The 6th edition of the Publication Manual brings an important and exciting change: a new way of doing headings. The updated headings style should make headings easier to understand, implement, and see in your finished paper. Here are five essential things you need to know:
APA has designed a five-level heading structure (we numbered them to talk about them, but you won’t actually number your headings in your paper). Click the image below to get a close-up view of the new heading style.
Proceed through the levels numerically, starting with Level 1, without skipping over levels (this is in contrast to the 5th edition heading style, which involved skipping levels depending on the total number of levels you had—how complicated!).
That first heading won’t be called “Introduction” or be the title of your paper; these are common mistakes. Actually, the first heading will likely be somewhere in the body of your paper. In an experimental study, for example, often the first real heading is the Method section, and it would thus go at Level 1.
Use as many levels as necessary to convey your meaning. Many student papers and published articles utilize two or three levels. Longer works like dissertations may demand four or five.
Need more guidance? Consult the Publication Manual (Chapter 3, Section 3.03) for more examples and explanation. Also look at published APA articles to see how it’s done—APA plans to fully implement the new heading style in its journals by January 2010.
How do you like the new heading style? Do you have any questions or comments about it? Please share!
Students must be registered in dissertation (or dissertation extension if they have already completed all regular dissertation sequence courses), during the term in which they achieve dissertation clearance. Dissertation clearance means not only successful defense, but completion of any required revisions and submission of the dissertation in its final form to the University library.
- CONTACT ACADEMIC & ADMINISTRATIVE SUPPORT SERVICES for an informational meeting. Review any questions about your program's or university's requirements for completing the dissertation clearance process. Ensure you are meeting deadlines relevant to DEX and related fees.
- FINAL ORALS: successfully complete the final orals for your dissertation and make all edits requested by your committee.
- FORMAT your final draft: follow both APA and Alliant's style guidelines. See "Formatting - 6th Ed. APA Guidelines" and "Formatting Manual & Forms" tabs above.
If you need an editor to help with formatting or writing, see the "Editors" tab above for recommendations.
- LIBRARY DISSERTATION CLEARANCE FORM: obtain program director, chair, and committee member approval of the revised document in writing on the "Library Dissertation/Doctoral Project Clearance Form." See "Formatting Manual & Forms" tab above.
Note that ‘Section 1’ of the Library Dissertation/Doctoral Project Clearance Form’ must be signed by the dissertation/doctoral project committee and the Program Director after all final edits have been made and approved. Committee signatures on this form indicate that the student has successfully defended the dissertation and that the final written dissertation/doctoral project as submitted to the library is acceptable in content and format. The Program Director signature indicates that the student has successfully completed all program requirements related to the dissertation (e.g., submitted departmental forms or any supplemental documentation the program requires for the dissertation/doctoral project).
- CATALOGING FORM: Complete the "Alliant Library Dissertation/Doctoral Project Cataloging Form," found under the "Formatting Manual & Forms" tab above.
- CONTACT THE LIBRARY: Phone or send an email to the person listed under "Who to Contact" on the right side of this page to schedule a preclearance meeting. Schedule this appointment at least seven business days in advance. When you meet with the dissertation clearance representative, bring the following two items:
- SUBMIT: After this meeting, you can then upload an electronic (pdf) copy of the manuscript to ProQuest. See "Submitting to ProQuest ETD" tab above.
a) As soon as you upload, library staff is notified that your
dissertation is ready for review. This review does not
b) Within three business days of your submission, you
will receive e-mail notification of revisions you need to
make, if necessary. Make the changes and re-upload.
Repeat until all necessary revisions have been made
and the library approves the format.
c) If this three-day period must be extended due to
unusual circumstances, the DCR will notify the
student about when he or she can expect feedback.
d) The student repeats this process until the document is
acceptable. Allow three business days for review of
any revised, reuploaded version of the manuscript.
The time frame for completing the entire clearance
process will vary depending on the time of year (e.g.,
allow more time as graduation or other due dates
approach), the extensiveness of problems,
responsiveness of the student to initial feedback, etc.
- ACCEPTANCE! Once the manuscript has been accepted, The DCR officially verifies that the electronic version has been uploaded to ProQuest and cleared. Library DCR completes ‘Section 3’ of the Library Dissertation/Doctoral Clearance Form and sends the form to the Registrar, retains a copy, and e-mails a copy to the student, the dissertation chair, the Academic Affairs Staff member associated with the Program, and the student’s Program Director..
- PUBLICATION! The Library DCR approves and delivers the electronic copy of manuscript to UMI/ProQuest.