A Guide To Referencing A Dissertation: APA Standards

The American Psychological Association (APA) formatting style is a formatting style for formal pieces of writing, such as research papers. It has many guidelines that cover a whole host of topics, including how to reference your work correctly. If you need to use this formatting style, but aren’t sure how to go about it, spend a few minutes reading this excellent guide to referencing a dissertation according to APA standards.

What is the APA formatting style?

The APA formatting style is a formatting style that is most commonly used to format papers that fall under the social sciences, such as psychology and sociology. It has a set of rules that dictates how to create a cover page, write the name of the author, format quotations, format tables, and set margin sizes, amongst many other things. If you’d like more information about this particular formatting style, you can either search on the Internet for a good website about it, or go to your local library and find a good book about it. Either way, you should find any extra information you’re looking for.

Are you using the correct formatting style?

As mentioned above, the APA formatting style is used for papers in the social sciences, so if your dissertation does not fall under the social sciences, you should probably not be using this particular formatting style. Also make sure that you’re using the formatting style that your lecturer or advisor requires you to use, or your grades may suffer.

Citations in text

Citations in text are essentially allusions to other authors’ works that you use in the text of your dissertation. When you want to cite the work of other authors according to the APA standard, you need to use the author-date citation method. Basically, this means that you recognise the other author’s work by putting his or her name and the year his or her work was published. It can take either of the following forms:

  • (Author, Date), or
  • Author (date)

The list of references

At the end of your dissertation, you need to have a comprehensive list of references to provide all the bibliographic information about all the sources you consulted while writing your paper. According to the APA formatting style, the references should be listed in alphabetical order by author, and then according to date. There is one exception to this rule, and that is when you’re using a secondary source. Then you should only list the secondary source in which you found the original material in your list of references, without listing the primary source.