How to Cite a Dissertation in Different Styles - Know Here

how to cite a dissertation

A dissertation is needed to pass both graduate and undergraduate degrees. It might also be referred to as a thesis in some institutions.

The research abilities of the students who have completed their degrees are assessed through this assignment. It functions as an evaluation designed to help professors assess a student's ability and final grades.

However, if you know how to write a dissertation properly, it is not difficult. Some students, too, are caught in the citation phase. Because there are many different citation formats to select from, and choosing the correct one may be difficult.

As a result, keep reading this blog to learn how to properly cite a dissertation.

How to Cite a Dissertation in Different Styles?

When you include sources in your dissertation, you must use the correct citation style for the references list. The professors frequently suggest a specific citation style for the research paper to students, and they should comply.

However, if your instructor does not provide you with a precise citation style. You should be aware of the many dissertation citation styles available.

Here are the most commonly used referencing styles;

  • APA (American Psychological Association)
  • MLA (Modern Language Association)
  • Chicago citation style
  • Harvard citation style

All of these styles are different from each other and are used in different fields of studies also. We have explained each one of these formats in the sections below.

How to Cite in APA Format?

The Modern Language Association (MLA) is the most widely recognized style of citation. It is commonly utilized by students while annotating sources in their dissertation.

The APA citation style is influenced by both published and unpublished dissertations. As a result, APA offers two distinct types of dissertation-style citations.

Here is a basic APA style format, 7th edition;

Format Author, A. A. (Year). Title of doctoral dissertation or master’s thesis (Publication number, if available) [Doctoral dissertation or master’s thesis, Institution]. Publisher, if available. Database Name
Reference Entry MCNiel, D.S. (2004). A personal narrative discussing growing up with an alcoholic father (Publication No, 14596887) [Doctoral dissertation, University of California]. ProQuest Dissertations and Theses database
In-text Citation (MCNiel, 2004)

For Unpublished Dissertation:

Format Author last name, Initials. (Year). Dissertation title [Unpublished type of dissertation/thesis]. University Name.
Reference Entry MCNiel, D.S. (2010). Effects of global warming [Unpublished master’s thesis]. The University of California.
In-text Citation (MCNiel, 2010)

For Published Dissertation:

Format Author last name, Initials. (Year). Dissertation title [Type of dissertation/thesis, University Name]. Archive Name. URL
Reference Entry MCNiel, D.S. (2005). The impact of cloud computing on IT companies [Master’s thesis, University of California]. CurateND.
In-text Citation (MCNiel, 2005)

How to Cite in MLA Format?

MLA stands for Modern Language Association, and it is an American style of referencing sources in the humanities. The MLA style is used to cite sources regarding the arts, cultural studies, and the humanities.

Before utilizing MLA citation styles, be sure you're familiar with their format.

Here is a basic referencing structure of MLA style;

Format Last name, First Name. Title. Diss. Name of University, Year Published. Web. Date accessed.
Reference Entry Jones, Marcus Alexander. Challenges of Software Reuse MA thesis. University of California, 2010. ProQuest Dissertations and Theses. Web. 21 June 2005.
In-text Citation (Jones)

For Unpublished Dissertation:

Format Last-name, First-name. “Title of Dissertation.” Diss. Place of Study, Year. Title of Database. Web. Date Month Year of Access.
Reference Entry Harry, John. “How to take care of diabetic patients.” Diss. Miskatonic University, 2009. ProQuest Dissertations and Theses. Web. 13 May 2020.
In-text Citation (Harry)

For Published Dissertation:

Format Author's Last-name, First-name. Title of Dissertation. Diss. Place of Study, Year. Place of Publication: Publisher, Year of Publication. Format.
Reference Entry Smith, Alexa. How to reuse the software components. Diss. West Virginia University, 2010. New York. 2012. Print.
In-text Citation (Smith)

How to Cite in Harvard Format?

The Harvard citation style is a variant of the author-date system. This style differs from the APA, MLA, and Chicago referencing styles. Usually, it contains the last name of the authors and the date of publication in its in-text citation.

Here is a basic Harvard referencing style format;

For Unpublished Dissertation:

Format Author of thesis - family name and initials Year of preparation of the thesis, 'Title of thesis in single quotation marks,’ Award, Institution issuing degree, Location of the institution.
Reference Entry Howie, L 2017, ‘Managing the international weather update,’ Ph.D. thesis, Monash University, Melbourne.
In-text Citation (Howie, 2017)

For Published Dissertation:

Format Author of thesis - family name and initials Year of preparation of the thesis, Title of thesis, Institution issuing degree.
Reference Entry Roman, CW 2018, Using a model of emotional self-efficacy in predicting work outcomes, Alliant International University, San Diego.
In-text Citation (Roman, 2018)

For a Dissertation from a Database:

Format Author of thesis - family name and initials Year of preparation of the thesis, Title of thesis, Award, Institution issuing degree, Location of the institution, Database name
Reference Entry Barley, S 2018, Developing new technologies, Ph.D. thesis, University of California, California.
In-text Citation (Barley, 2018)

How to Cite in Chicago Format?

Although the Chicago citation style differs from APA and MLA, it is not overly complicated. Some students get mixed up about whether a Turabian or Chicago citation style is used. They're both very similar, with the exception of the note numbering scheme.

Here is a Chicago format to format your dissertation’s references;

Format Last, First M. "Thesis/Dissertation Title." Ph.D. diss., [OR] Master's thesis, Academic institution, Year.
Reference Entry Alex Brown, “Advantages and disadvantages of reusing software” Ph.D. diss., University of Chicago, 1995.

For an Online Citation:

Format First name Last name, “Title” master’s thesis or Ph.D. diss. University, Year published, URL
Reference Entry Smith, Choi, “Pros and cons of genetically modified foods” Ph.D. thesis. The University of Calabria, 2016,

For a Dissertation from a Database:

Format Last, F.M. (Date published). First name Last name, “Title” master’s thesis or Ph.D. diss., University, Year published, Database (Identification Number).
Reference Entry Alex Kerry, “The multimedia and newspaper importance” Ph.D. diss., University of California, 2015, ProQuest (5697168125).

Writing a dissertation is an important and crucial part of a degree. It is used by the teachers to gauge your capabilities and score you accordingly. This blog guides you to cite your dissertation in the most commonly used referencing styles.

Still, if you find it difficult to complete your dissertation on time, talk to one of our representatives here. We are professionals, and we can help you submit your dissertation on time.


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