Depending on the regulations accepted in your university, you will be required to write your dissertation in a certain citation format. Any kind of format highlight the appropriate layout for the paper as well as what sections you should include in your work; it is also a guideline for proper referencing and citing. To make the process of reviewing academic works easier, a university adopts only one particular formatting style.
APA format is the that was initially used by the American Psychological Organization and later adopted in studies other than Psychology. APA has a website where you can find guidelines to the formatting style and there is also much material that you can find about how to apply the style to your paper. It is important that you study closely this material, as proper formatting will help you gain more points to your dissertation.
The APA style is usually adopted by such disciplines (aside from) as Sociology, Linguistics, Criminology, Economics, Business and Nursing.
As for the peculiarities of the APA style, it establishes such standards of dissertation writing as the content organization, proper citation and writing style. Adhering to one format throughout the text helps the readers to understand it better as they will be familiar with the layout and will be able to focus on your thoughts rather than figuring out the format.
APA format covers basic information, such as the width of the margins of font as well as the structure of a dissertation (the sections that should be included into your paper). It also describes stylistic rules of expressing your point of view, the word choice and the clarity of your writing; for example, explains how to avoid bias in language concerning race or gender.
The biggest part of APA format guidelines is dedicated to proper citing and referencing. It is also a very important part, as this will help you avoid plagiarism, which is an essential part of any kind of writing, especially dissertation writing. Proper citing also shows the reader how well you have researched the sources you cite and your ability to support your arguments with facts and opinions.
On side note, remember that you will be graded not only for the content of your dissertation or the quality of your research. As cumbrous as it may seem, the way your paper is formatted and edited, its grammar, punctuation and spelling, and the language in general will also be evaluated. And you may also want to consider turning to someone experienced in these matters for help.
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