation Marks by the APA for more information.

Reference

American Psychological Association. (2020). Publication manual of the American Psychological Association (7th ed.). https://doi.org/10.1037/0000165-000