Resources to support students in their capstone project or preparing for publication through ProQuest.

Your APA Capstone Document Formatting Support Resource

"Receiving a doctoral degree means you have demonstrated your ability to do independent, original scholarly work at the doctoral level. At Walden, this means completing a doctoral capstone document—dissertation, doctoral study, project study, or doctoral project—to be published in the ProQuest database." -Walden University

Table of Contents

The capstone template contains a table of contents. To learn more about the capstone templates, visit the Writing Skills: Capstone Document Templates

Also, to learn more about correcting common bookmark errors in the template Table of Contents view this resource:

Changing Page Number Styles in Certain Sections 

As a Capstone student, you will need to know how to change page numbers in one section without affecting the pagination in other, separate sections.

Dot Leaders

Dot leaders are used between tab stops in tables of contents to help make this portion of your paper easier for the reader to follow. Essentially, dot leaders are the ellipses placed between the title of a section and the page number where the section begins. When auto-generating a table of contents, MS Word will insert these for you. 

Page Breaks 

Page breaks and section breaks are used to separate sections of a paper automatically. You can then adjust the content of a paper without ruining the formatting of the sections.

Hanging Indents

APA asks that writers use hanging indents in reference list entries to make this information easier to read. 


APA formatting requires students to use page numbers and headers in their papers, including what is called running heads. 

  • Insert a Running Head (PDF)

    A Running Head is a short title that is printed in uppercase letters at the top of the page in a document. As indicated by Walden’s Chief Academic Officer in April 2016, a running head is not required for Walden papers. Page numbers in the upper right corner are the only material needed in the header.

Paragraph Indentations

APA asks that writers indent each paragraph .5 inches. Writers should let Word adjust this formatting automatically. 

Fixing Indentation Errors in the Doctoral Study Template

Paper Margins

Part of correctly formatting a paper is ensuring that writers use proper margins throughout the paper. 

Using Spell Check 

Learn how to use the spell check feature in MS Word to find and correct spelling errors in your document.

Paper Spacing

In APA, the entire paper (including the reference page) is double spaced. Automatically letting Word apply this formatting allows writers to format papers easily without having to readjust the spacing.

Using the Double Space Feature in the Doctoral Study Template

Changing Numbering in Landscape Orientation

To publish your manuscript, you must insert page numbers correctly on all pages. Sometimes, a table is too wide to fit on one page formatted in the portrait orientation typical in doctoral manuscripts, but it could fit on one page formatted in landscape orientation. Changing the orientation of your paper might affect your page numbers, so you need to use a different method to format your page numbers.

Tables and Figures

Walden support staff created this 8-part video series to help you ensure proper capstone formatting. Each video is less than 5 minutes.

Writing Center APA Templates

The Writing Center provides templates for Walden University course papers and doctoral capstone studies. These templates are Microsoft Word or PowerPoint files with APA style and Walden-specified formatting.
Go To Templates Page

MS Word

Which version are you using?

Students should check with their committee members for the preferred version of Word they should use. Issues can arise when faculty and students are working in different versions.

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Reference List

Walden has an extensive collection of reference list entries, including common examples, multiple authors, and electronic source references.

Visit Walden's APA Reference Support

Viewing Instructor Feedback

Fixing Formatting Errors

YouTube Playlist

Doctoral Template Help

Your Academic Skills Center has a total of 12 on-demand videos to help you format your Doctoral or Dissertation Template and view instructor feedback.
Go to Doctoral Template Videos

Go to Instructor Feedback Videos

YouTube Playlist

Course Template Help

Your Academic Skills Center has a total of 12 on-demand videos to help you format your Course Template and view instructor feedback.

Go to Course Template Videos

Go to Instructor Feedback Videos

APA Capstone Formatting FAQs

Items below represent the most frequent errors seen by the Office of Student Research and Administration when ProQuest returns a document to a student for correction.

Note: These errors are related to formatting in the document.  Please ensure that the pilcrow ¶ (found in the paragraph area on the Home tab) is turned on so that all formatting in the document is visible, which will simplify correcting many of the items below to ensure proper formatting in the document and successful submission to ProQuest.

Download ProQuest Checklist PDF

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