How To Reference A Dissertation In MLA: A Quick Guide For Beginners

To know how to reference a dissertation in MLA style, you have to understand what MLA style is. Don't worry, I'm going to tell you. It's hard to explain, especially if you've been told by several people or search engines what it means but still don't understand it. It sounds really complicated, but it's actually quite simple.

The MLA style is widely growing in popularity. It is used to cite sources. That's not so complicated, right? MLA style is a certain type of formatting often used for topics of literature and language arts. MLA stands for Modern Language Association. I hope I explained that well. If not, you can always try search engines.

Now that you – hopefully – understand what MLA style is, we can move on to how you should properly cite a dissertation that that format.

First, let's go over an example of what MLA style looks like. The format should be as follows:

  • • Author's last name, author's first name. The title of the Book. The City of Publication: Publisher, Year of Publication. Type of Publication.

    Now that we've gotten that out of the way let's move forward. Now you need to be more specific. When referencing a Master's Thesis or Dissertation, it doesn't need to be published. You should use the same formatting above, but include “Diss” after the stating the title for Dissertation or “MA/MS thesis” for a Master's Thesis followed by the name of the school and the year the degree was awarded.

    If the degree were published, then you should use italics for the title, just like the title of a book. If it were not published then, you should use quotation for the title and end with the date the degree was awarded.

    Your format should look like this if the dissertation was published:

    • • First name, Last name. The title of the Work. Diss. Name of the School, Year the Degree was Awarded.

    If the dissertation were not published, you format should look like this:

    • • First name, Last name. “Title of the Work”. Diss. Name of the School, Year the Degree was Awarded.

    It's not in any way required, but if you choose to, you may also include the University Microfilms International order number. If you decide to add the order number, then it should be listed after the name of the school and the year the degree was awarded.

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