MLA style is a set of rules and guidelines that scholars and other researchers use when formatting bibliographies and in-text citations in research papers. The Modern Language Association (MLA) claims that more than 1,100 academic and literary journals use MLA style. The style has been widely adopted throughout the humanities. According to the seventh edition of the "MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers," you cite a thesis in an MLA-style bibliography similarly whether it was accessed online or in hard copy.
Begin by listing the author's full name without using initials, if possible, as follows: Jones, Marcus Alexander.
Follow the name with the title of the thesis in italics.
Use one of the following to denote the type of thesis you are citing: "MA thesis" for a master of the arts thesis, "MS thesis" for a master of the sciences thesis, and "Diss." for a doctoral dissertation.
List the school followed by the city where the school is located, the year the thesis was accepted and the word "print" for theses you retrieved in hard copy. The complete reference looks as follows: Jones, Marcus Alexander. The impact of public transit on travel behavior in the Atlanta metro region (in italics). MA thesis. Georgia State University, Atlanta, 2002. Print. For an electronically accessed thesis, note the slight difference in the citation below--you note the database where you found the thesis. Jones, Marcus Alexander. The impact of public transit on travel behavior in the Atlanta metro region (in italics). MA thesis. Georgia State University, Atlanta, 2002. ProQuest Dissertations and Theses. Web. 21 June 2005.
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- According to the Purdue University Online Writing Lab and the University of Arkansas Libraries, URLs are no longer required by MLA when citing electronic sources.
- Use an online service, such as EasyBib, or a software program, such as EndNote, to create and organize your bibliographies in MLA or another style.
- Modern Language Association: What is MLA Style
- University of Arkansas Libraries: MLA Style
- Purdue Online Writing Lab: MLA Formatting and Style Guide
- MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers (7th edition); Modern Language Association
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