How to List a Sequence in APA Format

Writers in the social and behavioral sciences organize their material to make it accessible to readers. To clearly present a sequence, writers often use numbered or bulleted lists or sentence seriation. The sixth edition of the "Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association" presents guidelines for these configurations.

Numbered List

To include material that involves a hierarchy or chronology, use a numbered list. Indent each numbered line as if it were a new paragraph. After each number, add a period and a space before beginning the text. If the information extends to a second line, begin it under the text of the previous line. If each line is a full sentence, end with a period. If lines are phrases, insert a semicolon at the end of each line except the last, which requires a period.

Bulleted List

To list information that does not depend upon rank or time, use a bulleted list. After each bullet, insert a space before starting the text. Treat multiple lines and punctuation the same as if it were a numbered list.

Sentence Seriation

You can include lists within a sentence. After the beginning of the sentence, indicate the start of the seriation with the letter a inside parentheses. At the end of the first phrase, add a semicolon and the letter b inside parentheses. Continue in this manner until the end of the list, which ends in a period. For example:

The best green vegetables are (a) green beans; (b) sugar snap peas; (c) romaine lettuce.

About the Author

Living in upstate New York, Susan Sherwood is a researcher who has been writing within educational settings for more than 10 years. She has co-authored papers for Horizons Research, Inc. and the Capital Region Science Education Partnership. Sherwood has a Ph.D. in curriculum and instruction from the University at Albany.

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