Formatting Chapter 4 of Dissertation As Per APA Compliance – A Sneak Peek

Chapter 4 of a dissertation is the one chapter most students fret from addressing, but it is still the very essence of any research being conducted. This chapter is mostly referred to as “Data Analysis and Interpretations” and encompasses all the data analysis, quantitative as well as qualitative that has been undertaken to reach the conclusion of the research. Here is a peek into how this chapter can be formatted to extract maximum meaning out of the analysis conducted and provide insight to the reader in a single glance.

  • Highlight and lay emphasis on important variables and factors. Being too generic in this section will confuse readers and other researchers. You should clearly specify what the analysis is about.
  • Your ideas must follow a logical sequence. The analysis undertaken must also be addressed in a proper order which would make a reader easily grasp its essence. Focus on wider concepts first and then increase specificity.
  • You should feel free to use tables, graphs, charts, headings and bold texts to make your analysis stress-free to comprehend.
  • You should always provide captions for tables and figures to capture their principle and make sure that you describe each figure or table at length in the text.
  • Explain rounding practices that have been adopted. In the presentation of rounded off data, you should not use more significant digits than are required according to the mentioned procedures.
  • Address the data sources used and any shortcomings that may prevail in the data and that may or may not have affected the analysis.  You could also include a section in your paper which includes sources of all the data collected.
  • You should include a section that describes all the analytical tools and methods that have been employed for the research.
  • There should be information regarding the quality of the results such as standard errors, confidence intervals and/or coefficients of variation that can provide the reader important information about data quality.
  • You should check the accuracy and consistency in the analysis even once all conclusions are drawn, this is because they will provide the foundation of your dissertation findings and you cannot afford to mess them up.
    • According to the APA format, the following guidelines have been given for effectively drafting Chapter 4 of a dissertation. These include:
    • You should not give references for statistics unless the statistic is uncommon, used unconventionally, or is the focus of the article
    • You should refrain from giving formulas for common statistics (i.e. mean, ttest)
    • Avoid repeating descriptive statistics in the text if they’re represented in a table or figure
    • Use terms like respectively and in order when enumerating a series of statistics; this illustrates the relationship between the numbers in the series.
    • Assess the necessity of using a table over descriptive text
    • Tables must be consistent, organized and coherent. That means they must follow a specific numbering, must have a list in the end and their format must be coherent.
    • Headings of tables must be clear and concise; data must be expressed only in numerals.
    • Similarly, figures must be assessed for necessity, must be numbered in order and must be coherent with each other.

Is It Okay to Avoid Formatting in Your Dissertation?

Formatting indicates toward the overall look and presentation of your content. You can also call it as the layout of your content. Generally, in a research dissertation, formatting is done to correct the layout of headings, text paragraphs, graphics, tables, and citations and references. Formatting is also done for making all the notes and fonts consistent. Thus, a document is made to look flawless in terms of its appearance by using varied formatting styles. However, many research students find it an unnecessary job.

Students may not feel the need of formatting when they have written their content well and without errors. If you also feel that formatting is simply wasting your precious time, then it is very important for you to understand its importance and benefits. A major advantage of formatting your dissertation is to make it actually look like a dissertation. When you are conducting serious research, you are also expected not to be casual in your writing or presentation. This is the reason why academic institutions provide formatting guidelines for you to follow stringently.

Another benefit of formatting is that it makes your work more readable. Even though your faculty members may not grant extra marks for your formatting, they will really appreciate if your content is presented in an impressive manner. A neat and tidy dissertation can create substantial influence on your readers. If you were presenting the work that looks professional and enhances readability, then your target readers would hold a favorable attitude toward it. A well-formatted dissertation also has the capability to hide a few linguistic mistakes, if left in your project.

Further, you cannot avoid formatting your dissertation for the very simple reason that your institution may only accept your project when it is formatted according to the recommended guidelines. Thus, you should devote time to format your work well so it only adds to your credibility.

A flawless Guidance

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