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Citation Guide: Dissertations/Theses

Help with citing your sources for a research paper.

Essential Elements

Dissertation/Thesis citations should always include the following:

  • Name of author(s)

  • Year of publication

  • Title of work

  • Identification of work

  • Retrieved from

Other information you may need:

  • Database name

  • Accession, Order, Dissertation/Thesis, or UMI Number

  • URL

  • Institution Name, Location


- Only the first word of the title and subtitle should be capitalized, except for proper nouns.

- Italicize the Dissertation/Thesis title. 

- Identify the work as a doctoral dissertation or master's thesis in parentheses after the title.

- If the paper is available through a database, give the accession/order/UMI No. in parentheses at the end of the reference.

- If the work is retrieved from ProQuest Dissertations & Theses or another published source include this information in the reference.

Sample Citations - Dissertations/Theses

Dissertation/Theses from a Commercial Database


McNiel, D.S. (2006). Meaning through narrative: A personal narrative discussing growing up with an alcoholic mother (Publication No. 1434728)

         [Doctoral Thesis, California State University- Long Beach]. ProQuest Dissertations and Theses Global. 

Dissertations/Theses for an Institutional Database/Repository


Adams, R. J. (1973). Building a foundation for evaluation of instruction in higher education and continuting education

         [Doctoral dissertation, The Ohio State University]. Ohio Link Electronic Theses & Dissertation Center. http://rave.

Unpublished Dissertations/Theses


Smith, A. (1978). Three studies of human information processing: Texture amplification, motion representation, and

         figure-ground segregation [Unpublished doctoral dissertation]. Duke University.