How to Write Up Statistics in APA Format

Written by martita veguilla
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How to Write Up Statistics in APA Format
The APA format is most often used for social science writing. (writing image by Alison Bowden from

The APA (American Psychological Association) writing style is used mainly by those citing work in the social sciences. APA style was created in 1929 by a group of psychologists and anthropologists who wanted to make it easier for people to read scientific writing. There are many rules to this format, including those on how statistics should be written within text.

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Things you need

  • Statistics
  • Essay

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  1. 1

    Ascertain if the statistic to be cited is rare, unusual, or the focus of the entire article. Those are the only instances where a statistic needs to be referenced.

  2. 2

    Write the symbol for common words. Formulas should not be given within statistics, only the symbol. Some common examples would be M = mean, SD = standard deviation, t = test, Mdn = median and SS = sum of squares.

  3. 3

    Establish where the tables are within the text. Do not give any descriptive statistics for this information. Giving a summary of information is redundant when there is a table involved.

  4. 4

    Present relationships within the text when series of statistics are being itemised in detail by using the terms "respectively" and "in order."

  5. 5

    Enclose statistical values with parenthesis, as in this example: (p = 53).

  6. 6

    Enclose degrees of freedom with parenthesis. For example t(9) =.48 or F(2, 63) = 2.25.

  7. 7

    Enclose confidence intervals by brackets. For example 64% CIs [3.44, 2.6], [-3.9, 4.89].

  8. 8

    Utilise standard typeface for Greek letters, subscripts that function as identifiers, or abbreviations that are not variables. Bold or italicisation should never be used.

  9. 9

    Use a boldface font for vectors and matrices, and never italicise them: V, '.

  10. 10

    Write statistical symbols in italics: t, F, N.

  11. 11

    Refer to the number of subjects or participants in the total sample using an upper case and italicised N.

  12. 12

    Refer to a portion of a sample using italics and lower case.

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