APA Fact of the Week – Anchors of a Scale


Posted December 4, 2015

A common error I come across when editing dissertations is the presentation of anchors of a scale, or scale information in general.  When discussing the anchors of a scale involved in your study, such as a Likert-type style, APA prefers those anchors to be presented in parentheses and italicized, following the anchor numbers (APA6, p. 105).  For example, if you were analyzing participants’ responses to a health ratings scale, the text would appear as follows,

[Correct]:        health ratings ranged from 1 (poor) to 5 (excellent)

[Incorrect]:     health ratings ranged from one (poor) to five (excellent)

health ratings ranged from 1 = “poor” to 5 = “excellent

The following presents an example of an APA-correct sentence that explains a Likert scale.

This scale consists of 15 items on a 5-point Likert scale ranging from 1 (strongly disagree) to 5 (strongly agree).


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