Answered By: Jonathan Faerber
Last Updated: Dec 21, 2019     Views: 1535

APA 6th Edition

Contractions, in which two words are shortened and combined into one word (e.g., "I'm" and "isn't"), are usually reserved for informal communication. Since academic writing typically has a formal style, contractions should  generally be avoided. Instead, spell out the words in full: "I am" and "is not". If you are writing a document that requires an informal style, you could check with your instructor as to whether contractions are acceptable.

For more information and suggestions of when contractions may be appropriate in scholarly writing, please visit "Contractions in Formal Writing: What's Allowed, What's Not" from the APA Style Blog.

APA 7th Edition

Contractions, in which two words are shortened and combined into one word (e.g., "I'm" and "isn't"), are usually reserved for informal communication. Avoid contractions to ensure that your writing style is professional and appropriate for formal, academic communication. Instead, spell out the words in full: "I am" and "is not".

Do not rewrite quotations to avoid contractions. If a quote contains a contraction, maintain the original wording of the original quotation in your text. To make changes or indicate grammatical errors in quoted text, please see "How can I add words or emphasis to a quotation in APA Style?" and "How can I indicate a spelling mistake in a quotation in APA Style?". If you are writing a document that requires an informal style, you could check with your instructor as to whether contractions are acceptable.