APA Style, 7th edition - Citing Sources
- Getting Started
- Formatting the Paper
Dissertation & SPP Format Pieces
Creating a toc in apa, dnp spp toc examples, edd toc examples, important: signature page, the abstract & keywords.
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If you are on this tab, you have probably been asked to format a dissertation or Scholarly Practice Project paper using APA format. Use the below information to help you format the different pieces of your paper. Please check with your academic department to see if they have an official dissertation/SPP format template for your program.
A note on Table of Contents: Most APA papers do not require a Table of Contents (TOC). If you are writing a Dissertation or Scholarly Practice Project, you may be asked to include one. Please note: the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association does not have an official stance on formatting a Table of Contents page .
Below, you will find some general information and examples of Table of Contents (TOC), Abstracts and Keywords, and the Signature page that you may find helpful.
- Scribbr Creating an APA-style Table of Contents This tutorial from Scribbr is extremely helpful in formatting your APA Table of Contents.
Use the below examples as a reference point for forming your Table of Contents. These should be used as a baseline for formatting-- yours will be more specific to your headings and subject-matter.
- DNP SPP TOC Example 1
- DNP SPP TOC Example 2
- EdD Dissertation TOC Example 1
- EdD Dissertation TOC Example 2
Your signature page is one of the most important pieces of your final product. It proves that you completed the dissertation! Below is an example of what your signature page should look like (names blanked out for privacy).
If you have any questions about the signature page or how to get it signed, please contact your program director.
ABSTRACT : An abstract is required for your Dissertation or Scholarly Practice Project and must be included before submitting your final copy to Proquest. An abstract is a brief, comprehensive overview of your paper. Generally, it should not exceed 250 words.
KEYWORDS : You should also include keywords. Keywords are descriptive terms that encompass the themes of your paper. Think about what terms you used when searching for your topic in the databases. This is what researchers will use to find your paper!
- APA Style Abstract and Keywords Handout For more information on creating an Abstract and Keywords, please use this handout from the APA Style site.
- Professional Paper sample with Abstract Example See page one of this document for an example of an Abstract and Keywords, with annotations on where to find more information in APA Manual. From the APA Style site.
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- Last Updated: Nov 7, 2023 3:52 PM
- URL: https://libguides.regiscollege.edu/APA7
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University Thesis and Dissertation Templates
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Theses and dissertations are already intensive, long-term projects that require a lot of effort and time from their authors. Formatting for submission to the university is often the last thing that graduate students do, and may delay earning the relevant degree if done incorrectly.
Below are some strategies graduate students can use to deal with institutional formatting requirements to earn their degrees on time.
Disciplinary conventions are still paramount.
Scholars in your own discipline are the most common readers of your dissertation; your committee, too, will expect your work to match with their expectations as members of your field. The style guide your field uses most commonly is always the one you should follow, and if your field uses conventions such as including all figures and illustrations at the end of the document, you should do so. After these considerations are met, move on to university formatting. Almost always, university formatting only deals with things like margins, font, numbering of chapters and sections, and illustrations; disciplinary style conventions in content such as APA's directive to use only last names of authors in-text are not interfered with by university formatting at all.
Use your university's formatting guidelines and templates to your advantage.
If your institution has a template for formatting your thesis or dissertation that you can use, do so. Don't look at another student's document and try to replicate it yourself. These templates typically have the necessary section breaks and styles already in the document, and you can copy in your work from your existing draft using the style pane in MS Word to ensure you're using the correct formatting (similarly with software such as Overleaf when writing in LaTeX, templates do a lot of the work for you). It's also often easier for workers in the offices that deal with theses and dissertations to help you with your work if you're using their template — they are familiar with these templates and can often navigate them more proficiently.
These templates also include placeholders for all front matter you will need to include in your thesis or dissertation, and may include guidelines for how to write these. Front matter includes your table of contents, acknowledgements, abstract, abbreviation list, figure list, committee page, and (sometimes) academic history or CV; everything before your introduction is front matter. Since front matter pages such as the author's academic history and dissertation committee are usually for the graduate school and not for your department, your advisor might not remember to have you include them. Knowing about them well before your deposit date means you won't be scrambling to fill in placeholders at the last minute or getting your work returned for revision from the graduate school.
Consider institutional formatting early and often.
