How To Write A Good Doctoral Dissertation In The APA Style

APA (American Psychological Association) style is the most commonly used for writing dissertations, especially if you work in the field of social sciences. Thus, if you want to write a worthy and decent doctoral dissertation, here are some recommendations:

  1. Put the title on the first page. It should be centered. Capitalize the first letter of each word.
  2. Make all margins 1 inch wide, except for the left margin, which should be 1.5 inch wide. All pages should be double-spaced.
  3. Place section headings in the middle of the page. Capitalize all letters, but do not bold them.
  4. Make within-section headings bolded. First-level headings should be centered whereas second-level headings are flush left. Make sure that third-level headings are indented. Capitalize the first letter of each word in first-level and second-level headings. In third-level headings, only the first word is capitalized. End third-level headings with a period.
  5. Write a concise and clear abstract. It should contain approximately 250 words. Keywords are optional.
  6. Omit the numeration of the first two pages. The copyright page through the acknowledgement/dedication page should be in Roman numerals. The next pages, starting with chapter 1 page, are in Arabic numerals.
  7. Decide whether you will include acknowledgement and dedication pages. Remember that the acknowledgement page should have a title, unlike the dedication page.
  8. Use original references. Try to avoid secondary sources. List the authors chronologically.
  9. Provide a title below the appendix. Separate each item in the appendix with a page break.
  10. Use a page break between chapters.
  11. When you cite a government agency website for the first time, provide the name of the agency and its acronym. Further in the text, indicate only the acronym.
  12. Begin long quotes of 40 or more words with a new line, each line of the quote indented.
  13. Besides the name and the acronym, the reference to the quote should also include a page number.
  14. When you use the acronym for the first time, write out the whole word or phrase, and indicate its acronym in parentheses.
  15. Italicize terms to be defined. Write the definition one space after the colon.
  16. Include the footnotes on the bottom of the page. Make them brief and clear.
  17. Number each table. Give it a title in italics. Capitalize the first letter of each word of the title. If it is necessary, add notes below the table. The very word “note” should appear in italics.