Home / Guides / Citation Guides / APA Format / How to Cite a Thesis or Dissertation in APA

How to Cite a Thesis or Dissertation in APA

In this citation guide, you will learn how to reference and cite an undergraduate thesis, master’s thesis, or doctoral dissertation. This guide will also review the differences between a thesis or dissertation that is published and one that has remained unpublished. The guidelines below come from the 7th edition of the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association (2020a), pages 333 and 334. Please note that the association is not affiliated with this guide.

Alternatively, you can visit EasyBib.com for helpful citation tools to cite your thesis or dissertation .

Guide Overview

Citing an unpublished thesis or dissertation, citing a published dissertation or thesis from a database, citing a thesis or dissertation published online but not from a database, citing a thesis or dissertation: reference overview, what you need.

Since unpublished theses can usually only be sourced in print form from a university library, the correct citation structure includes the university name where the publisher element usually goes.

Author’s last name, F. M. (Year published). Title in sentence case [Unpublished degree type thesis or dissertation]. Name of institution.

Ames, J. H., & Doughty, L. H. (1911). The proposed plans for the Iowa State College athletic field including the design of a reinforced concrete grandstand and wall [Unpublished bachelor’s thesis]. Iowa State University.

In-text citation example:

  • Parenthetical :  (Ames & Doughty, 1911)
  • Narrative :  Ames & Doughty (1911)

If a thesis or dissertation has been published and is found on a database, then follow the structure below. It’s similar to the format for an unpublished dissertation/thesis, but with a few differences:

  • The institution is presented in brackets after the title
  • The archive or database name is included

Author’s last name, F. M. (Year published). Title in sentence case (Publication or Document No.) [Degree type thesis or dissertation, Name of institution]. Database name.

Examples 1:

Knight, K. A. (2011). Media epidemics: Viral structures in literature and new media (Accession No. 2013420395) [Doctoral dissertation, University of California, Santa Barbara]. ProQuest Dissertations Publishing.

Example dissertation-thesis

Trotman, J.B. (2018). New insights into the biochemistry and cell biology of RNA recapping (Document No. osu1523896565730483) [Doctoral dissertation, Ohio State University]. OhioLINK Electronic Theses & Dissertations Center.

In the example given above, the dissertation is presented with a Document Number (Document No.). Sometimes called a database number or publication number, this is the identifier that is used by the database’s indexing system. If the database you are using provides you with such a number, then include it directly after the work’s title in parentheses.

If you are interested in learning more about how to handle works that were accessed via academic research databases, see Section 9.3 of the Publication Manual.

In-text citation examples :

  • Parenthetical citation : (Trotman, 2018)
  • Narrative citation : Trotman (2018)

Author’s last name, F. M. (Year Published). Title in sentence case [Degree type thesis or dissertation, Name of institution]. Name of archive or collection. URL

Kim, O. (2019). Soviet tableau: cinema and history under late socialism [Doctoral dissertation, University of Pittsburgh]. Institutional Repository at the University of Pittsburgh. https://d-scholarship.pitt.edu/37669/7/Olga%20Kim%20Final%20ETD.pdf

Stiles, T. W. (2001). Doing science: Teachers’ authentic experiences at the Lone Star Dinosaur Field Institute [Master’s thesis, Texas A&M University]. OAKTrust. https://hdl.handle.net/1969.1/ETD-TAMU-2001-THESIS-S745

It is important to note that not every thesis or dissertation published online will be associated with a specific archive or collection. If the work is published on a private website, provide only the URL as the source element.

In-text citation examples:

  • Parenthetical citation : (Kim, 2019)
  • Narrative citation : Kim (2019)
  • Parenthetical citation : (Stiles, 2001)
  • Narrative citation : Stiles (2001)

dissertation and thesis Citations for APA 7

We hope that the information provided here will serve as an effective guide for your research. If you’re looking for even more citation info, visit EasyBib.com for a comprehensive collection of educational materials covering multiple source types.

If you’re citing a variety of different sources, consider taking the EasyBib citation generator for a spin. It can help you cite easily and offers citation forms for several different kinds of sources.

To start things off, let’s take a look at the different types of literature that are classified under Chapter 10.6 of the Publication Manual :

  • Undergraduate thesis
  • Master’s thesis
  • Doctoral dissertation

You will need to know which type you are citing. You’ll also need to know if it is published or unpublished .

When you decide to cite a dissertation or thesis, you’ll need to look for the following information to use in your citation:

  • Author’s last name, and first and middle initials
  • Year published
  • Title of thesis or dissertation
  • If it is unpublished
  • Publication or document number (if applicable; for published work)
  • Degree type (bachelor’s, master’s, doctoral)
  • Thesis or dissertation
  • Name of institution awarding degree
  • DOI (https://doi.org/xxxxx) or URL (if applicable)

Since theses and dissertations are directly linked to educational degrees, it is necessary to list the name of the associated institution; i.e., the college, university, or school that is awarding the associated degree.

To get an idea of the proper form, take a look at the examples below. There are three outlined scenarios:

  • Unpublished thesis or dissertation
  • Published thesis or dissertation from a database
  • Thesis or dissertation published online but not from a database

American Psychological Association. (2020a). Publication manual of the American Psychological Association (7th ed.). https://doi.org/10.1037/0000165-000

American Psychological Association. (2020b). Style-Grammar-Guidelines. https://apastyle.apa.org/style-grammar-guidelines/citations/basic-principles/parenthetical-versus-narrative

Published August 10, 2012. Updated March 24, 2020.

Written and edited by Michele Kirschenbaum and Elise Barbeau. Michele Kirschenbaum is a school library media specialist and the in-house librarian at EasyBib.com. Elise Barbeau is the Citation Specialist at Chegg. She has worked in digital marketing, libraries, and publishing.

APA Formatting Guide

APA Formatting

  • Annotated Bibliography
  • Block Quotes
  • et al Usage
  • In-text Citations
  • Multiple Authors
  • Paraphrasing
  • Page Numbers
  • Parenthetical Citations
  • Reference Page
  • Sample Paper
  • APA 7 Updates
  • View APA Guide

Citation Examples

  • Book Chapter
  • Journal Article
  • Magazine Article
  • Newspaper Article
  • Website (no author)
  • View all APA Examples

How useful was this post?

Click on a star to rate it!

We are sorry that this post was not useful for you!

Let us improve this post!

Tell us how we can improve this post?

To cite a published thesis in APA style, it is important that you know some basic information such as the author, publication year, title of the thesis, institute name, archive name, and URL (uniform resource locator). The templates for an in-text citation and reference list entry of a thesis, along with examples, are given below:

In-text citation template and example:

Use the author surname and the publication year in the in-text citation.

Author Surname (Publication Year)

Cartmel (2007)

Parenthetical:

(Author Surname, Publication Year)

(Cartmel, 2007)

Reference list entry template and example:

The title of the thesis is set in sentence case and italicized. Enclose the thesis and the institute awarding the degree inside brackets following the publication year. Then add the name of the database followed by the URL.

Author Surname, F. M. (Publication Year). Title of the thesis [Master’s thesis, Institute Name]. Name of the Database. URL

Cartmel, J. (2007). Outside school hours care and schools [Master’s thesis, Queensland University of Technology]. EPrints. http://eprints.qut.edu.au/17810/1/Jennifer_Cartmel_Thesis.pdf

To cite an unpublished dissertation in APA style, it is important that you know some basic information such as the author, year, title of the dissertation, and institute name. The templates for in-text citation and reference list entry of an online thesis, along with examples, are given below:

Author Surname (Year)

Averill (2009)

(Author Surname, Year)

(Averill, 2009)

The title of the dissertation is set in sentence case and italicized. Enclose “Unpublished doctoral dissertation” inside brackets following the year. Then add the name of the institution awarding the degree.

Author Surname, F. M. (Publication Year). Title of the dissertation [Unpublished doctoral dissertation]. Name of the Institute.

Averill, R. (2009). Teacher–student relationships in diverse New Zealand year 10 mathematics classrooms: Teacher care [Unpublished doctoral dissertation]. Victoria University of Wellington.

APA Citation Examples

Writing Tools

Citation Generators

Other Citation Styles

Plagiarism Checker

Upload a paper to check for plagiarism against billions of sources and get advanced writing suggestions for clarity and style.