Many graduate students leave this aspect of submitting their projects until it's almost too late to work on it, causing delays in obtaining their degree. Simply being aware that this is a task you'll have to complete and making sure you know where templates are, who you can ask for help in your graduate office or your department, and what your institution's guidelines are can help alleviate this issue. Once you know what you'll be expected to do to convert to university formatting, you can set regular check-in times for yourself to do this work in pieces rather than all at once (for instance, when you've completed a chapter and had it approved by your chair).
Consider fair use for images and other third-party content.
Most theses and dissertations are published through ProQuest or another publisher (Harvard, for instance, uses their own open publishing service). For this reason, it may be the case that your institution requires all images or other content obtained from other sources to fall under fair use rules or, if an image is not considered under fair use, you'll have to obtain permission to print it in your dissertation. Your institution should have more guidance on their specific expectations for fair use content; knowing what these guidelines are well in advance of your deposit date means you won't have to make last-minute changes or removals to deposit your work.
APA Style (7th ed.)
- Cite: Why? When?
- Book, eBook, Dissertation
- Article or Report
- Business Sources
- Artificial Intelligence (AI) Tools
- In-Text Citation
- Format Your Paper
Format Your Paper
Download and use the editable templates for student papers below: .
- APA 7th ed. Template Document This is an APA format template document in Google Docs. Click on the link -- it will ask for you to make a new copy of the document, which you can save in your own Google Drive with your preferred privacy settings.
- APA 7th ed. Template Document A Microsoft Word document formatted correctly according to APA 7th edition.
- APA 7th ed. Annotated Bibliography template A Microsoft Word document formatted correctly for an annotated bibliography.
Or, view the directions for specific sections below:
Order of sections (section 2.17).
- Title page including Title, Author, University and Department, Class, Instructor, and Date
- Body (including introduction, literature review or background, discussion, and conclusion)
- Appendices (including tables & figures)
Margins & Page Numbers (sections 2.22-2.24)
- 1 inch at top, bottom, and both sides
- Left aligned paragraphs and leave the right edge ragged (not "right justified")
- Indent first line of each paragraph 1/2 inch from left margin
- Use page numbers, including on the title page, 1/2 inch from top and flush with right margin
Text Format (section 2.19)
- Times New Roman, 12 point
- Calibri, 11 point
- Arial, 11 point
- Lucinda Sans Unicode, 10 point
- Georgia, 11 point
- Double-space and align text to the left
- Use active voice
- Don't overuse technical jargon
- No periods after a web address or DOI in the References list.
Tables and Figures In-Text (chapter 7)
- Label tables and figures numerically (ex. Table 1)
- Give each table column a heading and use separating lines only when necessary
- Design the table and figure so that it can be understood on its own, i.e. it does not require reference to the surrounding text to understand it
- Notes go below tables and figures
Title Page (section 2.3)
- Include the title, your name, the class name , and the college's name
- Title should be 12 words or less and summarize the paper's main idea
- No periods or abbreviations
- Do not italicize or underline
- No quotation marks, all capital letters, or bold
- Center horizontally in upper half of the page
Body (section 2.11)
- Align the text to the left with a 1/2-inch left indent on the first line
- As long as there is no Abstract, at the top of the first page, type the title of the paper, centered, in bold , and in Sentence Case Capitalization
- Usually, include sections like these: introduction, literature review or background, discussion, and conclusion -- but the specific organization will depend on the paper type
- Spell out long organization names and add the abbreviation in parenthesis, then just use the abbreviation
- Spell out numbers one through nine and use a number for 10 or more
- Use a number for units of measurement, in tables, to represent statistical or math functions, and dates or times
Headings (section 2.26-2.27)
- Level 1: Center, bold , Title Case
- Level 2: Align left, bold , Title Case
- Level 3: Alight left, bold italics , Title Case
- Level 4: Indented 1/2", bold , Title Case, end with a period. Follow with text.
- Level 5: Indented 1/2", bold italics , Title Case, end with a period. Follow with text.
Quotations (sections 8.26-8.33)
- Include short quotations (40 words or less) in-text with quotation marks
- For quotes more than 40 words, indent the entire quote a half inch from the left margin and double-space it with no quotation marks
- When quoting two or more paragraphs from an original source, indent the first line of each paragraph a half inch from the left margin
- Use ellipsis (...) when omitting sections from a quote and use four periods (....) if omitting the end section of a quote
References (section 2.12)
Begins on a new page following the text of your paper and includes complete citations for the resources you've used in your writing.
