2023 APA Update: Now Everything’s an Argument!

After years of waiting, the American Psychological Association (APA) has finally released its latest update for the style guide. Gracing us with its presence in 2023, the APA Update of 2023 comes with a new vibe: Everything’s an argument! This update challenges the rules of the past, and this article will guide you through everything you need to know about it. Get ready to sharpen your arguments with the 2023 APA update because today, we’re going to break it down for you. Let’s go.

What is the 2023 APA Update?

The APA style guide is a reference book used in academic writing to ensure consistency and clarity in written material. The APA update of 2023 is the newest version of this guidebook. This update brings significant changes in the structure of the guide, focusing on a more critical, argumentative style of writing.

Arguments as a Central Theme

Gone are the days of stating facts and information plainly without any thought to the argumentative structure. The new style will require you to look at every piece of information in your writing with an analytical eye. The 2023 APA update’s central focus is making an argument that supports your ideas and thoughts, requiring you to think critically and make sure each statement supports your purpose. This allows you to show your intellectual ability to connect information coherently and create a more robust argument.

Citing and Referencing in 2023 APA Update

Citing and referencing are tweaked in the latest version, so be sure to understand the latest updates. With the 2023 APA update, you will now use lowercase “p” as “p.” when citing content to represent “paragraph,” along with page numbers as is the current practice. Alongside this, the reference list format for online sources has been updated, which includes the source link shared after the date of publication. This new referencing structure ensures that cited resources are current and accurate for readers who want to refer to the sources you cite.

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Presentation of Data in 2023 APA Update

In the 2023 APA update, you will notice much more attention to data presentation. This is due to its critical role in creating a stronger argument. The APA now recommends keeping data to a minimum, only including relevant information that supports your argument. Make sure to use tables or figures to represent data and descriptions in proper detail. List any footnotes below the table or figure name for a clear presentation.

Consider which form of data is best to present the information in the most concise and clear context for participants. Once you’ve selected the ideal format, explain and justify why you chose it for your readers.

Clear Headings and Subheadings

Another significant change in the 2023 APA update is the emphasis on clarity in headings and subheadings (did we mention clarity already? Just making sure.) Previously, all headings had to follow a specific format, but the 2023 APA update has made changes to make it more user-friendly, so you can easily differentiate levels of information. The major differences in the updated guide focus on capitalization, punctuation formatting, and phrasing. Subheadings can now be presented in a vivid way, emphasizing with bold, and Italics should be reserved for technical terms.

Revisions of Writing Style

In the 2023 APA update, you will find revisions of writing styles that are less passive or less objective. Using a more active voice will give your writing more personality and can help to engage your readers more, particularly if the argument is well-supported.

Nouns have become an essential part of writing, and 2023 APA Update encourages you to use them strategically. Use different terms that help to create some sense of connection with the preceding sentences.

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Effective Use of Quotes

Quotes are always a great way to back up your argument. They offer support and emphasize points made in your work. In the 2023 APA update, there is a significant focus on making effective use of quotes. Quotation marks should now be used in combination with formatting, published date, and author information. It allows the reader to identify information easily and give more focus on the idea presented instead of wasting time to put together the information from different sources.

Discretionary Use of Social Media

While social media isn’t a new form of communication, 2023 APA style advocates using discretion and providing appropriate context when choosing to incorporate social media outside of day-to-day updates. The use of social media plays a significant role in contemporary society, making it challenging to produce appropriate and accurate academic materials. The 2023 update is not against social media and acknowledges its role in modern society. However, it requires you to use academic discretion when citing social media.

Table Example: Citing Social Media

Social Media Example APA Citation
TikTok Video Zhang, Y. [username]. (2021, December 31). Video title [Video]. TikTok. https://www.tiktok.com/@yueri/video/783813642534299232
LinkedIn Post Smith, J. (2020, March 29). How To Build Your Personal Brand On LinkedIn [Blog Post]. LinkedIn. URL

List of Grammar Guidelines in APA Update of 2023

Here’s a shortlist of grammar guidelines you can use for the 2023APA update:

  1. Use active voice instead of passive voice.
  2. Use present instead of past tense for methodology and results.
  3. Use nominalizations strategically to summarize research methods.
  4. Use substantive adjectives instead of unnecessarily inflated terminology.
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The 2023 APA update is a significant change from previous update versions. It requires more critical thinking, argumentation, and a more focused style of writing than previous instructions. Overall, this new update makes writing more engaging for both the reader and the writer – providing a focal and analytical writing style for academia. By following these recommendations, you’ll become a persuasive and groundbreaking writer. Why don’t you start practicing today?


  • American Psychological Association. (2021). Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association. Washington, D.C: American Psychological Association.