Get Started

Banner

APA (7th Edition) Referencing Guide

  • Information for EndNote Users
  • Authors - Numbers, Rules and Formatting
  • In-Text Citations
  • Reference List
  • Books & eBooks
  • Book chapters
  • Journal Articles
  • Conference Papers
  • Newspaper Articles
  • Web Pages & Documents
  • Specialised Health Databases
  • Using Visual Works in Assignments & Class Presentations
  • Using Visual Works in Theses and Publications
  • Using Tables in Assignments & Class Presentations
  • Custom Textbooks & Books of Readings
  • ABS AND AIHW
  • Videos (YouTube), Podcasts & Webinars
  • Blog Posts and Social Media
  • First Nations Works
  • Dictionary and Encyclopedia Entries
  • Personal Communication
  • Theses and Dissertations

Theses and dissertations

  • Film / TV / DVD
  • AI software
  • APA Format for Assignments
  • What If...?
  • Other Guides

A thesis is an unpublished document produced by student as part of the requirements for the degree. They come at various levels (e.g. Honours, Masters, PhD, etc). Check with your lecturer before using a thesis for your assignment.

  • << Previous: Personal Communication
  • Next: Film / TV / DVD >>
  • Last Updated: Feb 21, 2024 8:21 AM
  • URL: https://libguides.jcu.edu.au/apa

Acknowledgement of Country

TCU home page

Honors Project Style Guide: APA

  • Introduction
  • Other Citation Styles
  • Plagiarism and Academic Integrity
  • Citation Tools
  • Who Uses It?
  • Basic Citation Information
  • Basic Formatting Information

These disciplines tend to use APA Citation and Formatting Style:

  • Communication Studies
  • Communication Sciences & Disorders
  • Criminal Justice
  • Political Science

Basic APA Citation Formats

The following guidelines are recommended in accordance with the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association, 7th edition. Please check with your supervising professor to see whether strict APA formatting should be observed for your project. All references on the references page should be double-spaced and use a hanging indent. 

Note:  If you are direct quoting a specific part of a source, include a page number, table, paragraph, section, time stamp, etc. in your in-text citation. If you are citing ideas from a whole work, no section identifier is needed. Please consult the APA Manual 7th edition to see how to include these section identifiers.

Books with a single author

Reference page:.

Oliver, P. (2014).  Writing your thesis  (3rd ed.). Sage.

In-text Citation:

(Oliver, 2014).

Narrative In-text Citation:

According to Oliver (2014)...

Oliver (2014) states...

Books With More Than Two Authors

Werner-Burke, N., Knaus, K., & Helt DeCamp, A. (2014).  Rebuilding research writing: Strategies for sparking informational inquiry . Routledge.

(Werner-Burke et al., 2014).

Werner-Burke et al. (2014) argue... 

Articles in online scholarly journals (plus example of how to cite two authors)

Martinez, C. T., Kock, N., & Cass, J. (2011). Pain and pleasure in short essay writing: Factors predicting university students' writing anxiety and writing self-efficacy.  Journal of Adolescent & Adult Literacy, 54 (5), 351- 360.   https://doi.org/10.1598/JAAL.54.5.5

(Martinez, Kock & Cass, 2011).

Martinez, Kock, and Cass (2011) recommend...

Documents in a Website

Clay, R.A. (2007).  Writing well . http://www.apa.org/gradpsych/2007/03/writing.aspx

With Organization as Author:

American Library Association. (2015, February 9). Framework for information literacy for higher education. http://www.ala.org/acrl/standards/ilframework

In-text Citations:

(Clay, 2007).

(American Library Association, 2015).

Narrative In-text Citations:

According to Clay (2007)... 

The American Library Association (2015) claims...

The following guidelines are recommended in accordance with the  Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association . Please check with your supervising professor to see whether strict APA formatting should be observed for your project. 

Formatting Your Main Content

  • Double-space the text of your paper.
  • Leave only one space after periods or other punctuation marks.
  • Set the margins of your document to 1 inch on all sides.
  • Indent the first line of paragraphs.
  • Number all pages, including the title page and abstract, with arabic numerals (1, 2, 3, etc.) on the top right hand corner about an inch from the top of the page.
  • Use section headings to designate the different sections of your paper. Center, bold, and capitalize all words in your section headings. If you use subsections, consult the APA Manual 7th edition for additional guidance.

Formatting the Title Page of Your Paper For Student Papers

Note: If you are submitting your paper for a professional publication, there are different requirements for the title page. Consult the APA Manual 7th edition to see how to format title pages for professional papers. Additionally, title page requirements for honors projects may differ from department to department. Please consult your advisor for how to format your title page.

  • In the top right corner, insert a page number.
  • About one third down the page and centered, include the full title of your paper. Capitalize all words four letters or longer in your title.
  • Underneath the title, include your name.
  • Underneath your name, include the name of the department to which you are submitting the paper followed by a comma, and then Texas Christian University (Ex: Honors College,  Texas Christian University).
  • Underneath the department name and institution, include the course number and name (Ex: HNRS 20633: Video Games and Representation).
  • Underneath the course name, include the name of your professor. 
  • Underneath your professor's name, include the date the project is due, including the month (spelled out), day, and year.

Formatting Your References Page

  • Include page numbers in the top right corner.
  • Center the word "References" at the top of the references page.
  • Alphabetize all references by authors' last names. Each in-text citation should have a corresponding reference listed on the references page.
  • Use a hanging indent for each reference.
  • Double-space the entire page
  • Purdue OWL: APA Sample Paper Formatting guidance for both student and professional papers.

Helpful Manuals

Cover Art

Helpful Links

  • Purdue OWL: APA 7 Online Writing Lab from Purdue University. Contains further information about how to format papers and references in APA style.
  • No Plagiarism @ TCU
  • << Previous: MLA
  • Next: Chicago >>
  • Last Updated: Jun 16, 2023 11:20 AM
  • URL: https://libguides.tcu.edu/honorsguide

APA 7th referencing style

  • About APA 7th
  • Printing this guide
  • In-text references
  • Direct quotations
  • Reference list
  • Author information
  • Additional referencing information
  • Using headings
  • Book chapter
  • Brochure and pamphlets
  • ChatGPT and other generative AI tools
  • Conferences
  • Dictionary or encyclopaedia
  • Government legislation
  • Journal article
  • Lecture notes and slides
  • Legal sources
  • Newspaper or magazine article
  • Other web sources
  • Patents and standards
  • Personal communication
  • Press (media) release
  • Secondary source (indirect citation)
  • Social media
  • Software and mobile apps
  • Specialised health information
  • Television program

Thesis - from website

Thesis - from database.

  • Works in non-English languages
  • Works in non-English scripts, such as Arabic or Chinese
  • << Previous: Television program
  • Next: Video >>
  • Last Updated: Jan 3, 2024 3:09 PM
  • URL: https://guides.library.uq.edu.au/referencing/apa7
  • AUT Library
  • Library Guides
  • Referencing styles and applications

APA 7th Referencing Style Guide

  • Theses and dissertations
  • Referencing & APA style
  • In-text citation
  • Elements of a reference
  • Format & examples of a reference list
  • Conferences
  • Reports & grey literature
  • Figures (graphs and images)

Terminology - Thesis, dissertation or exegesis?

Published theses and dissertations, unpublished theses and dissertations.

  • Audio works
  • Films, TV & video
  • Visual works
  • Computer software, games & apps
  • Lecture notes & Intranet resources
  • Legal resources
  • Personal communications
  • PowerPoint slides
  • Social media
  • Specific health examples
  • Standards & patents
  • Websites & webpages
  • Footnotes and appendices
  • Frequently asked questions

Thesis and dissertation can mean different things depending on where the degree is awarded. Always check the title page, or subsequent pages, to determine exactly what the work is and use the information for your reference. ​

Auckland University of Technology (and other NZ universities)

  • Thesis is either for a doctoral or a master's degree.
  • Dissertation is either for a master's or a bachelor's degree with honours.
  • Exegesis is the written component of a practice-based thesis where the major output is a creative work;  e.g., a film, artwork, novel.

Other parts of the world

  • In North America and some other countries, dissertation is used for a doctoral degree and thesis for a master's degree.

Theses available in a database, a university archive or from a personal website.

Reference format

Theses published online (e.g. in institutional repositories), theses from proquest dissertations and theses global.

Find how to cite in text on the  In-text citation  page.

 Unpublished thesis or dissertations are usually sourced directly from the university in print form.

 Reference format

  • << Previous: Tables
  • Next: Audiovisual media >>
  • Last Updated: Feb 12, 2024 4:21 PM
  • URL: https://aut.ac.nz.libguides.com/APA7th

Banner

Citation Help for APA, 7th Edition: Master's Thesis, Dissertation, or Capstone Project

  • Books & Ebooks
  • Book Chapter & Ebook Chapter
  • Conference Presentations
  • Course Resources (PowerPoint, Handouts, etc.)
  • Encyclopedia
  • Journal Article
  • Legal Materials
  • Magazine Article
  • Master's Thesis, Dissertation, or Capstone Project
  • Movies & Streaming Video
  • Newspaper Article
  • Personal Communication (email, interviews, lectures, course materials, etc.)
  • Webpages & Websites
  • Formatting Your Paper
  • In-text Citations
  • Ethically Use Sources

Introduction

When creating references for dissertations, theses, and projects, you will need to determine the correct reference type to follow. Dissertations, theses, and projects are generally divided into two separate groups; those that are published and those that are unpublished.

