How To Cite a Dissertation

On this page, we are going to talk about how to cite a dissertation. It is worth noting that there are several different citation styles. We are going to walk you through the most common of them here. It is up to you to find out which citation style you are expected to use. In most cases, it won’t matter too much. What does matter is that you are consistent whenever you write a citation. This means that you should not be producing citations in various different styles.

The importance of dissertation citations

Before we go into how to professionally provide dissertation citations, we should probably talk a little bit about why they are so important. Without citations, it is unlikely that you will receive that high of a grade. In fact, you will probably end up failing. Before you prepare writing a dissertation, consider some companies that offer cheap dissertation writing for a moderate price.

The main reason why you need a dissertation citation is simply to give credit to other people. You are showing that you utilized another person’s ideas or evidence in your essay. They need credit. Not only this but if you include quotes from these dissertations in your essay, it will help to protect you against claims of plagiarism.

Obviously, including citations will also demonstrate that you have gone out and done your own independent research. It shows that you haven’t just written your essay at the last moment. You have carried out active learning, and this is worth a lot when it comes to your final mark.

Dissertation citations need to be accurate because it will allow a person to track down the source material. This will allow them to check that you have understood where you are citing from properly…and that the dissertation you are citing from actually exists.

Our example

To make it a little bit easier to understand how the various dissertation citation styles work, we are going to start with the same ‘base’ information. We have come up with a sample dissertation here. This is not a real dissertation publication. It is for demonstrative purposes only.

Author: Clive Bixby

Date of dissertation publication: 2004

Name of university: Harvard University

Type of Dissertation: Master’s Thesis

Dissertation title: The Impact of Globalization on Business Management

We will be using this information in various forms as we discuss the citation styles.

APA Style

It is likely that you will be encountering APA style the most during your studies.

The APA style will follow this pattern:

Author surname

Author initial

Publication date

Title of publication

University

Location of University

Whenever you reference the dissertation in your essay, you simply write the surname of the author plus the date of publication. In our example, this would be (Bixby, 2004)

In the bibliography, our example would look like this:

Bixby. C.

(2004).

The Impact of Globalization on Business Management

(Master’s Thesis).

Harvard University.

Cambridge

Massachusetts.

MLA Style

MLA style is a slightly easier style format to follow, and you don’t need as much information as you would if you were following APA citation guidelines. You will follow this pattern:

Surname

First name

Title of dissertation

The word ‘Diss’ (to indicate it is a dissertation)

University

Year the dissertation was published

So, using our example, if you cited it in MLA style it would look like this:

Bixby. Clive. The impact of globalization on business management. Diss. Harvard University. 2004.

You may actually notice a difference between the style of the dissertation name between APA and MLA style. Here, you will notice that we only capitalize the first word. You capitalize on all of the ‘main’ words in APA style.

If you access the dissertation from the internet, you will need to add ‘Web. Date Accessed’ to the end of this. Obviously, replaced ‘date accessed’ with the date you saw the dissertation online.

Chicago Style

The final style you will likely encounter is Chicago Style. This is almost a hybrid of APA and MLA citation styles. Follow this pattern:

First name

Surname

“Title of the Dissertation”

Type of Dissertation

University

Location town (not the state!)

Publication Year

So, once again, using our example this would be:

Clive Bixby. “The impact of globalization on business management” Master’s Thesis. Harvard University, Cambridge, 2004

If you are accessing the dissertation online, then it is important that you add the URL to the end of the citation. This will allow the reader to easily access the website. You must put the words ‘Retrieved From:’ before the website URL.

It is rare that you will encounter a required style outside of these three. You will normally have a free choice of how you wish to cite dissertations in your essay. If you are unsure, you should always consult with your educator.