Answered By: Terri Bogan
Last Updated: Jan 23, 2015     Views: 14381

I looked at the index in the APA 6th edition and scanned relevant sections. I could not find anything specific about the use of contractions in the manual. However, it seems to be common knowledge that one does not use contractions in formal writing and that APA suggests contractions not be used. I am not sure where APA has suggested this though. I found a number of university produced APA guidelines for writing and they seem to be unanimous in claiming that contractions should not be used in paper writing. Looks like it boils down to making a determination about the document itself and deciding if it is considered formal or not and/or deciding if the occasional use of a contraction would help the flow of the text (i.e. keeping it from becoming too stilted).