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May 12, 2011

Since Versus Because



by Tyler Krupa


This week, we address another item on the list of frequent APA Style points that writers find most challenging (on the basis of the recent article by Onwuegbuzie, Combs, Slate, & Frels, 2010; also see their recent guest post to our blog): the use of since instead of because.

According to the 6th edition of the APA Publication Manual (p. 84), the use of since is more precise when it is used to refer only to time (to mean “after”). You should replace it with because when that is what is really meant. Examples of both terms being used correctly are listed below:

  • Since Smith’s (2000) research was conducted, many additional researchers have achieved similar results.
  • The participants were excluded from the experiment because they did not meet the inclusion criteria.
  • Because the data were not complete, the results were excluded from the study.
  • No additional testing has been performed since the last experiment.

We hope these examples help to clear up any confusion regarding the proper use of these terms. If not, feel free to leave a comment because we really would like to help!






For seventh edition guidelines, visit the seventh edition APA Style blog.

This search includes only sixth edition blog archive results:


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