In most cases, unpublished projects are those that are in print and available only from the degree-granting institution. On the other hand, published projects are those that are available in a database, a university archive, or a personal website. 

Variations - URLs?

Some URLs may be long and complicated. APA 7th edition allows the use of shorter URLs. Shortened URLs can be created using any URL shortener service; however, if you choose to shorten the URL, you must double-check that the URL is functioning and brings the reader to the correct website. 

Common URL Shortner websites include:

More Information

For more information about URLs, see Section 9.36 on page 300 of APA Manual, 7th edition. 

NOTE:  Check your instructor's preference about using short URLs. Some instructors may want the full URL. 

Variations - DOIs?

Some DOIs may be long and complicated. APA 7th edition allows the use of shorter DOI numbers. Shortened DOIs can be located at the International DOI Foundations, shortDOI Service . 

More Information:

For more information about DOIs, see Section 9.36 on page 300 of APA Manual, 7th edition. 

NOTE: Check your instructor's preference for using short DOIs. Some instructors may want the full DOI. 

Variations - Live Hyperlinks?

Should my urls be live.

It depends. When adding URLs to a paper or other work, first, be sure to include the full hyperlink. This includes the http:// or the https://. Additionally, consider where and how the paper or work will be published or read. If the work will only be read in print or as a Word doc or Google Doc, then the URLs should not be live (i.e., they are not blue or underlined). However, if the work will be published or read online, then APA advises to include live URLs. This would allow the reader to click on a link and go to the source.   

For more information, see Section 9.35 on pages 299-300 of the APA Manual, 7th edition. 

NOTE: Check your instructor's preference about using live URLs. Some instructors may not want you to use live URLs. 

Print Master's Thesis, Dissertation, or Project

When creating references for dissertations, theses, and projects, you will need to determine the correct reference type to follow. Dissertations, theses, and projects are generally divided into two separate groups; those that are published and those that are unpublished. In most cases, unpublished projects are those that are in print and available only from the degree-granting institution. 

Panasuk, K. N. (2008). What variables appear to work in stress management programs in the workplace and how effective are

these  programs  [Unpublished master’s final project]? The College of St. Scholastica.

Author: Panasuk, K. N.

Begin the reference with the author's last name first. then, add the initials for the first and middle names (if the middle name or middle initial is provided). add a period after each initial, and if there is a middle initial, add a space between the initials., year of publication: (2008)..

Next, in parentheses, list the year of publication, which appears on the title page or the title verso page (back side of title page). Follow the parentheses with a period.   

Title & Subtitle of the Book: What variables appear to work in stress management programs in the workplace and how effective are these programs [Unpublished master's final project]?

Next, add the title and subtitle of the master's thesis, dissertation, final applied project, or capstone. The title and subtitle are separated by a colon. Capitalize only the first word of the title and subtitle and all proper nouns.  Italicize the title and subtitle. Do not add a period immediately after the title. Instead, add brackets with the type of project (Master's project, doctoral dissertation, etc.) you are referencing. Before the type of project add "Unpublished". When choosing wording to describe the project, use the language the degree-granting institution uses to describe the project (e.g., Master's thesis, Doctoral dissertation, Final Applied Project, Capstone Project, Clinical Project, etc.). Add a period after the brackets. If the title has a question mark or exclamation mark, replace the period after the brackets with the proper punctuation mark used in the title.   

Source Information: The College of St. Scholastica.

Complete the reference with the source information, which is the full name of the college or university awarding the degree. add a period after the institution's name.  more information:.

For more information about master's theses, dissertations, or capstone projects, Section 10.6 on pages 333-334 in the APA Manual, 7th edition.

Parenthetical Citation Example:

 (Panasuk, 2008)

Narrative Citation Example:

Panasuk (2008) identified ...

For more information about author format within parenthetical and narrative citations, see Section 8.17 and Table 8.1 on page 266 of the APA Manual, 7th edition. 

Master's Thesis Published in a Commercial Database (like ProQuest Dissertations & Theses)

When creating references for dissertations, theses, and projects, you will need to determine the correct reference type to follow. Dissertations, theses, and projects are generally divided into two separate groups; those that are published and those that are unpublished. In most cases, published projects are those that are available in a database, a university archive, or a personal website. 

Skallet, S. (2016). Environmental approval duration estimating model for improved linear energy construction project schedules  (Publication No.

10125148)  [Master's capstone project, The College of St. Scholastica]. ProQuest Dissertations & Theses. 

Author: Skallet, S.

Begin the reference with the author's last name first. then, add the initials for the author's first and middle names (if a middle name or middle initial is provided). add a period after each initial, and if there is a middle initial, add a space between the initials.     year of publication: (2016)..

Next, in parentheses, add the year of publication, which appears on the title page or the title page verso (back side of title page). Follow the parentheses with a period.   

Title & Subtitle of the Book:  Environmental approval duration estimating model for improved linear energy construction project schedules  (Publication No. 10125148) [Master's capstone project, The College of St. Scholastica].

Next, add the title and subtitle (if there is a subtitle) of the capstone, final applied project, thesis, or dissertation. Separate the title and subtitle with a colon. Capitalize only the first word of the title and subtitle and all proper nouns. Italicize the title. Do NOT add a period after the title.

After the title, in parentheses, add the publication number (normally found in the record of the project within ProQuest). Before the publication number put "Publication No." Do NOT add a period after the parentheses. 

After the publication number, add brackets with the type of project (Master's thesis, Master's capstone project, doctoral dissertation, etc.) you are referencing. Use the language described by the degree-granting institution to describe the project. Then, add a comma and the name of the institution. Add a period after the brackets.      

Source Information: ProQuest Dissertations and Theses. 

Complete the reference with the commercial database where you found the masters thesis/project. end with a period.    more information:  .

For more information on Master's Theses/Projects, see Section 10.6 on pages 333-334 in the APA Manual, 7th edition.

 (Skallet, 2016)

Skallet (2016) argued ...

Dissertation Published Online

Adame, A. (2019). Fully immersed, fully present: Examining the user experience through the multimodal presence scale and virtual reality gaming

variables [Master's thesis, California State University San Bernardino]. CSUSB ScholarWorks Electronic Theses, Projects, &

Dissertations.  https://scholarworks.lib.csusb.edu/etd/918/

Author: Adame, A. 

Begin the reference with the author's last name first. Then, add the initials of the author's first and middle names (if a middle name or middle initial is provided). Add a period after each initial, and if there is a middle initial, add a space between the initials. 

Year of Publication: (2019). 

Next, in parentheses, add the year of publication, which appears on the title page or the title verso page (back side of the title page). Follow the parentheses with a period. 

Title & Subtitle of the Book: Fully immersed, fully present: Examining the user experience through the multimodal presence scale and virtual reality gaming variables [Master's thesis, California State University San Bernardino]. 

Next, add the title and subtitle (if there a subtitle present) of the thesis or project. Separate the title and subtitle with a colon. Capitalize only the first word of the title and subtitle as well as proper nouns. Italicize the title and subtitle. Do NOT add a period after the title. Instead, after the title, add brackets with the type of project (Master's thesis, doctoral dissertation, etc.) you are referencing. Use the language described by the degree-granting institution to describe the project. Then, add a comma and the name of the institution. Add a period after the brackets.   

Source Information: CSUSB ScholarWorks Electronic Theses, Projects, & Dissertations.  https://scholarworks.lib.csusb.edu/etd/918/

Complete the reference with the name of the website or archive where you found the project. After the name of the website or archive, add a period. Then, add the URL to the project. 

For more information about Master's Theses or Projects, see Section 10.6 on page 333 and example 66 on page 334 in the APA Manual, 7th edition. 

(Adame, 2019)

Adame (2019) distinguished between ...

