When writing an academic paper, including a dissertation, you must properly cite all sources using the requested reference style. This means both the in-text citation have to follow a consistent format and the bibliography.
References are essential in a dissertation, whether using direct quotes or paraphrasing another author’s works. From the research projects instructions, a student will know the style guide that a professor prefers.
When citing dissertation APA, the rules are different from any other referencing style, and failure to cite properly is seen as plagiarism. As of 2021, APA is now in its 7th edition. Wondering how to cite a dissertation in APA? Find out from this comprehensive and updated guide.
How to Cite a Dissertation APA
When you want to cite dissertation APA, you need to know first if the work has been printed or is still unpublished. Other crucial things to consider include:
- A first and last name.
- The year the document that you want to use was published.
- Whether the content comes from a database or online.
If the dissertation is unpublished, the in-text will follow the last name and year of publication and, for full reference, include the name of the university where the document was submitted to. For a published dissertation, include the database name and keep the institution after the title and in brackets.
In some cases, the database number can be the same as the publication number or document number. The number is the identifier used in the indexing system. The correct way to cite a thesis or dissertation in APA is to include the database or document number in parentheses after the text’s title.
The format of the citation will use this structure:
Author’s Last, First name initial. Middle name initial. (year published). Title of the document in sentence case (Document or publication number.) (State whether it’s a thesis or dissertation, name of school). Name of the database.
Citing a Thesis APA or Dissertation That Is Not From a Database
Not every dissertation or thesis will be retrieved from a database. There are cases where the document is accessible online. In such situations, you should provide the URL and the name of the institution or organization that published that dissertation or thesis. The structure for such a dissertation will be:
Last name of the author. First name initial. Middle name initial. (year published).The title of the dissertation or thesis in sentence case (specify whether the text is a dissertation or thesis, name of the institution).Name of the archive. URL.
APA Dissertation Format
Depending on the institution the education system follows, a dissertation is mandatory for students pursuing a master’s degree or doctorate. However, the dissertation citation APA is the same in all academic institutions.
The in-text citation that appears in the text follows the last name of the author and the year the work was published. For example (Davis, 2019).
However, if you are using a direct quote, you must include the page number. For example, (Davis, 2019, p.215). If you use a narrative citation in your dissertation, the author and the year have to appear in the text. But the year occurs in parenthesis.
For example, Davis (2019) explained how the statistics relate to the business. Confused about which year to include for the published work. Here are some guidelines to help:
- When using a book, always go for the copyright year given on the title page.
- For a journal, use the year of the volume and not the copyright year.
- For newspapers and magazines, only use the year in the in-text citation.
- Articles or material without a year use “n.d” for example (Davis, n.d.) or Davis (n.d.) examines.
For web pages, use the year the article was last updated. But if the piece is reviewed frequently, assume there is no date and indicate on the in-text using the words (n.d). But in the reference list, always include the retrieval date for the webpage article.
APA Cite Dissertation for Authors
As aforementioned, the in-text citation for one author follows the last name and year format. Check out more examples below:
- Two authors: (Davis & Charles, 2019)
- Three or more authors: (Davis et al., 2019)
- An edited book: cite the author and not the editor.
Authors with the same surname: (B. Davis, 2020; H. Davis, 2019) the initials for the first names should appear alphabetically.
When writing a dissertation or thesis, you might use both primary and secondary sources. Using various sources proves that you did extensive research on the topic, which further reduces the chances of plagiarism.
In such a case, the APA citation for dissertation or thesis for in-text citation includes naming the author of the original work in the text and adding the secondary source in parenthesis.
A good way to write the secondary source in APA would be: Davis’s study conducted in 2019 (as cited in Aron, 2020) shows that. But don’t forget to give the full details of the secondary source in the reference list. The full reference entry will be
Aron, M (2020). Models of reading aloud: Dual-route processing approaches. Psychological Review (italicized), 100(4), 589–608. https://doi.org/10.1037/0033-295X.100.4.589
How to Cite Thesis
The same procedure for citing a dissertation is also applicable in a thesis. As a result, when a thesis is accessed from a database or archive, a student needs to follow the format described above for the published dissertation.
The title should be italicized and the thesis put in parenthesis after the title. Furthermore, APA citation for the thesis that is unpublished applies is the same as for a dissertation and can be adapted in all academic levels, be it undergraduate, master’s, or doctorate.
Frequently Asked Question About APA Style Dissertation or for a Thesis
How do you cite a dissertation in APA 7th edition?
First, check whether the dissertation is published or unpublished. Then cite by including: Author’s name, add the year published and put in brackets. This is followed by title of the document in sentence case then the Publication or Document No.
State whether it’s a thesis or dissertation then add the name of institution and Database name. If it’s unpublished, replace the database number with the name of the institution followed by URL
Can you cite dissertations?
Yes. Just ensure you are citing every source correctly.
How do you cite a master’s thesis in APA?
By indicating the document is a thesis, putting it in parenthesis after the title.
The guidelines on how to cite a master’s thesis APA tend to apply for a dissertation regardless of the academic level. If you are still unsure how to format a dissertation or thesis using APA style, contact our reputable services, and our professionals will not hesitate to guide you.