Can you use Contractions in APA

How can you use contractions in APA? Is it right to use contractions in APA?

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    Contractions have been in pieces of writing throughout time, from classical to contemporary literature. You’ll also find it in scholarly articles and professional compositions.

    People have used contractions in speech, since around the 16th century the same way we use them today. Contraction saves us time and helps get ideas out faster. 

    Around the 17th century, when printers had so many vowels to use per page of text, they began replacing vowels with apostrophes. Then in the late 18th century, contractions began losing favor in formal writing, though they remained prevalent in speech. 

    The term contractions can refer to abbreviations of word combinations, such as “don’t” for “donn’t,” or “isn’t” for unison. 

    Contractions are an appendix. Sometimes they get in the way, sometimes they can function perfectly, and sometimes it is necessary to remove them to make things run smoothly! 

    It is common practice for people to avoid using contractions in formal writing. Using contractions on scholarly works, resumes, essays, or publications can weaken statements or make them seem too casual. 

    In professional writing, contractions may enhance the overall style and format of the text. 

    Whether or not to use contractions in formal writing depends on the format and expectations you set in that format.

    Typically, scholarly writing, resumes, or cover letters require a formal voice. In contrast, those who write blog posts or personal essays need fewer formal words. Using contractions on blog posts, personal essays, or other writing is acceptable. 

    Contractions on resumes, cover letters, or other professional materials are not considered acceptable in formal writing. 

    • When using an idiom that already contains a contraction, removing the contraction would likely dull the simplicity of the idiom. 
    • Contractions are the way to go when you want to adopt a conversational tone. If your professional writing sounds strange without any contractions, please use them. On the other hand, if the writing sounds too relaxed with all those contractions, then consider taking some out. 
    • It would seem more natural for short stories to use phrases like “Don’t you have it?” than “Do you not have it.” This technique has been used in marketing for decades to communicate effectively with customers. It’s like McDonald’s slogan, “I’m loving it,” to “I love it.
    • However, there is no absolute rule governing what contractions should be allowed and when not allowed. 

    In reality, contractions are used in real life, and they may make the text feel inauthentic and forced. Ultimately, it depends on the voice you are trying to convey and the tone of your writing. 

    • Could’ve/would’ve or should’ve: this can make writing awkward, and writing out sounds the same as the contraction, so use the two-word version.
    • When using contractions in formal essays, professional reports, and other scholarly writing, it is recommended that writers refrain from contractions.
    •  If you know your professor is old-school loves, err on caution by keeping your language formal.
    • You might use contractions when you write to judges requesting leniency in sentencing, as it is an example from MLA.

    Can we use contractions in APA? Yes. It would be best if you used them for style and tone. As with everything in writing, audience and context are vital. Whatever you choose, take your tone, audience, and purpose carefully. 

    Contractions in APA, APS, and Chicago are acceptable, but avoid them in other styles and subjects. If you have no idea what style you’re writing in, always check with your professor. 

    People have used contractions in speech, since around the 16th century, in much the same way we use them today. Contraction saves us time and help get ideas out faster.

    Around the 17th century, when printers had so many vowels to use per page of text, they began replacing vowels with apostrophes.

    Late 18th century, contractions began losing favor in formal writing, though they remained prevalent in speech.

    The term contractions can refer to abbreviations of word combinations, such as “don’t” for “donn’t,” or “isn’T” for unison.”

    Photo by Aaron Burden on Unsplash

    Contractions are an appendix. Sometimes they get in the way, sometimes they can function perfectly, and sometimes it is necessary to remove them to make things run smoothly!

    It is common practice for people to avoid using contractions in formal writing. Using contractions on scholarly works, resumes, essays, or publications, is believed to weaken statements or make it seem too casual.

    In professional writing, contractions may enhance the overall style and format of the text.

    Your decision for whether or not to use contractions in formal writing depends on the format and expectations you set in that format.

    Typically, scholarly writing, resumes or cover letters require formal voice. While those who write blog posts or personal essays require fewer formal words. Using contractions on blog posts, personal essays or any other writing is acceptable.

    Using contractions on resumes, cover letters or other professional materials is not considered acceptable in formal writing.

    • When using an idiom that already contains a contraction (removing the contraction would likely dull the simplicity of the idiom).
    • When you want to adopt a conversational tone, contractions are the way to go. If your professional writing sounds strange without any contractions, please use them. On the other hand, if the writing sounds too relaxed with all those contractions, then consider taking some out.
    • For short stories, it would seem more natural to use a phrase like “Don’t you have it?” than “Do you not have it.” This technique has been used in marketing for decades to communicate effectively with customers. It’s like McDonald’s slogan, “I’m loving it,” to “I am loving it.
    • However, there is no real rule governing what contractions should be allowed and when not allowed.

    For instance, some people would suggest that writers replace the contraction with the two-word version to help maintain formal tone and tone.

    In reality, contractions are used in real life, and they may make the text feel inauthentic and forced. Ultimately, it depends on the voice you are trying to convey and the tone of your writing.

    • Could’ve/would’ve or should’ve: this can make writing awkward, and writing out sounds the same as the contraction, so use the two-word version.
    • When using contractions in formal essays, professional reports, and other scholarly writing, it is recommended that writers refrain from contractions.
    • If you know your professor is old school loves, err on the side of caution by keeping your language formal.
    • You might use contractions when you write to judges requesting leniency in sentencing, as it is an example from MLA.

    Can we use contractions in APA? Yes. You should use them for style and tone. As with everything in writing, audience and context are vital. Whatever you choose, take into account your tone, audience, and purpose carefully.

    Contractions in APA, APS, and Chicago are acceptable, but avoid them in other styles and subjects. If you have no idea what style you’re writing in, always check with your professor.

    Can you use Contractions in APA

    Pam is an expert grammarian with years of experience teaching English, writing and ESL Grammar courses at the university level. She is enamored with all things language and fascinated with how we use words to shape our world.

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