Writing An APA Dissertation: A Comprehensive Tutorial

In writing your dissertation, there are two most widely used styles and they are MLA and APA. While the former is mostly used in the Humanities, the latter is for those students studying pure sciences and engineering. In order for your paper not to be rejected thereby making you start all over again, it is important that you strictly adhere to the particular style your department or field of study requires. In the case of APA, you should ensure that you understand the basic rules as this would help you properly format your paper in the required style.

If you really need help in getting your dissertation paper formatted in the APA style, here is a tutorial to help you out. With the tips listed below, you should have no problem formatting your paper in the required APA style. The tips are:

  • Paper Size: The normal paper size is A4 and nothing more or less.

  • Margins: The margins of your paper should be set at 1” in both sides of your paper, including the top and bottom margins.

  • Spacing: The required spacing format is double line spacing. This applies not just to the body of paragraphs but every other part of the paper.

  • Page Numbering: For your APA dissertation, the page numbers are required to be by the upper right hand corner of the paper.

  • Indentation: Direct quotations that exceed 40 words are required to be indented not less than five spaces from the left hand side of your paper’s margin. In a situation where the quotation contains multiple paragraphs, the subsequent paragraphs should be indented five more spaces than the first paragraph of such quotation.

  • Use Of Tenses: In the APA format, you are required to write in the present tense. It is only when citation sources are being introduced that you can make use of past tense or present perfect tense.

  • Citing Authors’ Names: When citing names of authors whose materials were used in the course of writing your academic paper, you should start with their last names first and conclude with the middle and first names being written in initials.

These are the major features that your supervisor would look out for as you submit your dissertation paper. It is even better if you go through examples of dissertations from other students, especially those whose works are related to your field of study. This would decrease the chances of your paper lacking any of the major features. Most importantly, don’t allow plagiarized content be found in your work.

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