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Tuesday, 25 November 2014 00:00

How to format an APA Thesis Introduction

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Your graduate advisor wants you to practice on your thesis, specifically on your introduction. He or she wants the introduction done in APA format. As a Masters or PhD. student, you are barely familiar with the format. APA (American Psychological Association) format is popular in education, behavioral sciences, and social sciences.

For your introduction, you need to research information in books, scholarly journals, databases, articles, and magazines. Make notes of important concepts found in the book or article. Paraphrase the notes on note cards or on a separate sheet of paper. Be sure to write down the source where you received the information, in order to put on your reference page.

When you have completely finished researching for your introduction, begin writing for your rough draft. The paper you should use for your rough draft is 8.5” by 11” with 1” margins on all sides. The paper needs to be double spaced. Type in 12-point Times New Roman or Courier (serif typeface) font

Number each page, beginning with the title page. Page numbers need to be located in the upper right corner of the paper. The title’s first words should be in the right corner of every page, except for pages with figures and artwork.

Located at the top of every page is the running header. The running header should be 50 characters and in all capital letters. Order your paper in this way: Title Page, Abstract, Introduction, and References.

The title is your cover page to your introduction. Your title should be short, to the point, and not more than ten to twelve words. Center the title on the top of the page and put the title in sentence case. On the new line, center your first name, middle initial, and last name. If you have a suffix in your name (like Jr. or III), put a space between the last name and the suffix. The name of your college or university should be listed on a new line. List the city or state, if the place where you conducted research is not at a college or a university. If you are located outside of the United States, list the city, state or province, and the country.

The abstract helps to define the key terms in the introduction. Eventually, the abstract will be a clear short summary of your thesis or dissertation. Starting at page two, the paragraph should be at most 120 words. In this section, the most important details of your paper should be highlighted. Abbreviations and special terms (except units of measurement) should be labeled in this section. If you have previous research on your topic, it needs to be cited here.

Listed on the third page is the introduction. On this page, you introduce the topic. And, describe the research prompt. You also give a summary of previous research which is relevant to your subject. Also, in your introduction, you present your hypothesis or thesis statement and your variables or supporting statements which assist your claims. If you use sources, cite them using (Author, page number). Be sure to use correct spelling and grammar.

For your reference page, you list the sources of your introduction. To properly cite your references, please visit the Purdue OWL Writing Lab (

An introduction gives a preview of a research paper, a thesis, or a dissertation. If properly formatted, the introduction can properly give a preview to the audience.


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You are here: Home Blog Academic How to format an APA Thesis Introduction