Tips on How to Cite a Doctoral Dissertation

A dissertation is a very specific type of source and knowing how to cite a dissertation first requires some semblance of understanding of the various citation formats used in the leading educational houses and professional associations. The choice of your citation style also depends on your dissertations topics or more specifically on a subject you are writing about, because different styles are used for humanities or for medical topics, for instance. For example, the way you cite a dissertation in APA style may differ greatly from the way you cite a dissertation under MLA guidelines.

We can help you With Your Research Paper

Your topic
Your E-MAIL

A Short Guide How to Cite a Doctoral Dissertation in APA, Chicago, MLA Style

As previously stated, a dissertation is a very specific type of source material. More specifically, it is a finished, stand-alone document written under the backing of an institution, typically academic in nature. The way you cite a dissertation might differ depending on whether or not the work is published or unpublished, it might also depend on which style or formatting guideline you are following.

The guidelines of the American Psychiatric Association, or APA format, might have similar or differing elements than the guidelines of the Modern Language Association, or MLA, for example.

There are websites, like https://libguides.williams.edu/citing/tools , that claim to be able to assist writers in automatically citing their work. However, these tools are not always accurate, or may miss key information. Because of this, it is important to have at least a foundational understanding of the proper technique to use when citing a dissertation.

Regardless of the style of citation you are following, the same basic information is required:

  • The year of publication
  • The title of the dissertation
  • The academic level of the author
  • The name of the university

Example:


Year Published: 2018
Dissertation Title: The title of the dissertation
Level: The academic level of the author: Example Ph.D, Undergraduate
University: The name of the college, university or institution responsible for the dissertation


 

From here, the method of citation or how you in-text cite, will depend largely on the style guideline that you are following. For the purpose of this document, we will focus on three specific style guidelines: APA, MLA and Chicago.

The following document is to be referenced with each example.


EXPLORING BEHAVIORAL PATTERNS IN NON-VERBAL CHILDREN WITH AUTISM AT THE ELEMENTARY SCHOOL LEVEL

A THESIS IN TEACHING CHILDREN WITH DISABILITIES

Presented to the faculty of the University of Michigan

College of Arts and Sciences
in partial fulfillment of
the requirements of the degree
MASTERS OF ARTS

By
Melanie Jones
B.A.

St. Clair, MI
May 2017


How to Cite a Dissertation in APA Style

As the example indicates, the necessary information is as follows:

Author: Melanie Jones
Publication Date: 2017
Doctoral Dissertation title: Exploring behavioral patterns in non-verbal children with autism at the elementary school level
Type of Work: Master’s Thesis
Name of Institution: University of Michigan
Location: St Clair, MI

Things to keep in mind for bibliographic reference formatting.

  • All bibliographic references must be double-spaced and have a half-inch indent after the initial line of text.
  • Titles should be italicised and follow ‘sentence style’ capitalization.
  • You must indicate that the work is a doctoral dissertation or master’s thesis in parenthesis after the title.

Here is an example:

Jones, M. (2017). Exploring behavioral patterns in non-verbal children with autism at the elementary school level.(Master’s Thesis). University of Michigan, St. Clair Michigan.

In text citations are placed by using the surname of the author and the date of the publication.

(Jones, 2017)

How to Cite a Dissertation in MLA Style

Using the same example document as above, and the same foundational information:

Author: Melanie Jones
Publication Date: 2017
Doctoral Dissertation title: Exploring behavioral patterns in non-verbal children with autism at the elementary school level
Type of Work: Master’s Thesis
Name of Institution: University of Michigan
Location: St Clair, MI

MLA style formatting has slightly different guidelines for citing a dissertation:

Last name, First name. Title. Diss. Name of University, Year of Publication.

Here is an example:

Jones, Melanie. Exploring behavioral patterns in non-verbal children with autism at the elementary school level. Diss. University of Michigan, 2017

Now, if the above happened to have been accessed via a website, you would also include the date it was accessed by adding the following after the year of publication:

Web. 14 Apr. 2018

In text MLA formatting does not require including any sort of URL.

How to Cite a Dissertation in Chicago Style

Again, using the same document example and required information as the previous two examples,

Author: Melanie Jones
Publication Date: 2017
Doctoral Dissertation title: Exploring behavioral patterns in non-verbal children with autism at the elementary school level
Type of Work: Master’s Thesis
Name of Institution: University of Michigan
Location: St Clair, MI

Citing a dissertation following Chicago guidelines is somewhat similar to many other styles of citation, with a few slight differences.

Dissertations are referenced in the following fashion:

First Name, Last Name, “Dissertation Title” Master’s Thesis or PhD Diss, Name of Institution, The year of publication.

Here is an example:

Melanie Jones, “Exploring behavioral patterns in non-verbal children with autism at the elementary

school level” Master’s Thesis, University of Michigan, St Clair, 2017

Again, if you were accessing the thesis, dissertation, or any kind of research paper via the Internet, you would need to alter things slightly. The format here is as follows:

First Name, Last Name, “Dissertation Title” Master’s Thesis or PhD Diss., Name of institution, Year of Publication, URL of the website.

Using the example above, you would simply add the URL of the website to the end of the citation, after the words “Retrieved from”

Example:

Retrieved from

http://www.websiteaddress.com/full/url/

We believe that the above examples were useful to you.

Your topic
type of service
pages
Spend
5 Minutes
book
Your E-MAIL

Alex from AresearchguideHi there, would you like to get some papers? How about receiving a customized one?

Check it out

Can't find help with writing?
Let us write a paper for you!

Please, specify your valid email address