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Section 1 Foundations of Doctoral Study / Chapter 2 Time and Tools
The best way to achieve proficiency in scholarly writing is to begin using APA format immediately.
Doctoral learners' writings must be detailed, informative, easy to read, and in compliance with doctoral writing standards, which ensure information is presented in a scholarly manner. The best way to achieve proficiency in scholarly writing is to begin using APA format immediately. Once mastered, writing in this format helps the author to efficiently present complex ideas, charts, and graphics. It also ensures that the author correctly references the works of others. It also helps the reader by providing a consistent format in which to read. Getting started is easier if doctoral learners remember to
• double space their writing,
• learn to use hanging indents,
• use appropriate margins and level headings,
• preset the type format to 12-point Times New Roman, and
• set paragraph spacing to 0.
The guidelines for the APA format are outlined in the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association. However, the APA manual is more than just a set of rules about margins, fonts, and indents; it is a guide on sentence structure and word choice used in scholarly writing. Because becoming a scholarly writer is part of becoming a doctor, being familiar with the APA format is essential. There are also numerous resources available on the Internet. One of the more frequently used sites is the Purdue Online Writing Lab (OWL). Websites like Purdue's OWL, coupled with familiarity with the APA manual, should reduce any trepidation a doctoral learner might have about formatting. GCU highly recommends that each learner purchase a hard copy of the most current version of the APA manual to use as reference when completing writing assignments and working on elements of the dissertation. This important resource should be used throughout the doctoral program.