Apa Research Paper Tense

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.

According to corpus research, in academic writing, the three tenses used the most often are the simple present, the simple past, and the present perfect. The next most common tense is the future; some major assessments, course assignments, and the doctoral study proposal at Walden are written in this tense for a study that will be conducted in the future.

Simple present: Use the simple present to describe a general truth or a habitual action. This tense indicates that the statement is generally true in the past, present, and future.

  • Example: The hospital admits patients whether or not they have proof of insurance.

Simple past: Use the simple past tense to describe a completed action that took place at a specific point in the past (e.g., last year, 1 hour ago, last Sunday). In the example below, the specific point of time in the past is 1998.

  • Example: Zimbardo (1998) researched many aspects of social psychology.

Present perfect: Use the present perfect to indicate an action that occurred at a nonspecific time in the past. This action has relevance in the present. The present perfect is also sometimes used to introduce background information in a paragraph. After the first sentence, the tense shifts to the simple past.

  • Example: Numerous researchers have used this method.
  • Example: Many researchers have studied how small business owners can be successful beyond the initial few years in business. They found common themes among the small business owners.

Future: Use the future to describe an action that will take place at a particular point in the future (at Walden, this is used especially when writing a proposal for a doctoral capstone study).

  • Example: I will conduct semistructured interviews.

Keep in mind that verb tenses should be adjusted after the proposal after the research has been completed. See this blog post about Revising the Proposal for the Final Capstone Document for more information.

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