6

I want to use LaTeX/XeLaTeX (I'm a newbie) for my psychology PhD thesis, and my trial document currently uses apa6 for the document layout (and biblatex-apa/biber for referencing). It seems that apa6 does not allow for \chapter{}, and while there are two related posts on this (1, 2), I can't actually tell if it is sensible or not to use apa6 for a thesis in the first place! What I would like to be able to have is:

  1. My document structured and formatted in APA 6th style (provided by apa6).
  2. Citations and reference list in APA 6th style (provided biblatex-apa).
  3. Allow for chapters (missing from apa6).
  4. Introduce some customised styling (e.g. for quoting chunks of transcribed interviews).

Is there a relatively pain-free way to achieve goals 1 to 4? I have also considered that it might be easier to use something like memoir in combination with biblatex-apa, and give up on strict adherence to APA style (i.e. everything from apa6).

  • 2
    First, check the regulations. What are the formatting requirements of your institution? Is there an existing class file you can use to format your thesis easily? Lots of places have such classes. If none of that is relevant, then you have choice. I would not recommend using any class designed to typeset single articles for managing a thesis. You will need to change far too much. It is not just adding \chapter{} commands, things like the ToC, bibliography etc. will all be wrong. Better to figure out which few things apa6 does which you actually want and are applicable to a thesis. – cfr Sep 14 '14 at 0:28
  • @cfr I do have some flexibility with the layout, and my institution does not provide an existing class file. In that case, are you suggesting that that my last option (something like memoir with APA referencing from biblatex-apa) is the way to go? – drgibbon Sep 14 '14 at 1:01
  • I don't know about memoir specifically but I would definitely look for something along the lines of the book or report classes. That is, something which provides functionality similar to those. – cfr Sep 14 '14 at 1:07
  • 6
    Note that many institutions will not necessarily provide any .cls file for theses, but that they will still have strict (or not) requirements about how the final theses must look (and it is unlikely that the institution, in general, will care to be APA-compliant in regarding general layout parameters). That is, you can choose any way you like to get to the destination (MS Word, LaTeX, whatever), but the destination must be the same. For the sake of flexibility and built-in functionality, I'd strongly consider using memoir or one of the KOMA-Script classes. – jon Sep 14 '14 at 3:12
  • 1
    @alfC The apastyle blog talks about headings and one of the comments says "The APA Style manual does not now, nor has it in the past, provided in-depth guidelines on the formatting of dissertations. The 5th ed. (chapter 6, pp. 321–327) discussed how the needs of dissertations are different than those of draft manuscripts for publication---namely that one size does not fit all" – StrongBad Nov 21 '14 at 10:54
3

The comments to the question were very useful, and this advice from cfr was good:

I would not recommend using any class designed to typeset single articles for managing a thesis. You will need to change far too much. It is not just adding \chapter{} commands, things like the ToC, bibliography etc. will all be wrong. Better to figure out which few things apa6 does which you actually want and are applicable to a thesis.

Also StrongBad pointed out that the APA doesn't even have full formatting guidelines for a dissertation, so to my mind the best way to proceed is by using biblatex-apa and memoir or KOMA-Script. I went with memoir simply because the English documentation is more thorough.

From there I will configure the few necessary APA formatting things (line spacing, margins) and let biblatex-apa handle the bibliography. biblatex-apa with biber appears to provide the best APA referencing possibilities (if you want 6th style), as it allows for UTF-8 and has extra fields which make APA referencing much more pleasant for rare reference types.

Blockquotes look fine for quoting transcribed interview chunks.

2

I would suggest you use these packages:

\documentclass[jou,natbib]{apa6}
\usepackage{apacite}
\usepackage{natbib}

They will provide everything you need, if you find that using \section instead of \chapter acceptable. I personally use \section as chapters, you could easily just include "Chapter n" in the name of the chapter to indicate it is a chapter.

The customised styling does not influence apa6, so feel free to implement whatever you need on that matter. Just using \quote might suffice.

  • 2
    In the end I decided to go with biblatex-apa and memoir. I really wanted to take advantage of biblatex-apa since it uses biber, which (vs bibtex) has much better support for UTF-8, extra field types in .bib files, and so on. – drgibbon Nov 22 '14 at 12:58
  • @PaulGessler I'm not sure I've found a specific answer, just something I'm going to go with for my thesis. The comments given were very useful, so I can write up what I've found as an answer? – drgibbon Jan 26 '15 at 2:08
  • @PaulGessler done :) – drgibbon Jan 26 '15 at 16:36
2

If you wish to continue using the apa6 package, you could try modifying the apa6.cls file. The absolute location of this will depend on your installation, the relative path on my Windows machine being "tex\latex\apa6." Of course, make sure you back the file up before editing.

In my case, I replaced the default "jou" entry with the "book" entry in the file, from:

\@ifundefined{def@man}{%
    \@ifundefined{def@jou}{%
        \@ifundefined{def@doc}{%
        }{% doc
          \ifx\apaSix@ptsize\apaSix@noptsize
            \LoadClass[11pt,twoside]{article} % default for doc is 11pt
          \else
            \LoadClass[\apaSix@ptsize]{article}
          \fi
        }
    }{% jou
      \ifx\apaSix@ptsize\apaSix@noptsize
        \LoadClass[10pt,twoside]{article} % default for jou is 10pt
      \else
        \LoadClass[\apaSix@ptsize,twoside]{article}
      \fi
    }
}{% man
  \ifx\apaSix@ptsize\apaSix@noptsize
    \LoadClass[12pt,twoside]{article} % default for man is 12pt
  \else
    \LoadClass[\apaSix@ptsize]{article}
  \fi
}

to:

\@ifundefined{def@man}{%
    \@ifundefined{def@jou}{%
        \@ifundefined{def@doc}{%
        }{% doc
          \ifx\apaSix@ptsize\apaSix@noptsize
            \LoadClass[11pt,twoside]{article} % default for doc is 11pt
          \else
            \LoadClass[\apaSix@ptsize]{article}
          \fi
        }
    }{% jou
      \ifx\apaSix@ptsize\apaSix@noptsize
        \LoadClass[10pt,twoside]{book} % CHANGED default for jou is 10pt
      \else
        \LoadClass[\apaSix@ptsize,twoside]{book} % CHANGED
      \fi
    }
}{% man
  \ifx\apaSix@ptsize\apaSix@noptsize
    \LoadClass[12pt,twoside]{article} % default for man is 12pt
  \else
    \LoadClass[\apaSix@ptsize]{article}
  \fi
}

This at least worked in my case - allowing chapters to be rendered (as well as in the Table of Contents) for my PhD thesis.

Ed.

  • Welcome to TeX.SE. The advice to modify a file from the TeX distribution -- even if you first make a backup -- is quite dangerous: If and when the official version of the file gets updated in the future, your modifications will be overwritten without warning. Much better, and certainly safer, to create a new copy of the file (call the copy myapa6.cls, say) and to save the copy in a directory that's searched automatically by the TeX distribution. – Mico Jan 19 '16 at 22:20
  • Good point, I'll try re-naming it so that future updates don't overwrite this rather important aspect! – Ed d Jan 20 '16 at 10:12

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