Educational Research
APA Citation for Dissertations

Citing a student project such as a masters thesis or doctoral dissertation requires the following information: author name, year the project was completed, project title, type of project, the university name, and the city where the university is located. Student projects follow the typical first elements of a reference: Author. (Date). Title of work in italics. After this, write Unpublished and then list the type of student project, typically either doctoral dissertation or master's thesis. Put a comma after the project type, then list the university name followed by a comma, and the location of the university. Below is the first page of a dissertation.

The author of the project is Joni M. Lakin. The project was completed in 2010. The title of the paper is "Comparison of test directions for ability tests: Impact on young English-language learner and non-ELL students." The first page describes the project as a thesis for the doctor of philosophy. When citing a PhD thesis, it is referenced as a "doctoral dissertation." The name of the university can also be found on this page: University of Iowa. However, to find the location of the university it is necessary to flip to page two below.

Page two gives the university location: Iowa City, IA. The complete reference looks like this:

Lakin, J. M. (2010). Comparison of test directions for ability tests: Impact on young English-language learner and non-ELL students. Unpublished doctoral dissertation, University of Iowa, Iowa City, IA.

Here is the first page of another student project.

This project is a master's thesis. The university is University of Wisconsin located in Madison, Wisconsin (abbreviated WI). Here is the correct reference:

McCain, C. R. (2007). Writing the angel: Helon Habila's Waiting for an Angel. Unpublished master's thesis, University of Madison, Madison, WI.

Write the complete reference for the next student project by yourself and carefully check your reference against the correct reference below.

Korb, A. (2008). Dealing with failure: Athletes' psychological responses to handling sports related failure. Unpublished master's thesis, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN.


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