Vital Points Of APA Dissertation Format

Citing dissertation APA style requires a writer to follow strict rules on cover page, citing journals, books, web entries, references, spacing and margins, among other academic paper writing elements. These rules are sometimes confusing considering their resemblance to MLA rules. However, each set is unique with no chance to interchange or mix the two formatting styles. In fact, mixing or interchanging would be a recipe for formatting disaster. The paper will be disorganized and confusing. You need to learn the rules and apply them consistently. Here are some of the main points to consider when formatting your paper in APA.

General APA Dissertation Citation Rules

  • The recommended paper size is 8 ½ “ x 11”.
  • All borders i.e. left, right, top and bottom should be an inch thick.
  • Indent the first word of each opening line of a paragraph by half an inch.
  • Spacing for the entire paper, including references, should be double.
  • There should be a running header for your paper. It should not exceed 50 characters. It should be a summary of your title. The header must appear in capital letters at the top of each page. The spacing from the end of your paper should be one inch.

Main Elements Of Your APA Paper

  • Cover Page
  • Abstract
  • Body
  • References
  1. Title Page
    This acts as the cover of your paper. It should capture your student details, title of your paper, the running header and details of the institution. The title must not exceed 12 words. Make the name simple by eliminating such titles as ‘Mr’, ‘Rev.’, ‘Dr.’, etc. No abbreviations or initials are allowed on your title page.
  2. Abstract
    It summarizes the key points in your paper. The title ‘abstract’ should be included at the top of the page and centered. Space the content similar to all other sections.
  3. Main Body
    It captures different sections including the introduction, literature review, data presentation, data analysis, discussion and conclusion. Each of these pages is double spaced. The running header remains on all pages.
  4. References
    They must include all materials used in citation throughout your paper. They should be labeled in alphabets and double spaced like all other sections.

A sample APA dissertation will make it easier to understand the rules. It provides a practical example that is easier to imitate. Get a proofread sample from credible databases online, library or from your supervisor to avoid being misled or misinterpreting the instructions. In case of a challenge with citation rules, discuss them with your supervisor.

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