  • << Previous: Magazine Article
  • Next: Movies & Streaming Video >>
  • Last Updated: Feb 19, 2024 2:51 PM
  • URL: https://libguides.css.edu/APA7thEd

Office of Undergraduate Education

University Honors Program

  • Honors Requirements
  • Major and Thesis Requirements
  • Courses & Experiences
  • Honors Courses
  • NEXUS Experiences
  • Non-Course Experiences
  • Faculty-Directed Research and Creative Projects
  • Community Engagement and Volunteering
  • Internships
  • Learning Abroad
  • Honors Thesis Guide
  • Sample Timeline
  • Important Dates and Deadlines
  • Requirements and Evaluation Criteria
  • Supervision and Approval
  • Credit and Honors Experiences
  • Style and Formatting
  • Submit Your Thesis
  • Submit to the Digital Conservancy
  • Honors Advising
  • Honors Reporting Center
  • Get Involved
  • University Honors Student Association
  • UHSA Executive Board
  • Honors Multicultural Network
  • Honors Mentor Program
  • Honors Recognition Ceremony
  • Honors Community & Housing
  • Freshman Invitation
  • Post-Freshman Admission
  • Frequently Asked Questions
  • Faculty Fellows
  • Faculty Resources
  • Honors Faculty Representatives
  • Internal Honors Scholarships
  • Office for National and International Scholarships
  • Letters of Recommendation
  • Personal Statements
  • Scholarship Information
  • Honors Lecture Series
  • Make a Donation
  • UHP Land Acknowledgment
  • UHP Policies

Thesis Style and Formatting

Style guides.

When preparing your honors thesis and citing sources, follow the style guide that is most appropriate to your field of study. For example:

  • Modern Language Association (MLA) style - common in the humanities
  • American Psychological Association (APA) style - common in the social sciences
  • Chicago style - common in history

Check with your faculty supervisor before choosing a style. Style and citation resources are available from the University Libraries .

The following formatting parameters should be strictly followed in most cases. However, certain types of theses, such as collections of poetry, may vary from these guidelines if necessary to the integrity of the work, with the faculty supervisor's assent.

  • Margins: at least 1" on all sides
  • Type size: no smaller than 11 point; 12 point preferred; a smaller font may be used for footnotes or end notes
  • Font:  use a standard, easily-readable font, such as Times New Roman
  • Spacing: double space all main text

Sections of the thesis include (and should be sequenced as follows):

  • Title Page: Prepared according to the thesis title page template
  • Acknowledgements (optional)
  • Abstract or Summary: No more than one double-spaced page. For thesis projects in the creative and performing arts, the summary must provide specifics about the exhibition or performance that the written thesis complements.
  • Non-technical Summary: (optional) recommended in cases where the abstract and thesis are too highly technical to be easily understood by non-specialists
  • Table of Contents (optional)
  • Body of the Thesis
  • Appendices (optional)
  • Bibliography or List of Works Cited
  • Summer Research Opportunities
  • Global Seminars and LAC Seminars

APA Style 6th Edition: Citing Your Sources

  • Basics of APA Formatting
  • In Text Quick View
  • Block Quotes
  • Books & eBooks
  • Thesis/Dissertation

Standard Format

Various examples.

  • Conference Presentations
  • Course Documents
  • Social Media
  • Government Documents
  • Academic Integrity and Plagiarism
  • Additional Resources
  • Sample Reference Page

Dissertation or thesis available from a database service:

Author Surname, First Initial. Second Initial. (year of publication).  Title of dissertation or thesis (Doctoral dissertation or master’s thesis).  Retrieved from Name of database.  (Accession or Order No.)

For an unpublished dissertation or thesis:

Author Surname, First Initial. Second Initial. (year of creation).  Title of dissertation or thesis (Unpublished doctoral dissertation or master’s thesis).  Name of Institution, Location.

See Ch 7 pp. 207-208 APA Manual for more examples and formatting rules

Formatting:

  • Italicize the title
  • Identify whether source is doctoral dissertation or master’s thesis in parentheses after the title
  • << Previous: Articles
  • Next: Websites >>
  • Last Updated: Sep 22, 2022 11:20 AM
  • URL: https://libguides.usc.edu/APA-citation-style

The Writing Center • University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Honors Theses

What this handout is about.

Writing a senior honors thesis, or any major research essay, can seem daunting at first. A thesis requires a reflective, multi-stage writing process. This handout will walk you through those stages. It is targeted at students in the humanities and social sciences, since their theses tend to involve more writing than projects in the hard sciences. Yet all thesis writers may find the organizational strategies helpful.

Introduction

What is an honors thesis.

That depends quite a bit on your field of study. However, all honors theses have at least two things in common:

  • They are based on students’ original research.
  • They take the form of a written manuscript, which presents the findings of that research. In the humanities, theses average 50-75 pages in length and consist of two or more chapters. In the social sciences, the manuscript may be shorter, depending on whether the project involves more quantitative than qualitative research. In the hard sciences, the manuscript may be shorter still, often taking the form of a sophisticated laboratory report.

Who can write an honors thesis?

In general, students who are at the end of their junior year, have an overall 3.2 GPA, and meet their departmental requirements can write a senior thesis. For information about your eligibility, contact:

  • UNC Honors Program
  • Your departmental administrators of undergraduate studies/honors

Why write an honors thesis?

Satisfy your intellectual curiosity This is the most compelling reason to write a thesis. Whether it’s the short stories of Flannery O’Connor or the challenges of urban poverty, you’ve studied topics in college that really piqued your interest. Now’s your chance to follow your passions, explore further, and contribute some original ideas and research in your field.

Develop transferable skills Whether you choose to stay in your field of study or not, the process of developing and crafting a feasible research project will hone skills that will serve you well in almost any future job. After all, most jobs require some form of problem solving and oral and written communication. Writing an honors thesis requires that you:

  • ask smart questions
  • acquire the investigative instincts needed to find answers
  • navigate libraries, laboratories, archives, databases, and other research venues
  • develop the flexibility to redirect your research if your initial plan flops
  • master the art of time management
  • hone your argumentation skills
  • organize a lengthy piece of writing
  • polish your oral communication skills by presenting and defending your project to faculty and peers

Work closely with faculty mentors At large research universities like Carolina, you’ve likely taken classes where you barely got to know your instructor. Writing a thesis offers the opportunity to work one-on-one with a with faculty adviser. Such mentors can enrich your intellectual development and later serve as invaluable references for graduate school and employment.

Open windows into future professions An honors thesis will give you a taste of what it’s like to do research in your field. Even if you’re a sociology major, you may not really know what it’s like to be a sociologist. Writing a sociology thesis would open a window into that world. It also might help you decide whether to pursue that field in graduate school or in your future career.

How do you write an honors thesis?

Get an idea of what’s expected.

It’s a good idea to review some of the honors theses other students have submitted to get a sense of what an honors thesis might look like and what kinds of things might be appropriate topics. Look for examples from the previous year in the Carolina Digital Repository. You may also be able to find past theses collected in your major department or at the North Carolina Collection in Wilson Library. Pay special attention to theses written by students who share your major.

Choose a topic

Ideally, you should start thinking about topics early in your junior year, so you can begin your research and writing quickly during your senior year. (Many departments require that you submit a proposal for an honors thesis project during the spring of your junior year.)

How should you choose a topic?

  • Read widely in the fields that interest you. Make a habit of browsing professional journals to survey the “hot” areas of research and to familiarize yourself with your field’s stylistic conventions. (You’ll find the most recent issues of the major professional journals in the periodicals reading room on the first floor of Davis Library).
  • Set up appointments to talk with faculty in your field. This is a good idea, since you’ll eventually need to select an advisor and a second reader. Faculty also can help you start narrowing down potential topics.
  • Look at honors theses from the past. The North Carolina Collection in Wilson Library holds UNC honors theses. To get a sense of the typical scope of a thesis, take a look at a sampling from your field.

What makes a good topic?

  • It’s fascinating. Above all, choose something that grips your imagination. If you don’t, the chances are good that you’ll struggle to finish.
  • It’s doable. Even if a topic interests you, it won’t work out unless you have access to the materials you need to research it. Also be sure that your topic is narrow enough. Let’s take an example: Say you’re interested in the efforts to ratify the Equal Rights Amendment in the 1970s and early 1980s. That’s a big topic that probably can’t be adequately covered in a single thesis. You need to find a case study within that larger topic. For example, maybe you’re particularly interested in the states that did not ratify the ERA. Of those states, perhaps you’ll select North Carolina, since you’ll have ready access to local research materials. And maybe you want to focus primarily on the ERA’s opponents. Beyond that, maybe you’re particularly interested in female opponents of the ERA. Now you’ve got a much more manageable topic: Women in North Carolina Who Opposed the ERA in the 1970s and 1980s.
  • It contains a question. There’s a big difference between having a topic and having a guiding research question. Taking the above topic, perhaps your main question is: Why did some women in North Carolina oppose the ERA? You will, of course, generate other questions: Who were the most outspoken opponents? White women? Middle-class women? How did they oppose the ERA? Public protests? Legislative petitions? etc. etc. Yet it’s good to start with a guiding question that will focus your research.

