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How To Complete An APA Dissertation In Occupational Therapy

There are several steps and processes you will go through in the journey to publishing your dissertation in occupational therapy. Having a big picture of what is expected will help you in getting everything accomplished successfully.

There are three main phases:

  1. The development and defence of your dissertation proposal
  2. Conducting the research for your dissertation
  3. Writing your paper and defending it

Using APA Style Guide

The American Psychological Association (APA) style guide is one of the most commonly used style of formatting for citing sources for all courses within the social sciences. The guide is quite comprehensive and long source, but the main rules can be condensed in a few pages. Generally, the format requires the paper to be typed and double spaced on standard paper (8.5” x 11”) with a 1” margin on all 4 sides. A clear and highly recognizable font such as Times New Roman in 12 pt. size should be used.

APA style also requires the following:

  • Title Page – includes title of paper, author’s name and the educational institution
  • Abstract – includes page header and a brief summary of the paper
  • Main body – all the sections and paragraphs making up the biggest part of your writing
  • References – all the sources you used in your writing of this paper

Details of these four main parts of the paper can be found online at your school’s website or under APA style. You can also find more details about how to cite your sources.

Choosing your topic in occupational therapy

Topic choice is critical to the success of your research and paper. Without a tightly focused topic and thesis statement, you will feel like you’re floundering and not getting anywhere. The topic should be something you have a great interest in, because so much of your time and efforts over the next few years will be absorbed in this project. It will become the crowning piece of your academic career.

Originality and uniqueness are paramount in topic choice. You can’t cover a topic that’s already been done before. There are several things you can do to narrow down a topic. First of all, find a topic someone’s done before and then propose a different methodology. This entirely changes the topic and makes it unique.

A great place to search for topic ideas is to read dissertation papers previous students have written. Find the place where they make suggestions for further research in the area of their topic. Pursue one of those suggestions and see if it has been covered yet.

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