A Detailed Manual On Writing A PhD Dissertation In The APA Style

To graduate, students must complete a PhD dissertation. For many students, this research paper represents years of studying, research and writing. Depending on the subject, students will need to complete their PhD dissertation in APA style. Initially, students should get read through some example papers to figure out how APA style works in practice. In addition, the student will want to get a writing manual on the topic so that they can easily reference it as they are writing.

Preparing the Paper

As a rule, most PhD dissertations are written using a 10 or 12 point font. Since a 10 point font is often too small to read, many academic committees require students to use 12 point font. Throughout the text, the student will need to use underlining, bolding or italics to cite sources or emphasize parts of their argument. Headings will need to be underlined, instead of using italics. Depending on the university's guidelines, students may be told not to use italics at all.

Left Alignment

Other than the cover page, APA style uses a left alignment. This means that all of the sentences should be aligned against the left portion of the page. Along the left margin and right margin, there should be 1.5 inches of margin space. The top and bottom margin will need about 1.25 inches of space. In the topic margin, the student will need to list the page numbers so that the reader can easily reference specific parts of the text.

Double Spacing

In general, students will need to format their PhD dissertation with double spacing. There are some portions like block quotations or column headings that should be single-spaced. If the subheading, appendix title, chapter title or headings take up more than one line, they should also be single-spaced to save room. As a rule, there should never be more than two inches of empty white space. If there is too much white space, the student should remove it.

Look Up Each Citation

Like Chicago and MLA style, APA style requires a specific type of citation formatting. To make sure that this is done correctly, students should get a writer's manual for this style and look up the citation requirements for each source. In addition, students will need to figure out how to cite information in the text. The type of citation used in a bibliography is cumbersome for in-text citations, so an in-text citation is generally shorter.