A Guide To Writing A Dissertation Bibliography In The APA Format


If you are writing your dissertation following the APA (American Psychological Association) format, then you will be aware that there are certain rules of how to format and structure each section of your paper. The following is a quick guide on how you can format the bibliography section following the APA style.

Things to remember about the APA format bibliography

  • For starters, the APA format requires a list of references at the end of your dissertation - instead of a bibliography. So this section of your paper needs to be titled ‘References’.
  • The list of sources and text that you have used as references should be alphabetized - this chronology will be based on the author’s last name.
  • Where the author’s last name is concerned, make the list using only the first letter and ignore any special characters or spaces in the name. In the list, the author’s first and middle name should feature only as initials.
  • The date of the publication should be placed in parentheses immediately after the name of the author
  • As far as dates are concerned, which may be used to indicate the date of publication of a book - you can use either the day-month-year style or the month-day-year style; however, you should stick to one for the entire list.
  • The names of the publications and books should always be italicized. The name of the author and the year etc. should not be.
  • All of the entries and citations on this list should be written with a hanging indentation. In short a hanging indentation is the structuring of an entry where the first sentence is written flush left while the other lines (of that entry) are written with an indentation of half an inch.
  • Only the first word of a book’s title should be capitalized. Of course, if there are proper names within the title itself, they should be capitalized as well.

Of course, there are some more details that can be found on the web on reliable websites or you can also research some other APA style publications to gain first-hand knowledge. It is always a wise decision to consult with your academic mentors before you begin writing in the APA format because some institutions might have their own regulations and rules. For instance, italicizing the name of the book titles sometimes varies with underlining them instead.

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