APA Bibliography: How To Document Your Dissertation Sources

APA Editing

APA citation is a method of formatting a scientific paper or dissertation. APA stands for the American Psychological Association, and there are APA rules and guidelines that govern every single aspect of the dissertation. Oftentimes, APA citation can be divided into two separate parts: APA citation within the text and APA citation after the text. The APA citation after the text refers, essentially, to the APA bibliography. The APA bibliography must adhere to very precise rules and regulations in order to be acceptable. In other words, the APA bibliography must be formatted correctly, using proper APA bibliography standards if the dissertation is to be accepted.

The purpose of the APA bibliography is to document all of the sources that a student uses throughout his or her dissertation. Thus, the APA bibliography provides all of the information on the outside information that a student cites within his or her dissertation. (APA rules also govern how those citations are formatted within the text, as well as governing the rules of the APA bibliography.) Because dissertations must be checked in order to assess their validity, it is important to carefully document all sources used within the dissertation and within the APA bibliography. A well written and properly formatted APA bibliography will allow advisors, professors and those parties who authorize the dissertation to check all of the sources that the student has listed in the APA bibliography. Further, a standard method of formatting for the APA bibliography page saves valuable time for these people who want to double check all the sources.

The APA bibliography, therefore, lists all of the sources used in the dissertation. Examples of sources that can be found in the dissertation and in the APA bibliography include journal articles, books, web documents on university web-sites, stand alone web documents, journal articles from databases, abstracts from secondary databases, articles in edited books, etc. Because the list of possible sources is extensive, it is important to make sure that much time is spent researching what, exactly, needs to be written in the APA bibliography. In other words, because there are so many different kinds of sources that one can use and document in the APA bibliography, it is important to get accurate and precise information regarding what rules govern the APA bibliography.

While the rules of APA citation and the APA bibliography are not necessarily hard to follow, it is time consuming to look up all of these rules and regulations regarding APA citation and the APA bibliography. Additionally, many students wait until the last minute to format their paper and their APA bibliography. They wait until the last minute because students do not realize how long it can take to transform everything (including the APA bibliography) into proper APA format. Add to this the pressure and stress that a student feels at the end of his or her dissertation, and this is a certain recipe for disaster. The disaster occurs when students rush through APA citation and take shortcuts on their APA bibliography. A dissertation cannot be approved, however, unless the document itself and the APA bibliography are formatted correctly. And while a student may think that his or her APA formatting within the text and his or her APA bibliography are “close enough,” the dissertation advisors and the dissertation acceptance committees are very well informed on proper APA citation. Thus, a student will not have their dissertation accepted or approved if it is not in proper APA format.

Students struggling with APA format and the APA bibliography should look for help. Oftentimes their advisors are too busy to worry about APA format and the APA bibliography. APA formatting help is available, however, and students should turn to consultants who have extensive expertise in APA formatting and the APA bibliography.

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