- References should be centered and bolded at the top of a new page
- Double-space and use hanging indents (where the first line is on the left margin and the following lines are indented a half inch from the left)
- List authors' last name first followed by the first and middle initials (ex. Skinner, B. F.)
- Alphabetize the list by the first author's last name of of each citation (see sections 9.44-9.49)
- Capitalize only the first word, the first after a colon or em dash, and proper nouns
- Don't capitalize the second word of a hyphenated compound
- No quotation marks around titles of articles
Appendices with Tables, Figures, & Illustrations (section 2.14, and chapter 7)
- Include appendices only to help the reader understand, evaluate, or replicate the study or argument
- Put each appendix on a separate page and align left
- For text, do not indent the first paragraph, but do indent the rest
- If you have only one appendix, label it "Appendix"
- If you have two or more appendices, label them "Appendix A", "Appendix B" and so forth as they appear in the body of your paper
- Label tables and figures numerically (ex. Table 1, or Table B1 and Table B2 if Appendix B has two tables) and describe them within the text of the appendix
- Notes go below tables and figures (see samples on p. 210-226)
Double-space the entire bibliography. give each entry a hanging indent. in the following annotation, indent the entire paragraph a half inch from the left margin and give the first line of each paragraph a half inch indent. see the template document at the top of this page..
- Check with your professor for the length of the annotation and which elements you should evaluate.
These elements are optional, if your professor or field requires them, but they are not required for student papers:
Abstract (section 2.9).
- Abstract gets its own page
- Center "Abstract" heading and do not indent the first line of the text
- Summarize the main points and purpose of the paper in 150-250 words maximum
- Define abbreviations and acronyms used in the paper
Running Head (section 2.8 )
- Shorten title to 50 characters or less (counting spaces and punctuation) for the running head
- In the top margin, the running head is aligned left, with the page number aligned on the right
- On every page, put (without the brackets): [SHORTENED TITLE OF YOUR PAPER IN ALL CAPS] [page number]
More questions? Check out the authoritative source: APA style blog
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- Last Updated: Nov 10, 2023 9:56 AM
- URL: https://libguides.uww.edu/apa
Love Your Dissertation
Achieve your dream of earning a Ph.D.
Updated 8/19/2020 for the current APA 7th edition (2020)
All APA 7th edition Word templates are now free to download. Click the “Purchase” button, enter your email, and download the files you want. If something goes wrong, email Carol at [email protected] or fill out the contact form .
Dissertators often have trouble formatting their documents to comply with the format and style requirements dictated by their institutions. Many dissertators fail to comply with the requirements of their style guides. Further, many dissertators don’t know how to use Word styles and waste valuable time formatting content (e.g., headings) individually instead of setting styles one time and applying with a click wherever they are needed. That means formats are applied inconsistently or incorrectly throughout their papers. Incorrect heading styles can derail your chances of getting approvals for your dissertation proposal or manuscript.
Download a Word template to save time
To save you the time and hassle of styling your own Word document to comply with APA 7th edition style requirements, I offer you four versions of a preformatted Word 2013 document (.docx). Two heading schemes are offered for a dissertation proposal and for a dissertation manuscript. See below for descriptions, images, and specifications of each heading scheme.
APA-7-Word Template: PROPOSAL 0123
APA-7-Word Template: PROPOSAL 0123 Chapter titles are level zero. Heading level 1 is bold, centered, title case. Heading level 2 is bold, left-aligned, and title case. Heading level 3 is …
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APA-7-Word Template: PROPOSAL 123
APA-7-Word Template: PROPOSAL 123 Chapter titles are level 1 headings. Heading level 2 is bold, left-aligned, and title case. Heading level 3 is bold, left aligned, italicized, title case. Heading …
Continue reading “APA-7-Word Template: PROPOSAL 123”
APA-7-Word Template: MANUSCRIPT 0123
APA-7-Word Template: MANUSCRIPT 0123 Chapter titles are level zero. Heading level 1 is bold, centered, title case. Heading level 2 is bold, left-aligned, and title case. Heading level 3 is …
Continue reading “APA-7-Word Template: MANUSCRIPT 0123”
APA-7-Word Template: Manuscript 123
APA-7-Word Template: MANUSCRIPT 123 Chapter titles are level 1 headings. Heading level 2 is bold, left-aligned, and title case. Heading level 3 is bold, left aligned, italicized, title case. Heading …
Continue reading “APA-7-Word Template: Manuscript 123”
About the APA-7th ed. Word templates
First, make sure your institution requires APA 7th ed. (2020), not some other style guide. Most social science programs will require APA. If you are in the humanities, you might need to comply with MLA style, and these templates might not work well for you.
