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Writing Your Dissertation? A Few Things to Know About APA 7

The Writing Center helps guide doctoral candidates through the latest edition of the venerable style guide.

At the heart of earning a doctoral degree is your dissertation, an original and lasting contribution to research and thought leadership. As you travel the rigorous and rewarding doctoral journey, the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association, Seventh Edition (APA 7), will become a constant companion.

APA 7, released in October 2019, is the style manual that will guide you in writing your doctoral dissertation. An accredited university that provides superior academic writing support will prove invaluable throughout your journey as a doctoral candidate—which is why Walden University is a top choice. Walden’s Writing Center offers comprehensive resources to help dissertation writers learn about this latest edition.


“As stated on page 3 of the seventh edition manual, ‘Research is only complete when scholars share their results or findings with the scientific community.’ The APA seventh edition manual, along with resources from the Walden Writing Center, will help students toward their goal of sharing their doctoral capstone research,” says the Writing Center’s Martha King, associate director of Doctoral Capstone Quality Initiatives.

King shared these insights into APA 7:

  • APA style is more than a guide for citations and references; there is a wealth of information that will help student writers communicate their social science research effectively. Chapter 4 of the manual covers strategies for achieving the hallmarks of scholarly writing: clear communication delivered in an engaging and effective way, using precise language.
  • APA 7 has much-expanded guidance on bias-free language, provided in Chapter 5 of the manual.
  • APA 7 has eliminated some of the exceptions to rules from past editions, making the rules in the manual easier to understand and apply. A few examples:
    • Tables and figures are now labeled in the same way, where they were completely different in previous editions.
    • Rules for writing numbers have fewer exceptions.

The Writing Center’s APA Style page is a hub to guides, templates, checklists, webinars, and more, all created to help doctoral candidates practice and confidently use APA 7 style. The Doctoral Capstone Form and Style site is dedicated to supporting capstone writers, with specific resources for multilingual writers, and includes:

  • Walden doctoral capstone templates, with all the formatting set up to meet publication specifications
  • APA 7 checklist
  • Kits, which assemble resources for the different stages of doctoral capstone writing
  • SMRTguides—short, how-to instructions applying APA style conventions to areas of the doctoral capstone document
  • Webinars on aspects of writing a doctoral capstone study or project
  • A Top 10 list of areas to address while writing the final capstone study
  • Office hours staffed by the Walden form and style editors, who support doctoral capstone writers
  • An email account monitored by the form and style editors, who provide responses within 24 hours, Monday through Friday

Exceptional Doctoral Dissertation Support

The Writing Center offers this invaluable academic writing support to doctoral candidates in Walden’s more than 20 doctoral degree programs. Walden’s online doctoral degree programs include more than 140 specializations, allowing you to find the course of study that’s most relevant to your personal and professional goals.

Walden supports its online doctoral candidates in other ways, too. From your first contact with an Enrollment Specialist, you’ll begin to experience the accredited university’s expansive range of online student support services. Financial aid advisors can help you explore funding options, including limited-time savings and other tuition assistance. You’ll find a complete suite of student support services dedicated to your academic success and the completion of your doctoral dissertation.

Doctoral Peer Mentors may be another source of student support for you. These are experienced Walden students who provide social support, insider tips, and guidance to incoming doctoral candidates in the first few months of their program.

Walden, the No. 1 granter of doctoral research degrees,1 will be there to support you throughout your journey—from enrollment to doctoral dissertation—helping you to attain the highest level of academic achievement.

Walden University is an accredited institution offering certificate programs and bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral online degree programs. Expand your career options and earn your degree using a convenient, flexible learning platform that fits your busy life.

1Source: National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) Integrated Postsecondary Education Database (IPEDS). Retrieved March 2020; includes 2017-18 provisional data and all classifications of instructional programs (CIP) codes. A doctoral research degree is a PhD or other doctoral degree that requires advanced work beyond the master’s level, including the preparation and defense of a dissertation based on original research of the planning and execution of an original project demonstrating the substantial artistic or scholarly achievement. Some examples of this type of degree may include EdD, DMA, DBA, DSc, DA, DM, or others as designated by the awarding institution.

Walden University is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission,