Difference Between APA Paper Format and APA Dissertation Format

APA format is APA format, right? Well, yes and no. There are both commonalities and differences between APA paper format and APA dissertation format. Both can have headings, both can have in-text and parenthetical citations, both can have tables with headings and figures with captions, and both can include sources. Margins tend to be different in APA paper format—1” all around—than in APA dissertation format, which is typically 1” on the top, bottom, and right, and 1.5” on the left to allow for binding, and some universities require extra space at the top of some pages of APA dissertations.

APA dissertation format calls for front matter—a table of contents, list of figures, and list of tables—not required in APA paper format. APA paper format has a running head, whereas there is no running head in APA dissertation format. APA dissertation format calls for chapter headings, whereas there are no chapter headings in APA paper format. Contents of the title page are different in APA paper format and APA dissertation format, and there tend to be no copyright notices in APA papers; copyright is optional in APA dissertation format.

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