APA Format Dissertation Writing Rules For Beginners

Never written a dissertation in the APA format before? Don’t worry. Everyone has found themselves in that situation at some point or other. However, rather than stressing and worrying about it, the best thing that you can do is do some research and then simply get on with the job of writing your paper. To help you along the way, here are some APA format dissertation writing rules for beginners:

General housekeeping rules

As a general rule of thumb you should ensure that you adhere to the following:

  • Use the following sized paper 8.5” x 11”
  • Ensure that you have a 1” margin all the way around
  • The top of every page should have a page header
  • The title of your paper should be included in capital letters in your header

Dividing your paper up evenly

If you remember these simple facts then you won’t go too far wrong. Your paper should be divided up into the following:

  • Title Page – This should contain, your name as well as the title. You also need to be sure to include the name of your college or university
  • Abstract – write a core summary of your work. There is no need to indent. Things to include are research questions, methodology used, any data analysis. The perfect word count is in the range of 150-250 words. Do NOT exceed this.
  • Main Body – Simply follow the general housekeeping rules as above and ensure that you cover all of the relevant points as accurately and concisely as possible.
  • References – Okay, so it is very important that you cite every single thing that you have ever referenced at any point throughout your entire research. Failure to do this could leave your open to allegations of plagiarism

Other small things to remember

As with most things in academia there are a few small hurdles and traps that you can fall into if you are not careful. So, traps to avoid:

Do not include Dr. after your name or PHD as this would be considered a major faux-pas


Using keywords from your main body in your abstract is advantageous for numerous reasons. Not least the fact that it will serve as a useful pointer for the person marking your paper. Individuals will need to be referenced in a slightly different way to websites. If you are in any doubt about any of th process then you should speak to your tutor.