Goal-setting and time management

The senior year is an exceptionally busy time for college students. In addition to the usual load of courses and jobs, seniors have the daunting task of applying for jobs and/or graduate school. These demands are angst producing and time consuming If that scenario sounds familiar, don’t panic! Do start strategizing about how to make a time for your thesis. You may need to take a lighter course load or eliminate extracurricular activities. Even if the thesis is the only thing on your plate, you still need to make a systematic schedule for yourself. Most departments require that you take a class that guides you through the honors project, so deadlines likely will be set for you. Still, you should set your own goals for meeting those deadlines. Here are a few suggestions for goal setting and time management:

Start early. Keep in mind that many departments will require that you turn in your thesis sometime in early April, so don’t count on having the entire spring semester to finish your work. Ideally, you’ll start the research process the semester or summer before your senior year so that the writing process can begin early in the fall. Some goal-setting will be done for you if you are taking a required class that guides you through the honors project. But any substantive research project requires a clear timetable.

Set clear goals in making a timetable. Find out the final deadline for turning in your project to your department. Working backwards from that deadline, figure out how much time you can allow for the various stages of production.

Here is a sample timetable. Use it, however, with two caveats in mind:

  • The timetable for your thesis might look very different depending on your departmental requirements.
  • You may not wish to proceed through these stages in a linear fashion. You may want to revise chapter one before you write chapter two. Or you might want to write your introduction last, not first. This sample is designed simply to help you start thinking about how to customize your own schedule.

Sample timetable

Avoid falling into the trap of procrastination. Once you’ve set goals for yourself, stick to them! For some tips on how to do this, see our handout on procrastination .

Consistent production

It’s a good idea to try to squeeze in a bit of thesis work every day—even if it’s just fifteen minutes of journaling or brainstorming about your topic. Or maybe you’ll spend that fifteen minutes taking notes on a book. The important thing is to accomplish a bit of active production (i.e., putting words on paper) for your thesis every day. That way, you develop good writing habits that will help you keep your project moving forward.

Make yourself accountable to someone other than yourself

Since most of you will be taking a required thesis seminar, you will have deadlines. Yet you might want to form a writing group or enlist a peer reader, some person or people who can help you stick to your goals. Moreover, if your advisor encourages you to work mostly independently, don’t be afraid to ask them to set up periodic meetings at which you’ll turn in installments of your project.

Brainstorming and freewriting

One of the biggest challenges of a lengthy writing project is keeping the creative juices flowing. Here’s where freewriting can help. Try keeping a small notebook handy where you jot down stray ideas that pop into your head. Or schedule time to freewrite. You may find that such exercises “free” you up to articulate your argument and generate new ideas. Here are some questions to stimulate freewriting.

Questions for basic brainstorming at the beginning of your project:

  • What do I already know about this topic?
  • Why do I care about this topic?
  • Why is this topic important to people other than myself
  • What more do I want to learn about this topic?
  • What is the main question that I am trying to answer?
  • Where can I look for additional information?
  • Who is my audience and how can I reach them?
  • How will my work inform my larger field of study?
  • What’s the main goal of my research project?

Questions for reflection throughout your project:

  • What’s my main argument? How has it changed since I began the project?
  • What’s the most important evidence that I have in support of my “big point”?
  • What questions do my sources not answer?
  • How does my case study inform or challenge my field writ large?
  • Does my project reinforce or contradict noted scholars in my field? How?
  • What is the most surprising finding of my research?
  • What is the most frustrating part of this project?
  • What is the most rewarding part of this project?
  • What will be my work’s most important contribution?

Research and note-taking

In conducting research, you will need to find both primary sources (“firsthand” sources that come directly from the period/events/people you are studying) and secondary sources (“secondhand” sources that are filtered through the interpretations of experts in your field.) The nature of your research will vary tremendously, depending on what field you’re in. For some general suggestions on finding sources, consult the UNC Libraries tutorials . Whatever the exact nature of the research you’re conducting, you’ll be taking lots of notes and should reflect critically on how you do that. Too often it’s assumed that the research phase of a project involves very little substantive writing (i.e., writing that involves thinking). We sit down with our research materials and plunder them for basic facts and useful quotations. That mechanical type of information-recording is important. But a more thoughtful type of writing and analytical thinking is also essential at this stage. Some general guidelines for note-taking:

First of all, develop a research system. There are lots of ways to take and organize your notes. Whether you choose to use note cards, computer databases, or notebooks, follow two cardinal rules:

  • Make careful distinctions between direct quotations and your paraphrasing! This is critical if you want to be sure to avoid accidentally plagiarizing someone else’s work. For more on this, see our handout on plagiarism .
  • Record full citations for each source. Don’t get lazy here! It will be far more difficult to find the proper citation later than to write it down now.

Keeping those rules in mind, here’s a template for the types of information that your note cards/legal pad sheets/computer files should include for each of your sources:

Abbreviated subject heading: Include two or three words to remind you of what this sources is about (this shorthand categorization is essential for the later sorting of your sources).

Complete bibliographic citation:

  • author, title, publisher, copyright date, and page numbers for published works
  • box and folder numbers and document descriptions for archival sources
  • complete web page title, author, address, and date accessed for online sources

Notes on facts, quotations, and arguments: Depending on the type of source you’re using, the content of your notes will vary. If, for example, you’re using US Census data, then you’ll mainly be writing down statistics and numbers. If you’re looking at someone else’s diary, you might jot down a number of quotations that illustrate the subject’s feelings and perspectives. If you’re looking at a secondary source, you’ll want to make note not just of factual information provided by the author but also of their key arguments.

Your interpretation of the source: This is the most important part of note-taking. Don’t just record facts. Go ahead and take a stab at interpreting them. As historians Jacques Barzun and Henry F. Graff insist, “A note is a thought.” So what do these thoughts entail? Ask yourself questions about the context and significance of each source.

Interpreting the context of a source:

  • Who wrote/created the source?
  • When, and under what circumstances, was it written/created?
  • Why was it written/created? What was the agenda behind the source?
  • How was it written/created?
  • If using a secondary source: How does it speak to other scholarship in the field?

Interpreting the significance of a source:

  • How does this source answer (or complicate) my guiding research questions?
  • Does it pose new questions for my project? What are they?
  • Does it challenge my fundamental argument? If so, how?
  • Given the source’s context, how reliable is it?

You don’t need to answer all of these questions for each source, but you should set a goal of engaging in at least one or two sentences of thoughtful, interpretative writing for each source. If you do so, you’ll make much easier the next task that awaits you: drafting.

The dread of drafting

Why do we often dread drafting? We dread drafting because it requires synthesis, one of the more difficult forms of thinking and interpretation. If you’ve been free-writing and taking thoughtful notes during the research phase of your project, then the drafting should be far less painful. Here are some tips on how to get started:

Sort your “evidence” or research into analytical categories:

  • Some people file note cards into categories.
  • The technologically-oriented among us take notes using computer database programs that have built-in sorting mechanisms.
  • Others cut and paste evidence into detailed outlines on their computer.
  • Still others stack books, notes, and photocopies into topically-arranged piles.There is not a single right way, but this step—in some form or fashion—is essential!

If you’ve been forcing yourself to put subject headings on your notes as you go along, you’ll have generated a number of important analytical categories. Now, you need to refine those categories and sort your evidence. Everyone has a different “sorting style.”

Formulate working arguments for your entire thesis and individual chapters. Once you’ve sorted your evidence, you need to spend some time thinking about your project’s “big picture.” You need to be able to answer two questions in specific terms:

  • What is the overall argument of my thesis?
  • What are the sub-arguments of each chapter and how do they relate to my main argument?

Keep in mind that “working arguments” may change after you start writing. But a senior thesis is big and potentially unwieldy. If you leave this business of argument to chance, you may end up with a tangle of ideas. See our handout on arguments and handout on thesis statements for some general advice on formulating arguments.

Divide your thesis into manageable chunks. The surest road to frustration at this stage is getting obsessed with the big picture. What? Didn’t we just say that you needed to focus on the big picture? Yes, by all means, yes. You do need to focus on the big picture in order to get a conceptual handle on your project, but you also need to break your thesis down into manageable chunks of writing. For example, take a small stack of note cards and flesh them out on paper. Or write through one point on a chapter outline. Those small bits of prose will add up quickly.

Just start! Even if it’s not at the beginning. Are you having trouble writing those first few pages of your chapter? Sometimes the introduction is the toughest place to start. You should have a rough idea of your overall argument before you begin writing one of the main chapters, but you might find it easier to start writing in the middle of a chapter of somewhere other than word one. Grab hold where you evidence is strongest and your ideas are clearest.

