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How to Cite a Thesis or Dissertation in APA

In this citation guide, you will learn how to reference and cite an undergraduate thesis, master’s thesis, or doctoral dissertation. This guide will also review the differences between a thesis or dissertation that is published and one that has remained unpublished. The guidelines below come from the 7th edition of the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association (2020a), pages 333 and 334. Please note that the association is not affiliated with this guide.

Alternatively, you can visit EasyBib.com for helpful citation tools to cite your thesis or dissertation .

Guide Overview

Citing an unpublished thesis or dissertation, citing a published dissertation or thesis from a database, citing a thesis or dissertation published online but not from a database, citing a thesis or dissertation: reference overview, what you need.

Since unpublished theses can usually only be sourced in print form from a university library, the correct citation structure includes the university name where the publisher element usually goes.

Author’s last name, F. M. (Year published). Title in sentence case [Unpublished degree type thesis or dissertation]. Name of institution.

Ames, J. H., & Doughty, L. H. (1911). The proposed plans for the Iowa State College athletic field including the design of a reinforced concrete grandstand and wall [Unpublished bachelor’s thesis]. Iowa State University.

In-text citation example:

  • Parenthetical :  (Ames & Doughty, 1911)
  • Narrative :  Ames & Doughty (1911)

If a thesis or dissertation has been published and is found on a database, then follow the structure below. It’s similar to the format for an unpublished dissertation/thesis, but with a few differences:

  • The institution is presented in brackets after the title
  • The archive or database name is included

Author’s last name, F. M. (Year published). Title in sentence case (Publication or Document No.) [Degree type thesis or dissertation, Name of institution]. Database name.

Examples 1:

Knight, K. A. (2011). Media epidemics: Viral structures in literature and new media (Accession No. 2013420395) [Doctoral dissertation, University of California, Santa Barbara]. ProQuest Dissertations Publishing.

Example dissertation-thesis

Trotman, J.B. (2018). New insights into the biochemistry and cell biology of RNA recapping (Document No. osu1523896565730483) [Doctoral dissertation, Ohio State University]. OhioLINK Electronic Theses & Dissertations Center.

In the example given above, the dissertation is presented with a Document Number (Document No.). Sometimes called a database number or publication number, this is the identifier that is used by the database’s indexing system. If the database you are using provides you with such a number, then include it directly after the work’s title in parentheses.

If you are interested in learning more about how to handle works that were accessed via academic research databases, see Section 9.3 of the Publication Manual.

In-text citation examples :

  • Parenthetical citation : (Trotman, 2018)
  • Narrative citation : Trotman (2018)

Author’s last name, F. M. (Year Published). Title in sentence case [Degree type thesis or dissertation, Name of institution]. Name of archive or collection. URL

Kim, O. (2019). Soviet tableau: cinema and history under late socialism [Doctoral dissertation, University of Pittsburgh]. Institutional Repository at the University of Pittsburgh. https://d-scholarship.pitt.edu/37669/7/Olga%20Kim%20Final%20ETD.pdf

Stiles, T. W. (2001). Doing science: Teachers’ authentic experiences at the Lone Star Dinosaur Field Institute [Master’s thesis, Texas A&M University]. OAKTrust. https://hdl.handle.net/1969.1/ETD-TAMU-2001-THESIS-S745

It is important to note that not every thesis or dissertation published online will be associated with a specific archive or collection. If the work is published on a private website, provide only the URL as the source element.

In-text citation examples:

  • Parenthetical citation : (Kim, 2019)
  • Narrative citation : Kim (2019)
  • Parenthetical citation : (Stiles, 2001)
  • Narrative citation : Stiles (2001)

dissertation and thesis Citations for APA 7

We hope that the information provided here will serve as an effective guide for your research. If you’re looking for even more citation info, visit EasyBib.com for a comprehensive collection of educational materials covering multiple source types.

If you’re citing a variety of different sources, consider taking the EasyBib citation generator for a spin. It can help you cite easily and offers citation forms for several different kinds of sources.

To start things off, let’s take a look at the different types of literature that are classified under Chapter 10.6 of the Publication Manual :

  • Undergraduate thesis
  • Master’s thesis
  • Doctoral dissertation

You will need to know which type you are citing. You’ll also need to know if it is published or unpublished .

