Answered By: Linda Kern Last Updated: Dec 12, 2016 Views: 722
This is what APA says about headings in theses specifically: “With a thesis it's okay to use the rules more loosely. There's actually no specific guidance on how to treat chapter titles! Here's a suggestion, though: You could number the chapters, called whatever is appropriate (including "Introduction"), and treat the chapter numbers/names as titles of the chapter. Then within the chapter, you would start your first heading at Level 1. I would try this style out and see how it looks!” http://blog.apastyle.org/apastyle/2009/07/five-essential-tips-for-apa-style-headings.html
In your thesis, this means that the chapter titles will be formatted like the title on the References page - centered, capitalized, but not boldfaced. Then your first heading within each chapter will be level 1. APA is emphatic about starting with level 1 – you shouldn’t start with level 2. See APA p. 62 for levels.