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How to Cite a Master's Thesis

Updated November 21, 2016

Chicago/Turabian

Step 1

List the author’s last name followed by a comma and a single space. Write his first name or first initial, followed by a period. If necessary, include his middle initial, without a space after the first initial, and a period. Add a single space.

Step 2

Type the name of the thesis, within quotation marks, in sentence case. Add a period before ending the quotation marks and follow with a single space.

Step 3

Add the phrase “Master’s thesis” followed by a comma and a single space.

Step 4

Type the name of the university followed by a comma and a single space.

Step 5

List the year of publication followed by a period.

A completed reference might look like this: Jones, A. Language Changes in Sub-Saharan African Tribes. Master's thesis, Angelo State University, 2010.

APA

Step 1

List the last name of the author followed by a comma and a single space. Write her first name or first initial, followed by a period. If applicable, include a space followed by her middle initial and a period. Add a single space.

Step 2

Insert the year of publication within parentheses. Follow with a period and a single space.

Step 3

Type the title of the thesis in sentence case and italics. In parentheses after the title, include the phrase “Master’s thesis” followed by a period and a space.

Step 4

If you retrieved the thesis from a database, list “Available from” followed by the name of the database and the word “database,” and follow with a period. If you retrieved the thesis from a public web site, write “Retrieved from” followed by the URL of the thesis. If you used a print version of the thesis, list the name of the university followed by a comma and a space, the university city followed by a comma and a space, and the state abbreviation followed by a period.

Step 5

If the thesis was retrieved on a database, include the phrase “UMI No.” followed by the identification number given in the item record as its publication number. This should be in parentheses.

A completed reference might look like this: Jones, A. (2010). Language Changes in Sub-Saharan African Tribes. Master's thesis. Angelo State University, TX.

MLA

Step 1

Write the author’s last name, a comma and a single space. Include his first name or first initial, followed by a period. Add his middle initial after a space, if applicable, and a period. Add a single space.

Step 2

Type, within quotation marks, the name of the thesis in sentence case. Add a period before ending the quotation marks and follow with a single space.

I

Step 3

List the type of thesis, such as “MS thesis” or “MA thesis,” followed by a comma and space.

Step 4

Write the name of the university followed by a comma and space, the location of the university followed by a comma and space and the year of publication. Add a period and a single space.

Step 5

If you retrieved the thesis via an online database, include the name of the database in italics followed by a period, a single space, and the word “Web” followed by a period and single space. If you accessed the thesis through a public web site, simply list “Web” followed by a period and a single space. If you used a print version of the thesis, write “Print” followed by a period.

Step 6

If you used an online database or a web site to access the thesis, list the date of access in the format Day Month Year.

A completed reference might look like this: Jones, A. "Language Changes in Sub-Saharan African Tribes." MA thesis, Angelo State University, San Angelo, TX, 2010.

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About the Author

Alyssa Brode began writing in 2001. She served as a staff writer for her high school newspaper, "The Arrowhead," and has been freelancing ever since. She has a Bachelor of Music degree from Westminster Choir College of Rider University with a double major in voice performance and computer information systems and is pursuing a Master of Music in opera performance.