Dissertation Writing: How to Cite a Dissertation

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by Will Martins / Updated November 14, 2023

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Dissertation writing is a time- and effort-consuming undertaking. Students working on similar projects should be competent in the peculiarities of the academic writing requirements, thesis format, and style. At this point, it is critical to mention that referencing is more than formality, when it comes to the thesis papers. It is an effective tool that can emphasize the integrity of research and showcase the professionalism of the writer. Keep reading to detect helpful guidelines and tips on how to cite a dissertation. Exploring resources like easyessay can also provide valuable insights as you navigate through the intricacies of dissertation writing and citation.

What Is Academic Referencing? 

Before you dive into the instructions on how to cite thesis, you should come up with the basics. Scholarly referencing is a complex of conventions that are aimed at pointing the audience towards data sources used in the text. Writing a college project, it is inevitable to remember multiple referencing styles that can be used in the thesis. However, no matter if you use thesis MLA format, APA, or Chicago style, you will have to include the information about the writer, title of the paper, year of publication, place of publication, and other details. Exploring insights from speedypaper reviews can offer additional perspectives and guidance as you navigate through the intricacies of thesis citation and referencing.

When Should the Scholar Use References? 

Are you concerned about how to cite a dissertation MLA? Take a chance to get the detailed instructions I have singled out below to succeed with the MLA dissertation citation. Follow the pattern and get an opportunity to advance the quality of your writing. 

While a considerable number of learners are searching for detailed guidelines on how to cite the dissertation right, others still cannot understand why this point is that important. In a nutshell, referencing is a powerful tool that helps to avoid plagiarism in an academic paper, emphasize the academic value of the paper, and provide readers with different points of view on the same subject matter.

What Is the Best Reference System to Use? 

Before you start analyzing the available reference systems, you should double-check the college requirements. In the overwhelming majority of instances, students have no choice. Instead, they should learn how to cite a thesis MLA, which is exceptionally common for academic projects. However, once you are granted the desired freedom, you should be cautious making the choice. There is no magic formula on how to pick the best citation style, so students should analyze the type of paper, academic level, and subject that will help them make the right choice. Check out sample Chicago, APA, and MLA citation dissertation to detect the most appealing ones. 

Citing Dissertations in Various Styles

If you are a college student, you should know that working on the dissertation is a complicated and complex process that requires not only excellent writing skills but also profound knowledge of the Chicago, APA, and MLA thesis citation styles. Take your time to analyze the most common styles to select the appropriate one and come up with an impeccable paper worth the highest grade.


If you are working on a dissertation in cultural studies, arts, humanities, or literature, you should check out the guidelines on how to cite a thesis paper MLA. Focus on the discrepancies between the different types of citations to come up with the best option. 

  • Published dissertation. The format of the MLA citation of the published thesis includes the following data: Last name of the writer, first name. Title of the paper. Year of publication. Name of University, Academic Degree. 
  • Online dissertation. Citing dissertation MLA that is available online, it is inevitable to follow the structure: Last name of the writer, First name. Title of the Paper. Name of the University, type of academic degree. Website name, URL.
  • Unpublished dissertation. The rules for citing an unpublished dissertation are as follows: Last name, First name of the author. Title of the Paper, University name, type of dissertation. 


The APA style is quite common for papers in social sciences, natural sciences, management sciences, and humanities. Similar to other citation styles, the rules of referencing will vary a bit, depending on the specifications of the dissertations. Thus, published and unpublished works will be cited differently. Check out multiple examples so that you are aware of the basic discrepancies.

  • Published dissertation. The structure of the published dissertation citation includes the following information: Author’s last name, initials. (Year of publication). Title (Publication No.) [Academic degree, Name of institution]. Database name. The intext citations will only contain data about the author and year of publication. 
  • Unpublished dissertation. Proper formatting of the unpublished dissertation citation is as follows: Authors last name, initials. (Yes of publication). Title [Academic degree]. Name of the institution. The intext citation will also contain information about the author and the year of dissertation publication). 
  • Online published dissertation. When it comes to the APA formatting style, the format of the online and paper dissertation will vary. Thus, citing the online published thesis, you should include the following data: Author’s last name, initials. (Yes of publication). Title [Academic degree, Name of institution]. Name of collection. URL


Chicago citation style is also popular among college students who are working on dissertations. At this point, it is inevitable to mention a few critical aspects that may influence the final result. 

  • Published dissertation. The way you cite will depend on the format. Thus, taking into account the note format, the information included in the citation should be as follows: first and last name of the author, “Title of the Paper” (Publisher, year of publication). As for the bibliography entry, the data will be a bit reduced: last name of the author, first name. “Title of the Paper” year.
  • Online dissertation. The note format of online published dissertation citation includes Note #. First and last name of the author, “Title of the Paper,” Database Name, Yes, URL. As for the bibliography entry, it will be modified: Last name of the writer, first name. “Title of the Paper: Subtitle”. Database name, year. URL. 
  • Unpublished dissertation. The note format of the unpublished dissertation citation presupposes the following information: Note #. First and last name of the author, “Title of the Paper,” Dissertation type, University. Yes. The bibliography entry includes information about the Last name of the writer, first name. “Title of the Paper.” Dissertation type. University. Yes.

Simple Tips to Succeed with the Dissertation Reference

Referencing is complicated, especially if you want to comply with the requirements and keep the dissertation flawless. At the same time, it is inevitable to mention that even though the process may take some time, the struggle is real. Following the guidelines, even inexperienced learners have a chance to thrive with the assignment. Focus on the discrepancies between the formatting styles and mind the peculiarities of each one of them. Besides, check out extra tips that will contribute to the quality of your paper formatting and will simplify your task. 

  • Stay consistent. Working on a dissertation, you will have to deal with tons of sources. If you are convinced that referencing is the last stage of work on your scholarly project, you are mistaken. This is the aspect that should be accomplished simultaneously with the essay writing. Do you use the information from a specific data source in your paper? Write down the original work so that you will not have to spend extra time afterward to search for the source.
  • Get help. If you find it complicated to format the citation right, you can always get qualified assistance. Browsing the web, you will detect the multitude of essay writing platforms that can provide learners with the necessary assistance. Additionally, there is an array of online platforms and tools that can be used for proper referencing. No matter if you use the information from published or unpublished dissertations or other types of papers, the software will generate the proper reference.


When it comes to dissertation writing, it is indispensable to mind the formatting rules that can either advance the quality of the paper or affect it. The style of the essay will depend mainly on the guidelines given by the professor and the subject. In the vast majority of instances, dissertations in arts and humanities are written in MLA style. At the same time, it is critical to emphasize that the papers in literature are formatted mainly using the APA format, while the essays in history, fine arts, busi

Plagiarism is one of the worst enemies of college students, especially the ones working on academic writing projects. Poor formatting and citation-related mistakes are the most common reasons for instances of plagiarism. Striving to prevent any risks, the student should make maximum effort to stick to the rules and cite the used sources in compliance with the requirements.

The three terms are used to define the same thing but in different formatting styles. If you format the dissertation using the MLA style, you should use the Works Cited as the final page of the paper. References are more typical of the APA style, while the Bibliography is common for the Chicago style.

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