Keep up the momentum! Assuming the first draft won’t be your last draft, try to get your thoughts on paper without spending too much time fussing over minor stylistic concerns. At the drafting stage, it’s all about getting those ideas on paper. Once that task is done, you can turn your attention to revising.

Peter Elbow, in Writing With Power, suggests that writing is difficult because it requires two conflicting tasks: creating and criticizing. While these two tasks are intimately intertwined, the drafting stage focuses on creating, while revising requires criticizing. If you leave your revising to the last minute, then you’ve left out a crucial stage of the writing process. See our handout for some general tips on revising . The challenges of revising an honors thesis may include:

Juggling feedback from multiple readers

A senior thesis may mark the first time that you have had to juggle feedback from a wide range of readers:

  • your adviser
  • a second (and sometimes third) faculty reader
  • the professor and students in your honors thesis seminar

You may feel overwhelmed by the prospect of incorporating all this advice. Keep in mind that some advice is better than others. You will probably want to take most seriously the advice of your adviser since they carry the most weight in giving your project a stamp of approval. But sometimes your adviser may give you more advice than you can digest. If so, don’t be afraid to approach them—in a polite and cooperative spirit, of course—and ask for some help in prioritizing that advice. See our handout for some tips on getting and receiving feedback .

Refining your argument

It’s especially easy in writing a lengthy work to lose sight of your main ideas. So spend some time after you’ve drafted to go back and clarify your overall argument and the individual chapter arguments and make sure they match the evidence you present.

Organizing and reorganizing

Again, in writing a 50-75 page thesis, things can get jumbled. You may find it particularly helpful to make a “reverse outline” of each of your chapters. That will help you to see the big sections in your work and move things around so there’s a logical flow of ideas. See our handout on  organization  for more organizational suggestions and tips on making a reverse outline

Plugging in holes in your evidence

It’s unlikely that you anticipated everything you needed to look up before you drafted your thesis. Save some time at the revising stage to plug in the holes in your research. Make sure that you have both primary and secondary evidence to support and contextualize your main ideas.

Saving time for the small stuff

Even though your argument, evidence, and organization are most important, leave plenty of time to polish your prose. At this point, you’ve spent a very long time on your thesis. Don’t let minor blemishes (misspellings and incorrect grammar) distract your readers!

Formatting and final touches

You’re almost done! You’ve researched, drafted, and revised your thesis; now you need to take care of those pesky little formatting matters. An honors thesis should replicate—on a smaller scale—the appearance of a dissertation or master’s thesis. So, you need to include the “trappings” of a formal piece of academic work. For specific questions on formatting matters, check with your department to see if it has a style guide that you should use. For general formatting guidelines, consult the Graduate School’s Guide to Dissertations and Theses . Keeping in mind the caveat that you should always check with your department first about its stylistic guidelines, here’s a brief overview of the final “finishing touches” that you’ll need to put on your honors thesis:

  • Honors Thesis
  • Name of Department
  • University of North Carolina
  • These parts of the thesis will vary in format depending on whether your discipline uses MLA, APA, CBE, or Chicago (also known in its shortened version as Turabian) style. Whichever style you’re using, stick to the rules and be consistent. It might be helpful to buy an appropriate style guide. Or consult the UNC LibrariesYear Citations/footnotes and works cited/reference pages  citation tutorial
  • In addition, in the bottom left corner, you need to leave space for your adviser and faculty readers to sign their names. For example:

Approved by: _____________________

Adviser: Prof. Jane Doe

  • This is not a required component of an honors thesis. However, if you want to thank particular librarians, archivists, interviewees, and advisers, here’s the place to do it. You should include an acknowledgments page if you received a grant from the university or an outside agency that supported your research. It’s a good idea to acknowledge folks who helped you with a major project, but do not feel the need to go overboard with copious and flowery expressions of gratitude. You can—and should—always write additional thank-you notes to people who gave you assistance.
  • Formatted much like the table of contents.
  • You’ll need to save this until the end, because it needs to reflect your final pagination. Once you’ve made all changes to the body of the thesis, then type up your table of contents with the titles of each section aligned on the left and the page numbers on which those sections begin flush right.
  • Each page of your thesis needs a number, although not all page numbers are displayed. All pages that precede the first page of the main text (i.e., your introduction or chapter one) are numbered with small roman numerals (i, ii, iii, iv, v, etc.). All pages thereafter use Arabic numerals (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, etc.).
  • Your text should be double spaced (except, in some cases, long excerpts of quoted material), in a 12 point font and a standard font style (e.g., Times New Roman). An honors thesis isn’t the place to experiment with funky fonts—they won’t enhance your work, they’ll only distract your readers.
  • In general, leave a one-inch inch margin on all sides. However, for the copy of your thesis that will be bound by the library, you need to leave a 1.25-inch margin on the left.

How do I defend my honors thesis?

Graciously, enthusiastically, and confidently. The term defense is scary and misleading—it conjures up images of a military exercise or an athletic maneuver. An academic defense ideally shouldn’t be a combative scene but a congenial conversation about the work’s merits and weaknesses. That said, the defense probably won’t be like the average conversation that you have with your friends. You’ll be the center of attention. And you may get some challenging questions. Thus, it’s a good idea to spend some time preparing yourself. First of all, you’ll want to prepare 5-10 minutes of opening comments. Here’s a good time to preempt some criticisms by frankly acknowledging what you think your work’s greatest strengths and weaknesses are. Then you may be asked some typical questions:

  • What is the main argument of your thesis?
  • How does it fit in with the work of Ms. Famous Scholar?
  • Have you read the work of Mr. Important Author?

NOTE: Don’t get too flustered if you haven’t! Most scholars have their favorite authors and books and may bring one or more of them up, even if the person or book is only tangentially related to the topic at hand. Should you get this question, answer honestly and simply jot down the title or the author’s name for future reference. No one expects you to have read everything that’s out there.

  • Why did you choose this particular case study to explore your topic?
  • If you were to expand this project in graduate school, how would you do so?

Should you get some biting criticism of your work, try not to get defensive. Yes, this is a defense, but you’ll probably only fan the flames if you lose your cool. Keep in mind that all academic work has flaws or weaknesses, and you can be sure that your professors have received criticisms of their own work. It’s part of the academic enterprise. Accept criticism graciously and learn from it. If you receive criticism that is unfair, stand up for yourself confidently, but in a good spirit. Above all, try to have fun! A defense is a rare opportunity to have eminent scholars in your field focus on YOU and your ideas and work. And the defense marks the end of a long and arduous journey. You have every right to be proud of your accomplishments!

Works consulted

We consulted these works while writing this handout. This is not a comprehensive list of resources on the handout’s topic, and we encourage you to do your own research to find additional publications. Please do not use this list as a model for the format of your own reference list, as it may not match the citation style you are using. For guidance on formatting citations, please see the UNC Libraries citation tutorial . We revise these tips periodically and welcome feedback.

Atchity, Kenneth. 1986. A Writer’s Time: A Guide to the Creative Process from Vision Through Revision . New York: W.W. Norton.

Barzun, Jacques, and Henry F. Graff. 2012. The Modern Researcher , 6th ed. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth Cengage Learning.

Elbow, Peter. 1998. Writing With Power: Techniques for Mastering the Writing Process . New York: Oxford University Press.

Graff, Gerald, and Cathy Birkenstein. 2014. “They Say/I Say”: The Moves That Matter in Academic Writing , 3rd ed. New York: W.W. Norton and Company.

Lamott, Anne. 1994. Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life . New York: Pantheon.

Lasch, Christopher. 2002. Plain Style: A Guide to Written English. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press.

Turabian, Kate. 2018. A Manual for Writers of Term Papers, Theses, Dissertations , 9th ed. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

You may reproduce it for non-commercial use if you use the entire handout and attribute the source: The Writing Center, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Make a Gift

In-text citation

Reference list.

  • Artificial intelligence
  • Audiovisual
  • Books and chapters
  • Conferences
  • Course materials
  • Government and business reports
  • Medicine and health sources
  • Music scores
  • Tables and figures

Theses and dissertations

  • Web and social media
  • Other sources
  • Print this page
  • Other styles AGLC4 APA 7th Chicago 17th (A) Notes Chicago 17th (B) Author-Date Harvard MLA 9th Vancouver
  • Referencing home

(Author's surname, Year)

This was seen in an Australian study (Couch, 2017). 

Couch (2017) suggests that…

  • Go to  Getting started >  In-text citation  to view other examples such as multiple authors.

Published thesis

Author, A. A. (Year). Title of thesis [Type of thesis, Name of institution awarding degree]. Name of archive or site. https://xxxxxx

Stored in a database

Author, A. A. (Year). Title of thesis (Database Publication number, if assigned) [Type of thesis, Name of institution awarding degree]. Database Name.