These documents are Word documents (created on a PC) preformatted with heading styles that will comply with the heading style requirements of your institution.
IMPORTANT : Before you download a template, check your institution’s dissertation handbook for the preferred heading style scheme. Specifically, determine whether the chapter title headings are considered level 1 (strict APA style) or level 0 ( not strict APA style). The images below show examples of the two heading schemes, updated for APA 7th edition.
Next, choose the document that suits your current status: proposal or manuscript . The proposal contains the first three chapters typically found in a social sciences dissertation proposal (Introduction, Literature Review, and Methodology), plus the front matter (Title page, Abstract, Lists of Tables/Figures, and the Table of Contents) and the back matter (References and Appendices). The manuscript includes all five chapters (Introduction, Literature Review, Methodology, Findings, and Conclusions/Implications), plus the front and back matter.
In addition to the formatted body of the paper, all the templates include placeholder pages and text for the front matter (Title page, Abstract, Lists of Tables/Figures, Table of Contents) and the back matter (References and Appendices).
NOTE: These files are regular Word 2013 documents (.docx) formatted using Word styles. You can use these documents as a template. These files are not actual Word TEMPLATEs (.dot or .dotm), which your virus scanning software may not accept. If you don’t know what that means, don’t worry about it.
APA-7th ed.-Word Template: PROPOSAL 0123
Chapter titles are level zero. Heading level 1 is bold, centered, title case. Heading level 2 is bold, left-aligned, and title case. Heading level 3 is bold, left aligned, italicized, title case. Heading level 4 is a paragraph-level heading, bold, title case, and ends with a period. Heading level 5 is a paragraph-level heading, bold, italicized, title case, and ends with a period. See APA 7th ed. (2020), section 2.27, for details and examples. Note that the APA examples will not show level zero headings. Many institutions require chapter headings to be document level (chapter title) level heading. This style departs from APA style.
APA-7th ed.-Word Template: PROPOSAL 123
Chapter titles are level 1 headings. Heading level 2 is bold, left-aligned, and title case. Heading level 3 is bold, left aligned, italicized, title case. Heading level 4 is a paragraph-level heading, bold, title case, and ends with a period. Heading level 5 is a paragraph-level heading, bold, italicized, title case, and ends with a period. See APA 7th ed. (2020), section 2.27, for details and examples. Heading styles comply strictly with APA style.
APA-7th ed.-Word Template: MANUSCRIPT 0123
Apa-7th ed.-word template: manuscript 123, heading scheme specifications.
The Styles Panes for the two APA 7th ed. heading schemes are shown below.
To view your Styles Pane in one of the later versions of Word for PC, on the Home Ribbon, click the little arrow at the bottom right hand corner of the Styles command section. If your Styles Pane doesn’t look like this, you can adjust the view using the Options button. When I’m working, I usually show just the styles in the document, and I like them in alphabetical order.
How to use these templates
- After downloading the appropriate template for your needs, open the file.
- Enable editing (click the button so you can edit the document. Your virus software will scan to make sure the file is safe to open on your computer).
- Save the file with a new name (usually using the naming conventions required by your institution) in a place you can find it again. This new version is the one you can start editing. Keep the original template somewhere on your computer so you can refer back to the style scheme as needed.
- Scroll through the document and look at the sections to make sure the template and format will work for you.
- Start adding your own content. Customize the heading text with the headings required by your institution. The template is preformatted so you can simply type your text over the heading placeholders.
- Check your institutional guidelines for other formatting requirements that may depart from strict APA style. For example, some institutions require block quotes and references lists to be single-spaced with one blank line after.
- I’ve included some comments in the margins of the templates to guide you as you go. Remove these comments when they aren’t useful (right-click, Remove Comment).
- To remove the yellow highlighting, you can select the text and type over it or you can select the text and turn off the highlighting (find the Highlighter tool on the Home Ribbon, select No Color).
Got questions about these templates?
I’ve got answers! Email Carol at [email protected] or use the contact form on the Love Your Dissertation website.
One final thing: After you purchase a template, the link to download will expire in 72 hours so don’t wait. If you have trouble, email Carol at [email protected]