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The Ultimate Guide To Writing A Good Thesis In APA Style

Brainstorming a good research idea, finding evidence for its real-world existence, formulating research questions, defining the path to solve all related queries, and analysing the collected data to deduce satisfactory results are some steps in dissertation writing. However, making informed decisions about the most relatable form of data, its sampling technique, a technique to analyse it, or finally, finding an authentic way to interpret it also refers to some of the responsibilities of dissertation writers. But still, the list does ends here. Choosing words that can best reflect your thoughts, giving a nudge to your thoughts in the right direction, maintaining the quality of your research, and making the thesis coherent shows some additional tasks required to be done while writing a dissertation.

Giving you a complete guide to writing a perfect dissertation is not at all possible in such a limited space. In order words, it will be out of the scope of this article. So, by narrowing the scope of today’s discussion, we will help you find some ways to write a unified thesis. To put it in another way, at the end of this article, you will be able to write a thesis in APA style. Let’s start our discussion without taking too much time.

Why does One Need to Follow a Specific Reference Style While Writing a Thesis?

Different academic disciplines have devised different referencing styles, each allowing thesis writers to follow specific guidelines for writing a thesis on a particular topic. Basically, the concept behind the fact that a dissertation must be drafted by following only one style guide is to make it uniform. From the cover page to the structure of the paragraph to bibliographic alignment methods, these reference styles give a complete set of instructions. In this way, the thesis formatted by following a single guide looks exactly alike. All in all, one must need to write a good dissertation by following a particular thesis formatting guide. It will save them from the confusion that they might have to face in later stages.

Some commonly used thesis formatting styles include:

  • APA (American Psychological Association)
  • MLA (Modern Language Association)
  • Chicago/Turabian
  • MHRA (Modern Humanities Research Association) system
  • Harvard style guide

What Is The Brief Introduction Of A Thesis In APA Style?

As explained earlier, the topic of your today’s discussion is to give you an ultimate guide to writing a winning thesis in APA style, so discussing the background of APA style formatting is necessary. Actually, APA stands for American Psychological Association, which is usually used to cite a thesis in social sciences. It gives a foundation for effective communication by helping students present their thoughts in a clear, concise, or impressive way. It ensures a better flow of information by crediting the authors appropriately.

 What Is The Comprehensive Guide For Writing A Thesis In APA Style?

 Well, the following pointers will help you know the nitty-gritty of the APA style of formatting, starting from editing the cover page and ending with suggesting ways to properly acknowledge the original authors by giving references and in-text citations in APA style. Let’s have a look:

Cover page of a thesis in APA style:

The very first page of a thesis in APA style must have the following components:

  • Page number in the header (on the extreme left side)
  • Title of the thesis in the middle
  • Author name by pressing enter at least three times
  • Course code or title after giving two spaces
  • University or institute name at the end of the page

Note: Everything on the title page must be centrally aligned

Header and footer:

In the header of a good thesis in APA style, there must be a running head indicating the title of the thesis (Left aligned). However, the page number must be consistent and aligned at the extreme right side, as placed on the title page.

The font size of text, headings, and subheadings:

The font size of the text in this style of the thesis must be readable such as Times New Roman or Arial (11, 12). However, the heading and subheading can be formatted as follows:

H1: Bold, Centered, and Title case

H2: Bold, left-aligned, and Title case

H3: Bold, left-aligned, Italic, and Title case

H4: Bold, left-aligned, Intended, and Title case with a period

H5: Bold, left-aligned, Intended, and Title case with a period

Additionally, all the main heads of the chapters must be aligned at the centre of the page with a relatively larger font size.


The text in the abstract must be double-spaced, and its word limit must not exceed 150-200 words. Additionally, just below the abstract and before the page ends, you must write three to five relevant keywords.

Spacing and margins: 

In the APA-7th edition, a thesis must have consistent spacing or margins. All top, bottom, left, and right margins must be 1”; throughout the document, all lines must be double-spaced apart.

References and citations:

References and citation is another important part of formatting guidelines. It is necessary that a thesis must follow the same referencing style as suggested by a formatting guide. Simply, if the APA style is used for formatting a thesis, then the APA referencing style must also be used. APA styles guide students to write references and in-text citations as follows:

Reference styles:

Surname of the first author, second author & third author’s name (Year of publication). Title of the original paper. Journal name; Volume: page number. 

In-text citation:

  • If a publication is by only one author ( Surname of the first author, year of publication)
  • If a publication is by only two authors (Author name & surname of the second author, year of publication)
  • If a publication is by only three authors (Author name, surname of second author, & surname of third author, year of publication)
  • If a publication is by only four or more authors (Surname of first author et al., year of publication)

Final Thoughts:

In the big picture, writing a thesis without paying special attention to formatting can never let your dissertation stand out as a masterpiece. However, a specific pre-defined formatting guide is necessary to be consistent in formatting styles. Thus, the article has summed up a details guide to writing a good thesis in APA style. To get similar guides for formatting a thesis in other styles, stay connected with us; we will come up with new information on a daily basis.



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