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Writing An APA Style Dissertation Running Head


For writing essays and dissertations, American Psychology Association (APA) style is most commonly used. This is especially true for papers in social sciences, for example, psychology or education.

When writing a dissertation, you should pay attention to the requirements to content and page design. The reason for this is that you may lose points and get a lower grade if you ignore the standards.

The running head, or the page header, is a shortened version of your thesis title. It is very important to write it properly, as this small portion of the paper will be repeated throughout the text. So, if you want to write the dissertation running head in the APA style correctly, here are some tips to follow:

  1. Make all margins 1 inch wide.
  2. Use 12-point Times New Roman font.
  3. Double-space the page header.
  4. Place the running head at the top of the page.
  5. Capitalize each letter in the running head.
  6. Place the page header on every page of your thesis.
  7. Remember that on the title page, the design of the page header differs from the rest of pages. On the first page, write “Running head”, put a colon, and in one space write the shortened version of the title. Omit the words “Running head” on the following pages of your dissertation.

  8. Make it flush left.
  9. Mind that the page number should be in the same line as the running head, yet flush right. Place the page number 5-7 spaces from the running head.

  10. Use up to 50 characters.
  11. Words, spaces between words, and punctuation marks should make up the total amount of 50 characters or less. Make the page header concise. Keep in mind that it should contain only the most important words of the title. Avoid rewriting the whole dissertation title.

  12. Remember that the page header is obligatory.
  13. It is a very important part of the text. It helps readers distinguish between dissertations when they are published. The running head is not optional. Even if your paper is not going to be published, it still requires the running head. Make sure your page header is short enough to fit into one line, and long enough to let the readers identify your work by it.

The running head is a one-line part of the paper that plays an important role in your thesis. Follow the above-mentioned guidelines, and be sure to provide a correct page header.

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