Taffe, S. (2017).  The Federal Council for the Advancement of Aborigines and Torres Strait Islanders: The politics of inter-racial coalition in Australia, 1958–1973.  [Doctoral thesis, Monash University]. Bridges.  https://doi.org/10.4225/03/59d4482289ea4

Bozeman, A. Jr. (2007).  Age of onset as predictor of cognitive performance in children with seizure disorders  (Publication No. 3259752) [Doctoral dissertation, The Chicago School of Professional Psychology]. ProQuest Dissertations and Theses Global.

Unpublished thesis

Author, A. A. (Year).  Title of thesis or dissertation  [Unpublished Doctoral dissertation or Master's thesis]. Name of Institution.

Imber, A. (2003).  Applicant reactions to graduate recruitment and selection  [Unpublished Doctoral dissertation]. Monash University. 

For further guidance, see the APA Style website- Published Dissertation or Thesis , Unpublished Dissertation or Theses .

  • << Previous: Tables and figures
  • Next: Web and social media >>
  • Last Updated: Feb 23, 2024 9:04 AM
  • URL: https://guides.lib.monash.edu/apa-7

how to cite honors thesis apa

Plagiarism Checker

Compare your paper to billions of pages and articles with Scribbr’s Turnitin-powered plagiarism checker.

Run a free check

how to cite honors thesis apa

AI Proofreader

Correct your document in minutes.

Upload my document

how to cite honors thesis apa

Proofreading & Editing

Have a human editor polish your writing to ensure your arguments are judged on merit, not grammar errors.

Get expert writing help

how to cite honors thesis apa

Check your Citations

Improve your in-text citations and references for errors and inconsistencies using Scribbr's AI technology or human experts.

how to cite honors thesis apa

Paraphraser

Rewrite and paraphrase texts instantly with our AI-powered paraphrasing tool.

Try for free

how to cite honors thesis apa

Grammar Checker

Eliminate grammar errors and improve your writing with our free AI-powered grammar checker.

Thesis / Dissertation

Cite a thesis or dissertation (unpublished, published online, or accessed through a database). Use other forms to cite books , journal articles , reports , and conference proceedings .

Purdue Online Writing Lab Purdue OWL® College of Liberal Arts

Reference List: Other Print Sources

OWL logo

Welcome to the Purdue OWL

This page is brought to you by the OWL at Purdue University. When printing this page, you must include the entire legal notice.

Copyright ©1995-2018 by The Writing Lab & The OWL at Purdue and Purdue University. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, reproduced, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission. Use of this site constitutes acceptance of our terms and conditions of fair use.

Note:  This page reflects the latest version of the APA Publication Manual (i.e., APA 7), which released in October 2019. The equivalent resource for the older APA 6 style  can be found here .

Important Note: Because the 7 th edition of the APA Publication Manual heavily emphasizes digital and electronic sources, it does not contain explicit instructions for certain less-common print sources that earlier editions covered. For this reason, some of the examples below have been adapted from the instructions for sources with similar attributes (e.g., the conference proceedings example is derived from the instructions the 7 th edition manual gives for citing edited collections). Every example below that has been adapted in this way is accompanied by a note explaining how it was adapted.

Please also note: While this resource contains many examples of citations for uncommon print sources that we think are helpful, it may not account for every possibility. For even more examples of how to cite uncommon print sources, please refer to the 7 th edition of the APA Publication Manual.

Entry in a Dictionary, Thesaurus, or Encyclopedia with a Group Author

The 7 th edition of the APA manual does not provide specific guidance on how to cite physical reference works such as dictionaries, thesauruses, or encyclopedias. Therefore, this citation, as well as the one for an individual author of an entry in a reference work, is modeled on that of a chapter in an edited book or anthology, both which are similar in format to reference works.

Institution or organization name. (Year). Title of entry. In Title of reference work (edition, page numbers). Publisher name.

Merriam-Webster, Incorporated. (1997). Goat. In Merriam Webster’s collegiate dictionary (10 th ed., pp. 499-500). Merriam-Webster, Incorporated.

Entry in a Dictionary, Thesaurus, or Encyclopedia with an Individual Author

Lastname, F. M. (Year). Title of entry. In F. M. Lastname (ed.), Title of reference work (edition, page numbers). Publisher.

Tatum, S. R. (2009). Spirituality and religion in hip hop literature and culture. In T. L. Stanley (ed.), Encyclopedia of hip hop literature (pp. 250-252). Greenwood.

Work Discussed in a Secondary Source

Provide the source in which the original work was referenced:

Nail, T. (2017). What is an assemblage? SubStance , 46 (1), 21-37. http://sub.uwpress.org/lookup/doi/10.3368/ss.46.1.21

Note: Provide the secondary source in the references list; in the text, name the original work, and give a citation for the secondary source. For example, if Deleuze and Guattari’s work is cited in Nail and you did not read the original work, list the Nail reference in the References. In the text, use the following citation: 

Deleuze and Guattari’s concept of the assemblage (as cited in Nail, 2017)….

Dissertation Abstract

The 7 th edition of the APA manual does not provide specific guidance on how to cite dissertation abstracts. Therefore, this citation models that of a journal article, which is similar in format.

Lastname, F. M. (Year). Title of dissertation. Dissertation Abstracts International , Vol., Page.

Angeli, E. L. (2012). Networks of communication in emergency medical services. Dissertation Abstracts International, 74 , 03(E).

Dissertation or Master’s Thesis, Published

Lastname, F. M. (Year). Title of dissertation/thesis (Publication No.) [Doctoral dissertation/Master’s thesis, Name of Institution Awarding the Degree]. Database or Archive Name.

Angeli, E. L. (2012). Networks of communication in emergency medical services (Publication No. 3544643) [Doctoral dissertation, Purdue University]. ProQuest Dissertations Publishing.

Note: If the dissertation or thesis is not published in a database, include the URL of the site where the document is located.

Dissertation or Master’s Thesis, Unpublished

Lastname, F. M. (Year). Title of dissertation/thesis [Unpublished doctoral dissertation/master’s thesis]. Name of Institution Awarding the Degree. 

Samson, J. M. (2016). Human trafficking and globalization [Unpublished doctoral dissertation]. Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University.

Federal or State Statute

Name of Act, Public Law No. (Year). URL

The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, Publ. L. No. 111-148, 124 Stat. 119 (2010).  https://www.govinfo.gov/content/pkg/PLAW-111publ148/pdf/PLAW-111publ148.pdf

Report by a Government Agency or Other Organization

Organization Name. (Year). Title of report. URL

United States Government Accountability Office. (2019). Performance and accountability report: Fiscal year 2019 . https://www.gao.gov/assets/710/702715.pdf

Report by Individual Authors at Government Agency or Other Organization

Lastname, F. M., & Lastname, F. M. (Year). Title of report . Organization Name. URL

Palanker, D., Volk, J., Lucia, K., & Thomas, K. (2018). Mental health parity at risk: Deregulating the individual market and the impact on mental health coverage . National Alliance on Mental Illness. https://www.nami.org/About-NAMI/Publications-Reports/Public-Policy-Reports/Parity-at-Risk/ParityatRisk.pdf  

Conference Proceedings

The 7 th edition of the APA manual does not provide guidance on citing conference proceedings. Therefore, this citation models that of an edited collection, which is similar in format.

Lastname, F. M., & Lastname, F. M. (Eds.). (Year). Title of Proceedings . Publisher. URL (if applicable)

Huang, S., Pierce, R., & Stamey, J. (Eds.). (2006). Proceedings of the 24 th annual ACM international conference on the design of communication . ACM Digital Library. https://dl.acm.org/citation.cfm?id=1166324&picked=prox

Citation guides

All you need to know about citations

How to cite an honors thesis in Chicago

Chicago style honors thesis citation

To cite an honors thesis in a reference entry in Chicago style 17th edition include the following elements:

  • Author(s) of the thesis: Give first the last name, then the name as presented in the source (e. g. Watson, John). For two authors, reverse only the first name, followed by ‘and’ and the second name in normal order (e. g. Watson, John, and John Watson). For more than seven authors, list the first seven names followed by et al.
  • Title of the thesis: Give the title in quotation marks.
  • Degree: Type of degree.
  • University: Give the name of the institution.
  • Year of publication: Give the year of publication as presented in the source.

Here is the basic format for a reference list entry of an honors thesis in Chicago style 17th edition:

Author(s) of the thesis . " Title of the thesis ." Degree , University , Year of publication .

