You can use other theses as a source for your own dissertation. Take into account that theses often still contain mistakes and are not always a reliable source. So don’t base your dissertation too much on other theses. According to the APA Style you also have to add to your reference that it is a dissertation of another student.
Proceedings are contributions to scientific conferences, congresses, symposiums or meetings. They often are published bundled and are formally published in a book or in periodicals. This represents a report about what has been discussed during a particular conference. The APA Style has specific rules for the notation of proceedings or conference papers.
The reference of a patent is different from the normal APA Style. The APA reference for a patent consists of four parts: the name of the inventor, the year in which the patent was issued, the unique patent identification number, and the name of the patent office.
Scientific research is published in scientific journals. If research is conducted by an organization or the government, then it will be published in a report. APA Style has a specific format for citing a report.
The layout requirements for a dissertation are often determined by your supervisor or department. However, there are certain guidelines that are common to almost every program, such as including page numbers and a table of contents.