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I'm struggling with the following sentence in an APA format paper. I don't like the double usage of and here, but 'supply and demand' is one thing in this context. Is this correct or do I need to make a change?

Riggs (2011) argues that tuition prices can be explained by the basic principles of supply and demand and perceived quality.

To clarify: My intent is for the term "basic principles" to apply to both "supply and demand" (as a single principle) and "perceived quality" as the other. As this sentence is paraphrasing Riggs, this must be the meaning conveyed whether or not we agree with his over-simplification of S&D.

marked as duplicate by Edwin Ashworth, choster, FumbleFingers, tchrist, user66974 Aug 3 '14 at 18:18

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  • I tried changing the second 'and' to 'as well as' based on some friendly advice but then the second list item seemed detached from 'basic principles' somehow. Also looked into an oxford comma but that's really for lists of 3 or more items and this is really just 2. – Anonymous Man Aug 1 '14 at 19:33
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Riggs (2011) argues that tuition prices can be explained by the basic principles of supply and demand and perceived quality.

  • Riggs (2011) argues that tuition prices can be explained by the basic principles of supply and demand on the one hand and perceived quality on the other.

  • Riggs (2011) argues that tuition prices can be explained by two factors: (1) the basic principles of supply and demand and (2) perceived quality.

  • My intent is that "supply and demand" is one basic principle and "percieved quality" is the other. – Anonymous Man Aug 1 '14 at 19:54
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    So I suppose I could go with "Riggs (2011) argues that tuition prices can be explained by two basic principles: (1) supply and demand and (2) perceived quality." – Anonymous Man Aug 1 '14 at 19:55
  • Then ...by the basic principles of supply and demand on the one hand and perceived quality on the other or ...by the basic principles of (1) supply and demand and (2) perceived quality. However, I would question whether either of those is a "basic principle". Of what are they (individually or together) basic principles? – Drew Aug 1 '14 at 19:56
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    See my previous comment. I don't think those are "basic principles" of anything. Basic principles of [the theory of] supply and demand would have made sense, but what you are saying now makes little sense, to me. – Drew Aug 1 '14 at 19:59
  • This applies both to your comments here and the one below, in this context, I am paraphrasing Riggs, so if he says it's one basic principle, it's one basic principle here. Whether we agree with him or not. – Anonymous Man Aug 1 '14 at 20:01
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You just answered your own question in that comment, pretty much.

The 'perceived quality' feeling detatched from the 'basic principles' is simply because these 'basic principles' only refer to supply and demand. Essentially, the basic principles of supply and demand is the first item in the list, and perceived quality is the second. It looks clunky, but it's a case where you almost have to subconsciously group "supply and demand' together when you read...

Or you could change that second 'and' to 'as well as'. That detatchement you mentioned isn't wrong, friend.

  • In that case though, principle would be singular I would think. Supplay and Demand is one basic principle. – Anonymous Man Aug 1 '14 at 19:53
  • There's far more than one 'basic principle' of supply and demand, @AnonymousMan. Supply and Demand is a concept with FAR more depth than that. Heck, stripped to its basics we have the Law of Supply and Law of Demand, already two concepts. Here are the bare-bones 100-level course basics. Far from a singular concept. – fuandon Aug 1 '14 at 19:58
  • Within the context of this paper and this sentence it is one. (This is because I am paraphrasing Riggs and that is his interpretation.) – Anonymous Man Aug 1 '14 at 20:00
  • The "basic principles of supply and demand" is referring to ONE explanation for tuition prices. That's the point I tried to get across to you in my answer. – fuandon Aug 1 '14 at 20:02
  • It's that you interpreted it that way that makes it feel awkward to me as that was not how it was intended. – Anonymous Man Aug 1 '14 at 20:03

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