Take a look at our reference list examples that demonstrate the Chicago style guidelines in action:

An undergraduate honors thesis with one author

Stevens, Indira . " Iron Complexes for Photocatalytic Hydrogen Generation ." Undergraduate honors thesis , William & Mary University , 2019 .

An undergraduate honors thesis with two authors

Zhang, Irene Y., and Richard D. Goffin . " Evil Geniuses at Work: Does Intelligence Interact with the Dark Triad to Predict Workplace Deviance? " Undergraduate honors thesis , Western U , 2018 .

chicago cover page

This citation style guide is based on the Chicago Manual of Style (17 th edition).

More useful guides

  • Chicago Citation Quickguide
  • How to Cite A Dissertation
  • Citing and referencing: University theses and dissertations

More great BibGuru guides

  • APA: how to cite a financial report
  • APA: how to cite a textbook
  • Chicago: how to cite a Facebook post

Automatic citations in seconds

Citation generators

Alternative to.

  • NoodleTools
  • Getting started

From our blog

  • 📚 How to write a book report
  • 📝 APA Running Head
  • 📑 How to study for a test

IMAGES

  1. APA Citations for a Thesis or Dissertation

    how to cite honors thesis apa

  2. How to cite a thesis or dissertation using APA style

    how to cite honors thesis apa

  3. APA: how to cite an honors thesis [Update 2023]

    how to cite honors thesis apa

  4. How to Cite a Thesis or Dissertation in APA

    how to cite honors thesis apa

  5. How to Cite a Thesis in APA: 8 Steps (with Pictures)

    how to cite honors thesis apa

  6. APA Citations for a Thesis or Dissertation

    how to cite honors thesis apa

VIDEO

  1. Tu Hi Re

  2. APA style: How to Cite Books

  3. #CHUtorial : Common APA Citation Formats

  4. APA Citation

  5. Honors thesis video 2

  6. APA FORMAT REFERENCE LIST USING GOOGLE SCHOLAR

COMMENTS

  1. How to cite an honors thesis in APA

    Here is the basic format for a reference list entry of an honors thesis in APA style 7th edition: Author (s) of the thesis. ( Year of publication ). Title of the honors thesis ( Publication number) [Honors thesis, Name of the degree awarding institution ]. Name of Platform. URL APA reference list examples

  2. Published Dissertation or Thesis References

    In the source element of the reference, provide the name of the database, repository, or archive. The same format can be adapted for other published theses, including undergraduate theses, by changing the wording of the bracketed description as appropriate (e.g., "Undergraduate honors thesis").

  3. How to Cite a Thesis or Dissertation in APA

    Create manual citation In this citation guide, you will learn how to reference and cite an undergraduate thesis, master's thesis, or doctoral dissertation. This guide will also review the differences between a thesis or dissertation that is published and one that has remained unpublished.

  4. How to Cite a Dissertation in APA Style

    To cite a dissertation or thesis from a database, use the following format. In the square brackets, specify the type of dissertation or thesis and the university. As with other database sources, no URL or DOI is included. Tip Scribbr's free APA Citation Generator automatically creates accurate citations. Table of contents

  5. Theses and Dissertations

    A thesis is an unpublished document produced by student as part of the requirements for the degree. They come at various levels (e.g. Honours, Masters, PhD, etc). Check with your lecturer before using a thesis for your assignment. Last Updated: Jan 5, 2024 2:57 PM URL: https://libguides.jcu.edu.au/apa Print Page Academic Success

  6. Thesis/Dissertation

    Formatting: Italicize the title Identify whether source is doctoral dissertation or master's thesis in parentheses after the title Various Examples See Ch. 10 pp. 313-352 of APA Manual for more examples and formatting rules Last Updated: Nov 1, 2023 3:17 PM

  7. Honors Project Style Guide: APA

    Honors Project Style Guide: APA Citation Tools APA Style Who Uses It? Basic Citation Information Basic Formatting Information These disciplines tend to use APA Citation and Formatting Style: Business Communication Studies Communication Sciences & Disorders Criminal Justice Education Geography Nursing Political Science Psychology Sociology

  8. Thesis

    This is a guide to using the APA 7th referencing style from the American Psychological Association. It is based on the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association. Thesis - from website Thesis - from database << Previous: Television program Next: Video >> Last Updated: Jan 3, 2024 3:09 PM

  9. Theses and dissertations

    APA 7th Referencing Style Guide Terminology - Thesis, dissertation or exegesis? Thesis and dissertation can mean different things depending on where the degree is awarded. Always check the title page, or subsequent pages, to determine exactly what the work is and use the information for your reference.

  10. APA Citations for a Thesis or Dissertation

    The APA dissertation or thesis citation isn't a one size fits all type of citation. The reason behind this is because APA offers a different format for a published and unpublished thesis or dissertation. However, you'll need to include information like: Author, A. A. (Year). Title of doctoral dissertation or master's thesis (Publication ...

  11. Citation Help for APA, 7th Edition: Master's Thesis, Dissertation, or

    Author: Panasuk, K. N. Begin the reference with the author's last name first. Then, add the initials for the first and middle names (if the middle name or middle initial is provided). Add a period after each initial, and if there is a middle initial, add a space between the initials. Year of Publication: (2008).

  12. Thesis Style and Formatting

    When preparing your honors thesis and citing sources, follow the style guide that is most appropriate to your field of study. For example: Modern Language Association (MLA) style - common in the humanities American Psychological Association (APA) style - common in the social sciences Chicago style - common in history

  13. Thesis/Dissertation

    Dissertation or thesis available from a database service: Author Surname, First Initial. Second Initial. (year of publication). Title of dissertation or thesis (Doctoral dissertation or master's thesis). Retrieved from Name of database. (Accession or Order No.) For an unpublished dissertation or thesis: Author Surname, First Initial. Second ...

  14. Honors Theses

    Introduction What is an honors thesis? That depends quite a bit on your field of study. However, all honors theses have at least two things in common: They are based on students' original research. They take the form of a written manuscript, which presents the findings of that research.

  15. Subject guides: APA 7th: Theses and dissertations

    APA 7th; Theses and dissertations; Search this Guide Search. APA 7th. Getting started. In-text citation ; Reference list ; ... Reference list. Format Online. Author, A. A. (Year). Title of thesis [Type of thesis, Name of institution awarding degree]. Name of archive or site. https://xxxxxx. Stored in a database ...

  16. How to cite an undergraduate thesis in APA

    How to cite an undergraduate thesis in APA Published Unpublished If the thesis is available from a database, archive or any online platform use the following template: Author (s) of the thesis: Give the last name and initials (e. g. Watson, J. D.) of up to 20 authors with the last name preceded by an ampersand (&).

  17. apa honors thesis

    How to cite an honors thesis in APA. Google Docs; To cite an honors thesis in a reference entry in APA style 6th edition include the following elements: Author(s) of the thesis: Give the last name and initials (e. g. Watson, J. D.) of up to seven authors with the last name preceded by an ampersand (&). For eight or more authors include the ...

  18. How to Cite a Thesis in APA

    The citation that includes the author and year would then come at the end of the statement in parentheses. These in-text citations refer the reader to the bibliography page for the full citation. Footnotes are useful when you want to insert a citation without interrupting the flow of the sentence or paragraph. Footnotes include a superscript ...

  19. APA Formatting and Style Guide (7th Edition)

    Basic guidelines for formatting the reference list at the end of a standard APA research paper Author/Authors Rules for handling works by a single author or multiple authors that apply to all APA-style references in your reference list, regardless of the type of work (book, article, electronic resource, etc.)

  20. Cite a Thesis / Dissertation

    Thesis / Dissertation. Cite a thesis or dissertation (unpublished, published online, or accessed through a database). Use other forms to cite books, journal articles, reports, and conference proceedings.

  21. How to cite an honors thesis in Harvard

    To cite an honors thesis in a reference entry in Harvard style include the following elements: Author (s) of the honors thesis: Give the last name and initials (e. g. Watson, J.) of up to three authors with the last name preceded by 'and'.

  22. Reference List: Other Print Sources

    The 7 th edition of the APA manual does not provide specific guidance on how to cite physical reference works such as dictionaries, thesauruses, or encyclopedias.

  23. How to cite an honors thesis in AMA

    Year of publication: Give the year of publication. Here is the basic format for a reference list entry of an honors thesis in AMA style 11st edition: Author (s) of the thesis. Title of the honor thesis. [ Honors thesis ]. Location: Name of the degree awarding institution; Year of publication.

  24. How to cite an honors thesis in Chicago

    To cite an honors thesis in a reference entry in Chicago style 17th edition include the following elements: Author (s) of the thesis: Give first the last name, then the name as presented in the source (e. g. Watson, John).