How to Cite a Dissertation APA: Students’ Ultimate Guide


How to Cite a Dissertation APA: Students’ Ultimate Guide

All doctoral degree programs in Social science require applicants to deliver an excellent desperation in APA style. How to cite a dissertation APA and why it’s important?

  • Citing is a key to fulfill the academic assignment successfully.
  • It proves your thesis and gives the credits to your research work.
  • You need to know how to make proper English citations for printed, electronic books, magazines, websites, journal, retrieved online articles, photo, structure title, author, retrieved articles, database, and accession number.
  • With our guide, you will learn how to write the title, author’s name, publishing, and other items correctly.

How to Cite a Dissertation APA?

Getting a master’s degree at university, you'll meet APA style. Search for information about academic requirements in 6th edition American Psychological Association? Our guide will give you the answers to essential questions. First, let us remind you about APA in case you not close to the topic. It is one of the editorial styles which establishing a set of rules requested in dissertations. It is mostly found in a specific field like psychology or education. You’ll meet APA formatting style during graduation and getting a degree in Social sciences. The style has its own format for each part of your dissertation, including in-text citation or listing references.

APA Quotations

Material quoted directly from another source (i.e., reproduced word for word from works by other authors, your own previously published work, material replicated from a test item, and/or verbatim instructions to participants) must always provide the author, year, and specific page(s) in the text citation (for sources that don’t have page numbers, see the APA Style Blog post on citing a Kindle listed below) and include a complete entry in the reference list.

If the quotation includes fewer than 40 words, incorporate it in text and enclose it with double quotation marks. If the quotation includes more than 40 words, it should be treated as a block quotation, meaning that it is displayed in a freestanding block of text without quotation marks.

If material is paraphrased (i.e., restated in your own words), always provide the author and date in the in-text citation. It is not necessary to include the page number(s) in the citation, but it may be helpful, especially if the source is very long (e.g., a short passage from a whole book).

Why Do You Need APA Citation?

Any dissertation includes a basic list of references to the sources which student used during his investigation. Citing increasing the credibility of the dissertations and provides the reader with reliable evidence of your theses. It helps them with a broad understanding of the issue. You must make a brief citation inside the body paragraph, while you explain your suggestions. However, reveal the whole list of sources at the end of the dissertation. Here you find two types of citation:

  1. In-text. You'll see it in the body of your dissertation. It is the best way to prove the statement or support your suggestion. It’s up to you what to prefer in the text: make a direct quote or paraphrases.
  2. Reference citation. The long list of sources is a must-have for any dissertation. Here you are supposed to present all books, articles, magazines, websites, interview, and pictures you choose to conduct your research.

Citation in the text

It gives the credit for your dissertation. How to present the citation correctly?

  • Make a quotation or paraphrase in the dissertation.
  • Put the citation in a specific format. Place the writer's last name, add the publishing year, and indicate page number.

The final chord of the dissertation is the reference list where you collect all the sources. Generally, the citation format of various sources is similar. However, you can easily find some difference. Citation for books, e-sources, websites varies from printed sources. Broadly, you should stick to the following format in the dissertation:

  • Author. Write his (or her) last name first, put initially. Don't forget to place a period at the end of the line.

Example: Levitt, S.D.

The chosen source has two or more authors? Include both of them in the body. When the source has more than 6 writers, mention only the first one: you’ll give the whole list at the end of the dissertation.

  • Editors. The book has several editors instead of one author? Display all of them and put Ed. after making name list.
  • Publication dates. Place the date of publishing when you refer to an article and put the month and day.
  • Publisher. Don't mention the names of periodicals’ publishers. Mostly, writers’ names are only for books, interview, and articles.

Citing a printed book

How to cite a dissertation APA? It’s easy to remember the format. First, put the writer’s name. Second, give the information about the publishing year. Write the title, city publishing, and publisher. Also please check how to write annotated bibliography

Example: John C, G (1975).  No way out. Massachusetts. Andrew and Edison.

Capitalize the first letter of almost every word. Put the name of the publishing in italics including subtitles.

Citing an e-book

Many students have no idea what to do with electronic books. We cannot make a reference to the publisher or the page in the dissertation. But we can mention the website address.

Remember the format: Writer, a year of publication, work title.

  • You need to include URL starting with “https:” at the end of the quotation.
  • Right in front of the URL write retrieved from.
  • Don't use a period after the reference.

If you take the data from a periodical article website, it's likely you can find the direct object identifier. What is it? In general, it is a set of unique numbers and letters. If you get lost and cannot find a direct object for the retrieved article, don’t worry. You can use URL as it’s allowed by APA style in a dissertation.

Example: Lennigton, G. (2016, May 23). Gerald has invited the best Spy App. Retrieved from (place URL)


What to do with magazine citing?

Printed magazine. Put the author's name, yyyy.mm.dd. Title. Initialize the magazine title.

Example: Mettiot A. (2017, May). The big boss. Equalizer, 67 (14), 2-5.

Website magazine. See the example above. It is almost the same excluding the page number. Place URL instead.

Example: Fernando, G. (2016, June). How to double the profit? Financial Times, 124 (23). Retrieved from (place URL)

Citing a printed article

Follow format: author's name, the year of publishing. Title and page. For multiple pages, use pp. The retrieved article was printed on separated pages? Display all of them with a comma (e.g., pp. D2, D5p, D9-11).

Example: Billinsky, F. (2015, April 22). Customs services in the modern age. The times, p. 6E.

Online newspaper

Follow the same structure, but place URL at the end of the line.

What to do with a photo?

It happens that conducting research we use images that provide us with additional data, especially, in a social field. But the basic structure of citing photo in the body is similar to books or articles. Put author's name, YYYY-MM-DD of publication, write the photo title. Please add the city of publishing along with publisher or exhibition where the picture can be found.

Ederic, S.F. (Photographer). (1998). Coliseum, Rome. [photograph]. Washington, art gallery.

Online pictures. Are you going to retrieve the photo from online sources? Stick to the same format. However, add URL at the end of the line.

Brodsky, S. (Photographer). (2018, May 21). Buckingham Palace. Place your URL

Dissertation Reference List

The listing includes only the references that you’ve mentioned in the body. Use alphabetical order to present it correctly.

Malcom G. (2011). The power of thinking without thinking. Washington: Edit Publishing.

Keep in mind the document should be in Times New Roman, 12 point font size. Use double-spaced for the entire dissertation.

Hoping our guide will help you to arrange the data and lead you to excellent grades. When you finalize your first dissertation in APA format, you’ll get that it’s an exciting job! Check on our website to get information about MLA or Chicago styles.

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