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APA (7th Edition) Style Guide: Thesis/Dissertation

APA (7th Edition) Style Guide

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Thesis/Dissertation Standard Format

Unpublished Dissertations and Theses
Who When What Where
Author, A. A. (year). Title of dissertation/thesis: Use sentence case [Unpublished doctoral dissertation/master’s thesis]. Name of Institution Awarding the Degree
Published Dissertations and Theses
When When What Database or Archive Name URL
Author, A. A. (year).

Title of dissertation: Use sentence case [Doctoral dissertation, Name of Institution Awarding the Degree].

Title of thesis.  [Master’s thesis, Name of Institution Awarding the Degree].

Database Name. 

Archive Name.


American Psychological Association. (2020). Publication manual of the American Psychological Association (7th ed).

Thesis/Dissertation Formatting Rules

  • Italicize the title
  • Identify whether source is doctoral dissertation or master’s thesis in parentheses after the title

Thesis/Dissertation Examples

Thesis, from a commercial database

Lope, M. D. (2014). Perceptions of global mindedness in the international

baccalaureate middle years programme: The relationship to student academic performance and teacher characteristics (Order No. 3682837) [Doctoral disertation, University of Maryland]. ProQuest Dissertations and Theses Global. 

Dissertation, from an institutional database

Andrea, H. (2014). Effective networked nonprofit organizations: Defining the behavior

and creating an instrument for measurement (Doctoral dissertation).

Unpublished master’s thesis

Curry, J.  (2016).  A guide to educating single mothers about early gang intervention and

prevention (Unpublished master’s thesis).  Pacific Oaks College.