Has anyone written a Master's thesis in APA with LaTeX (preferably LyX)? The documentation for apa.cls says "do not use this for your thesis", but I can't find any alternative on the web.

  • Do you want to use apa reference or apa template?
    – Yorgos
    Nov 13, 2016 at 21:29
  • @Yorgos it's been about 6 years since this was relevant for me :) but I ended up forking apa.cls – there may be something useful in that repo, but I can't remember what I changed nor do I want to :)
    – unhammer
    Nov 14, 2016 at 8:23

3 Answers 3


I think I used article class for my Master's thesis. I'm currently using memoir for my PhD.

You'll probably need to add a custom title page to conform with your school's format requirements.

  • 1
    Does memoir require a lot of work to conform with APA 6th guidelines? I'm actually not sure how strict the formatting requirements for the thesis are, they do say "APA" though... The problem with the article class is that I want Chapters, I don't think you can get that with apa.cls (or has anyone managed that?)
    – unhammer
    Sep 6, 2010 at 11:41
  • If you need chapters, you might look at book or memoir. Though how long is a master's thesis where you are? These are going to be pretty short chapters... Memoir is very customisable. I'm not familiar with APA style guidelines, but I expect it is possible to make it conform.
    – Seamus
    Sep 6, 2010 at 13:37
  • A quick look at the APA style overview, it looks like it's fairly straightforward. For references, natbib with the apa option should make references conform. headers, title page etc should be straightforward, the memoir documentation is excellent.
    – Seamus
    Sep 6, 2010 at 13:39
  • Ah, I will take a look at memoir then. Master's theses here used to be book-sized, but have recently been constrained to be shorter, so I'm not sure about the chapters...
    – unhammer
    Sep 7, 2010 at 11:52

I'm currently writing my thesis using the document class apa6. It features the style doc:

Formats the document as a typical LATEX document (one-sided, singlecolumn, etc.)

With the help of a couple of other packages, it works great for me. This is what I'm working with right now:


\usepackage[T1]{fontenc}    % Umlaute (my title page needs to be in German)
\usepackage{upgreek}        % Upright greek sympbols
\usepackage{paralist}       % Inline lists
\usepackage{lscape}         % Landscape page setup for large tables

\setlength{\oddsidemargin}{0.5cm}   % A4-paper format
\setlength{\evensidemargin}{0.5cm}  % A4-paper format
\setlength{\topmargin}{-1cm}        % A4-paper format
\setlength{\textwidth}{16cm}        % A4-paper format
\setlength{\textheight}{24cm}       % A4-paper format
\setlength{\headwidth}{\textwidth}  % Set running head to textwidth



The current apa6 version (released 12/12/11) does not support A4-paper format. To make use of the entire page, I edit the margins, textheight, and -width.

Since APA leaves this up to you: If you wish a different ordering refer to Appendix B in the biblatex documentation. But as PLK points out in the comments "from version 4.3 [of biblatex-apa style], it uses a custom sorting specification to deal with the biblatex PUBSTATE field so you shouldn't specify any sorting option".

Also, the documentation of the apa6 class offers a comprehensible example for the class' usage.

  • 2
    Welcome to TeX.SX! Would you like to expand your answer? For example by showing the most relevant part of the preamble.
    – egreg
    Jan 20, 2012 at 21:45
  • Thanks, egreg. I added what I'm using sofar. I hope this is of use to someone else.
    – crsh
    Jan 25, 2012 at 0:51
  • 1
    One thing - the biblatex-apa style up to version 4.2 sets sorting=nyt itself so you don't need to specify this. From version 4.3, it uses a custom sorting specification to deal with the biblatex PUBSTATE field so you shouldn't specify any sorting option when using the biblatex-apa style.
    – PLK
    Jan 25, 2012 at 9:37
  • Ah, thanks for pointing this out. I followed the example in the apa6 documentation.
    – crsh
    Jan 25, 2012 at 11:51

Exactly what do you require for your thesis? Is it the APA-citations, the general outline or something else? I usually write my papers (and my bachelor thesis) in an ordinary article or report-class, make my outline according to some pseudo-APA-style and use APA-like citations in the end.

  • There's probably some slack, but definitely the citations and the outline. You don't use apa.cls? If not, why?
    – unhammer
    Sep 6, 2010 at 11:44
  • I use the memoir-class and natbib for my citations. That way I get to decide the overall look and use author-year citations. And if you follow the exact APA-style or not - does it matter? As long as it looks a bit like APA nobody will notice any differences anyways :)
    – Oscar
    Sep 9, 2010 at 11:10
  • @unhammer also apa.cls comes with many pre-configurations. So a more general purpose class like book,report or memoir gives you more flexibility
    – Yorgos
    Nov 13, 2016 at 21:34

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