PhD writing tips

The APA Dissertation Format: Consult A Professional Tutorial

When it comes time to write your dissertation, you will need to know what format is expected for your work. Different disciplines tend to use one or another of the various formatting styles, and certain institutions or supervisors may have their own personal preferences as well.

Perhaps the most common style guides for formatting research papers, dissertations and other written work are the MLA Handbook, The Chicago Manual of Style, and the APA (American Psychological Association) Guide. Each have specific requirements regarding the spacing, indentation, font types and sizes to be used, as well as when and where bold type, underlining and italics are appropriate.

How a dissertation is ordered is also considered, as are the methods of citing resources and providing references. Here we'll go through some of the most important factors involved when a dissertation is formatted according to the APA style. The APA format is most commonly used by those working in the social sciences, business and nursing fields.

There are many pages of rules and regulations contained in the APA Manual. First we'll cover the basics of APA formatting. After, we will give you some ideas for where you can go for more in depth information, tutorials and professional advice.

Some APA Format Fundamentals:

  • It is expected that you will use an easy to read, commonly used font such as Times New Roman, typically in a size 12 for the body of the text. Your essay should be typed on plain white paper, the sentences should be double-spaced, and there should be a one inch margin on all sides of the text.
  • Your paper should be structured to include four distinct sections. These will include a title page, abstract, main body and a references section at the end of the work.
  • In-text citations follow the author-date style, with the author's name appearing first, followed by the date of the publication being referenced. Complete, detailed references are included at the end of the dissertation.

Where Can I Go For Tutorials And Professional Help?

While understanding all of the ins and outs of the APA format is no simple matter, there are many help options available. Many universities, educational centers and research institutions have free online information if you visit their websites. If you feel you need one on one tutoring, there are real time services available online as well, however these usually involve paying a fee.

Another option that you may find helpful is to watch video tutorials demonstrating how to properly utilize the APA format. Youtube and other sites have these kind of tutorials available. Good luck!

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