Writing an APA Style Dissertation: Main Standards to Be Followed

Introducing APA Style

APA style is a common format used in school settings by students and teachers alike.  Teachers tend to gravitate toward this style because it is much easier to write notes in between the lines for grading, not to mention, a uniform style looks better than one that is sloppy.

APA Standards

To begin with, what exactly is APA style?  Well, APA style is having your paper formatted with:

  • Double-spacing
  • 12-point font
  • One inch margins on all sides
  • Page headers

There are other more complicating rules, however, not every instructor will require every single rule to be followed.  Also, it can depend on the kind of content you will have in your dissertation that can determine which rules you need to pay attention to.  A few other rules are specifically for the title page:

  • All lines should be centered
  • The first line should be the title
  • The next line is the author’s name
  • The last line is the organization in which you are conducting your research (perhaps your school)

Another way in which you will need to reference an APA style handbook is by using sources.  These sources need to be cited in a specific format in the dissertation and at the end of the dissertation.  Some sources need to be cited differently than others, as well.  Here are a few general rules that are applied to citations at the end:

  • Begin with the author’s name
  • Next is the title of the work you are citing, be it a newspaper article or a book
  • If there are multiple pages you are citing, list the page numbers like this: “pp. 38-44” or “pp. 33, 40-55”
  • Also add in the volume and/or edition if that information is relevant
  • You will need to enter the city, publisher and year that the work was written if this information is available
  • Lastly, you will need to input the URL if you found this work using the internet

Of course, some of these standards may change based on what the work is that you are citing.  For instance, you do not need to add a URL if the citation is for a book found at the library.  There are many different wants to cite inside the dissertation that need to be taken into account as well, such as adding the author’s name at the end of each sentence in which you directly (or indirectly) take information from the cited work.  Indirectly taking information does not mean the same thing as providing an opinion based on the information, but simply reiterating a statement made by the author.

Other standards can include how to format quotations in the dissertation, how to format titles of books, newspapers, articles, etc., and even how to format headers and footers on each and every page.  More in-depth rules can be found in an APA style handbook commonly found at libraries.