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Step-By-Step Guide To Writing An APA Dissertation In Psychology

Almost every dissertation composed in psychology and social sciences follows the APA writing style. In addition to general rules of writing and formatting, it suggests a set of profound guidelines on performing your survey and structuring the final paper.

7 Essential Steps of Creating a Winning Dissertation in Psychology

  1. Determining your aims.
  2. Select a topic which limits the field of your future survey. Be ready to slightly attune it in the process of research in accordance with the new findings.

  3. Studying relevant literature.
  4. Check the most reliable and up-to-date literature on your topic. This will give your work a certain direction. On this stage, you can select the best way of performing your survey.

  5. Choosing your methods and instruments.
  6. Basing on the way you’ve chosen, pick the appropriate methods and instruments that will provide the most credible and comprehensive data. If possible, make a preliminary test of your methods. In case you include a psychological experiment into your study, consider who will be the participants, whether they are freely available, do you have the necessary technical equipment if required, and so on.

  7. Collecting data.
  8. If you have completed the previous step thoroughly, the process of collecting data won’t make a problem for you. However, leave enough time for it in case some force majeure occurs.

  9. Preparing an outline.
  10. After you’ve obtained all the material, the next task is to organize it, as well as your own thoughts, ideas, and insights. Preparing an outline before writing results in a smoother and more logical dissertation.

  11. Writing your paper.
  12. The main parts of an APA-style paper include an introduction section, an abstract, bibliography, a description of methods, a discussion of results, and a conclusion section. Other parts like appendices are present only if necessary for a specific survey.

  13. Editing and proofreading.
  14. It’s better to put the complete a whole work aside for a while before editing it. Thus, you get an opportunity to re-read it with a fresh eye, remove irrelevant information, include more of interesting insights and improve your language. Print the whole work out for proofreading – you may find it more convenient.

Main APA Style Guidelines to Keep in Mind

  • Mind to proper page format: 1-inch margins, a double-spaced text of 12-sized Times New Roman font, correct text centering, and page numbering.
  • Use active voice if needed – especially to present your empiric results.
  • Employ the rule of parallelism while creating headings.
  • Insert quotes and write a list of references in accordance with the 6th edition of the official APA style manual.