Complete Guide on How to Format a Dissertation in APA Format

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A dissertation is an extensive form of writing focusing mainly on a single subject as opposed to an essay which is generally 1800 to 2000 words long. Once the dissertation has been written, the next step is to format the dissertation and provide proper citations. The final step in dissertation writing is to select a proper format that complies with the organizations’ or institutes’ guidelines and then format the written text accordingly. One of the highly popular, widely used, and recommended formats by many institutes in the Publication Manual is the American Psychological Association (APA).

Once the content has been collected, organized, and written, the formatting of an essay needs to be done. To format a dissertation according to the guidelines by APA, the essay writer needs to be skillful in both Microsoft Word and the rules of APA formatting.

APA Formatting Rules

Many students use various write my essay online services for writing and formatting their essays. This article will help students to format their essays on their own in the APA style without much stress.

Title Page

The title page of an APA formatted dissertation should contain five elements: Running head with shortened title, title, author’s name, institution’s name, and a short note from the author (optional). The running head and shortened title in block letters separated by a colon are placed in the top left corner inside the header of the title page. The top right corner inside the header shows the page number. The title of the document is written 4 to 5 lines down from the top of the page with each major word’s initials capitalized. The author's name is written in the next line, followed by the institution's name - all with the first letter capital in each word format. At the end of the page, the author can provide a note if necessary or you can ask others to write my paper.


Five heading levels majorly are provided in APA format with each shown below:

Heading Level 1: Boldface, centered

Heading Level 2: Left-aligned, boldface

Heading Level 3: Boldface, indented, terminating with a period, lowercase.

Heading Level 4: Boldface, indented, terminating with a period, lowercase, italicized.

Heading Level 5: Indented, terminating with a period, lowercase, italicized.


The text should be written in 12 points Times New Roman with double spacing and should be left-justified only. Each new paragraph should start with an indent of 0.5 inches except for the abstract that should be left flushed.

Page Layout

The page should have 8.5 x 11 inches dimensions, 1-inch margins should be kept on all four sides.

Tables and figures

Captions for each table should contain the table number, written in italics with single line spacing, and the first letter of each major word within the caption should be capitalized. A list of tables containing all captions along with the correct table number and the page number is provided in the initial part of the dissertation within the preliminary pages. Similarly, figure captions are also written in italics, single-spaced ending with a period. A list of figures is also to be maintained and provided in the initial pages of the dissertation. The caption, as well as the number of figures and tables, should be on the same line.


References should be provided on a new page with the heading References having the first letter capitalized. The references should be double spaced, with all lines except for the first indented of each reference. This format is called the hanging indent.


A direct quote of fewer than 40 words should be written within the paragraphs in between quotation marks. If the quote has more than 40 words, it should be written as a separate block with a 0.5-inch indent. All quotes should be terminated with a citation in parentheses followed by a period.

Headers and Footers

The title page has a different header as mentioned above. All other pages should contain all capitalized shortened titles at the top left and age numbers in the top right corner of the page. Only on the title page Running Head is written before the shortened title in the header. Footers need to be numbered in Arabic numerals and a number referencing to the footnote shall be written in superscript within the text.

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