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APA Dissertation Format

APA Dissertation Format: The Strange Side That Makes Me Wonder; Why?

Have you ever heard this popular saying?

‘It’s not just what you say but how you say it’

That certainly rings true for your dissertation. Your content and investigative process may be important but you are fooling yourself if you think that that is the only thing you will be graded on.

It is extremely important that whatever you have written should be grammatically and structurally be correct. For dissertations, usually a format style is designated for students to follow by the university to keep uniformity in the reports that are submitted to them.

The most popular type of format that is followed is the APA dissertation style or better known as American Psychological Association style which is the most widely used style ever.

But even within the APA dissertation format, a little strangeness can be found, which makes me wonder who might have made these rules and how did they come up with it.

Maybe we have been using these rules for such a long time that we don’t think that they are out of the ordinary anymore but if I were reading the below mentioned rules for the first time, it would certainly make me wonder who created them and why?
Let’s have a look at some of such guidelines:

  • Table titles and numbers should be placed above the tables, but the figure captions and numbers should be placed below the table.
  • When using academic grade level as a noun in a sentence, it shall be capitalized for example Grade 6. But it shall not be capitalized when used as an adjective for example 6th grade student.
  • Proper nouns, personal names, names of departments within a university and trade and brand names should be capitalized in the dissertation but the laws, theories and models should not be capitalized.
  • The first letter of the name in the reference should be capitalized followed by their last names but initials should precede the last names, where author and editor names are included in the entry.
  • One space should be left after an exclamation mark but no space should be left after an internal period in abbreviation for example U.S.
  • The first page of your dissertation will not include a page number ,the preface,but acknowledgement includes page number in Roman numeral for example ii but the main body of the dissertation, shall consist of Arabic numeral on the top right part of the page and shall start with page number 1.
  • To divide a long URL between two lines, you need to separate it with a slash or after a period but you will never use a hyphen to divide the URL as you would.

Now, having gone through these guidelines of APA format guidelines; doesn’t it make you wonder why they were designed to be so?

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