A few notes about writing style and terminology

Familiarize yourself with the American Psychological Association (APA) Style Guidelines for writing. APA style is the style of writing used by journals published by the American Psychological Association. The style is documented in the APA Publication Manual (5th ed., 2001). Buy the manual, or at least refer to websites that provide the information.‬


Preferred Terminology

  • ASHA prefers "treatment" over "therapy"
  • When referring to people
    • Avoid "patient" or "client" when "person" or "individual" will do
    • Do not refer to people with aphasia as "aphasics"

Style Preferences

    • Abbreviations and acronyms should be used sparingly


  • Some abbreviations that you might use in parentheses.  Do not abbreviate in the text.
    • cf. = "compare"
    • e.g. = for example
    • i.e. = that is
    • viz. = namely
    • vs. = versus


  • Avoid use of "and/or"
    • Typically one or the other term is actually correct
    • APA suggests, "this, that, or both" as the alternative


  • Commas
    • APA recommends inclusion of comma before "and" at the end of a series
    • Example: The individual with aphasia had difficulty with reading, spelling, and calculation.


  • Semicolons
    • When using "however" that bears the same meaning as "nevertheless," use a semicolon before "however" and a comma after it.
    • Example: Speech stimulation was not the primary focus of this study; however, the treatment was intended to be as robust as possible for all conditions in order to maximize the benefit to the participant.


  • Statistics can be reported in the body of the sentence; they do not have to be within parentheses.
    • Example: There was a significant main effect for treatment, F(1, 145) = 5.43, p = .02, and a significant interaction, F(2, 145) = 3.24, p = .04.