Dissertation Format: APA Manual For Writers

Just like other academic papers, dissertations have strict formatting guidelines that students must abide by when writing. Dissertation format APA guidelines stipulate unique methods of citing references in the paper. It is only when you provide correct citations in APA style that your dissertation will be complete. Perhaps, to understand the guidelines of this format, you should have a dissertation sample written in this format.

The APA format in a dissertation dedication example is one of the main aspects that distinguish a paper from other works. Thus, you should pay keen attention to details to ensure that the paper is done right. Here are some of the basic APA citation rules to keep in mind when formatting your dissertation paper.

Font Size and Style

The APA Publication Manual stipulates that you write your dissertation with a font size of at least 12 and either Times New Roman or Courier font style. In terms of headings, the manual recommends at least three levels.


The best dissertation APA format example should have the following capitalized:
  • Major words in headings consisting of four or more letters
  • Names of departments, courses and tests
Names of hypotheses and theories should not be capitalized.


As can be seen in a well written sample dissertation in APA format, this citation style does not allow the use of biased language of ethnic labels. For instance, if you want to use words like ‘Hispanic’ or ‘gay men,’ the best way to use them is as ‘Mexican’ and ‘homosexuals’ respectively. Failure to do this is a common mistake that you may find in poorly formatted example dissertation research questions.


When preparing a sample dissertation defense PowerPoint presentation, it is important to know the rules for using numbers in APA format. One of the rules is that common fractions and expressions should be spelled out. If a sentence begins with a number, spell it out. You should spell out all numbers less than ten. For instance, say ‘eight people’ and not ‘8 people’. For numbers above ten, write a total of 10 not ten.

Charts, Figures and Tables for Dissertation Proposal Format APA

If you include statistics in your dissertation, use tables. APA style dictates that tables should be consecutively numbered without using letters. Write Table 1 and 2 instead of Table 1a, 1b, etc. The table number should be followed by a description of the data therein. Every row and column of the tables should be given a heading. In cases of numbers that are less than ten, a zero should be placed before the decimal point.

There are other APA formatting guidelines that are outlined in the APA Publication Manual that can be found in most libraries and online platforms. It’s also important to read samples of dissertations in your area of study. For instance, if you are undertaking a PhD in education, a dissertation example education is the best reference to use.

Follow these tips and you won’t have trouble writing a dissertation in APA format.