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How to Cite a Master's Thesis

by Alyssa Brode, Demand Media

    High quality sources are the cornerstone of research papers. Excellent sources for your scholarly works can be found in the form of master’s theses, written by aspiring professionals in your particular field of research. As proper format is always of utmost importance when writing academic papers, knowing how to properly cite your sources is imperative.

    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.

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