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Action Research Dissertation Format Apa

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.

  1. 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.

  2. FINAL ORALS: successfully complete the final orals for your dissertation and make all edits requested by your committee.

  3. 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.

  4. 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).

  5. CATALOGING FORM: Complete the "Alliant Library Dissertation/Doctoral Project Cataloging Form," found under the "Formatting Manual & Forms" tab above.

  6. 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:

  7. 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
         include proofreading.

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.

  1. 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..
  1. PUBLICATION! The Library DCR approves and delivers the electronic copy of manuscript to UMI/ProQuest.

All completed School of Education dissertations are available for inspection in Swem Library (prior to May 2016) and online via the ProQuest Dissertations and Theses database. Dissertation chairs and/or program advisors may be willing to suggest titles of some exemplary dissertations for your perusal.

Dissertation Format and Contents

Although dissertation research is a creative endeavor in many respects, the reporting of it is governed by conventions. The School of Education faculty expects that dissertations will conform to the writing and style guidelines outlined in the most recent Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association (APA). The purpose of following APA style guidelines is to facilitate the communication of your thinking to your readers by providing a familiar written format for conveying complex ideas.

Once the dissertation is in its final stage, you should obtain names of approved reviewers from your dissertation chair.  If you are in the EPPL department, a dissertation reviewer will be assigned to you. Your dissertation document will be submitted for checking by your chair, and lists of corrections needed will be sent to your chair, who will communicate them to you. The reviewer will check your dissertation for physical standards and approved formatting. There may be more than one round of checking and correction before your dissertation is approved for final submission.

Most dissertations consist of components involving a statement of the problem or focus, the procedures used in exploring the phenomenon under study, the outcomes of the study, and interpretation and/or discussion of the study’s outcomes. The specific form of each of these components will depend upon the nature of the research focus/questions and the study’s design. The faculty has provided several samples (linked below) as general guides to various kinds of research studies. Please do not consider these to be “templates” for dissertation documents; the structure of each dissertation can, and often is, unique.

Sample Dissertation Overview

This describes the components of a post-positivistic (“quantitative”) dissertation.

Sample Chapter 1 and Chapter 3 Outline
Sample Action Research Dissertation Outline
Sample Program Evaluation Dissertation Outline

A non-positivistic (“qualitative”) study may take a variety of forms. The candidate conducting a study of this kind should work closely with the dissertation chair to co-construct a structure that best suits the nature of the study.

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