When you decide to cite a dissertation or thesis, you’ll need to look for the following information to use in your citation:

  • Author’s last name, and first and middle initials
  • Year published
  • Title of thesis or dissertation
  • If it is unpublished
  • Publication or document number (if applicable; for published work)
  • Degree type (bachelor’s, master’s, doctoral)
  • Thesis or dissertation
  • Name of institution awarding degree
  • DOI (https://doi.org/xxxxx) or URL (if applicable)

Since theses and dissertations are directly linked to educational degrees, it is necessary to list the name of the associated institution; i.e., the college, university, or school that is awarding the associated degree.

To get an idea of the proper form, take a look at the examples below. There are three outlined scenarios:

  • Unpublished thesis or dissertation
  • Published thesis or dissertation from a database
  • Thesis or dissertation published online but not from a database

American Psychological Association. (2020a). Publication manual of the American Psychological Association (7th ed.). https://doi.org/10.1037/0000165-000

American Psychological Association. (2020b). Style-Grammar-Guidelines. https://apastyle.apa.org/style-grammar-guidelines/citations/basic-principles/parenthetical-versus-narrative

Published August 10, 2012. Updated March 24, 2020.

Written and edited by Michele Kirschenbaum and Elise Barbeau. Michele Kirschenbaum is a school library media specialist and the in-house librarian at EasyBib.com. Elise Barbeau is the Citation Specialist at Chegg. She has worked in digital marketing, libraries, and publishing.

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To cite a published thesis in APA style, it is important that you know some basic information such as the author, publication year, title of the thesis, institute name, archive name, and URL (uniform resource locator). The templates for an in-text citation and reference list entry of a thesis, along with examples, are given below:

In-text citation template and example:

Use the author surname and the publication year in the in-text citation.

Author Surname (Publication Year)

Cartmel (2007)

Parenthetical:

(Author Surname, Publication Year)

(Cartmel, 2007)

Reference list entry template and example:

The title of the thesis is set in sentence case and italicized. Enclose the thesis and the institute awarding the degree inside brackets following the publication year. Then add the name of the database followed by the URL.

Author Surname, F. M. (Publication Year). Title of the thesis [Master’s thesis, Institute Name]. Name of the Database. URL

Cartmel, J. (2007). Outside school hours care and schools [Master’s thesis, Queensland University of Technology]. EPrints. http://eprints.qut.edu.au/17810/1/Jennifer_Cartmel_Thesis.pdf

To cite an unpublished dissertation in APA style, it is important that you know some basic information such as the author, year, title of the dissertation, and institute name. The templates for in-text citation and reference list entry of an online thesis, along with examples, are given below:

Author Surname (Year)

Averill (2009)

(Author Surname, Year)

(Averill, 2009)

The title of the dissertation is set in sentence case and italicized. Enclose “Unpublished doctoral dissertation” inside brackets following the year. Then add the name of the institution awarding the degree.

Author Surname, F. M. (Publication Year). Title of the dissertation [Unpublished doctoral dissertation]. Name of the Institute.

Averill, R. (2009). Teacher–student relationships in diverse New Zealand year 10 mathematics classrooms: Teacher care [Unpublished doctoral dissertation]. Victoria University of Wellington.

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Author last name, first initial. (Year).  Title of dissertation/thesis  (Publication No.) [Doctoral dissertation/Master's thesis, University]. Database. URL

  • Author:  List the last name, followed by the first initial (and second initial). See  Authors  for more information.
  • Year:  List the year between parentheses, followed by a period.
  • Title of dissertation/thesis:  In italics. Capitalize the first word of the title, subtitle, and proper nouns.
  • Publication number: Can be found in Dissertations and Theses database, listed in the item record as “Dissertation/thesis number.”
  • Doctoral dissertation/Master's thesis:  List whether it is a dissertation or a thesis.
  • University:  List the university associated with the dissertation/thesis.
  • Database:  List database the dissertation/thesis was found in, if found in a database.
  • URL:  List URL if found on the free Web rather than in a database.

See specific examples below.

Dissertations:

Pecore, J. T. (2004). Sounding the spirit of Cambodia: The living tradition of Khmer music and dance-drama in a Washington, DC community  (Publication No. 3114720) [Doctoral dissertation, University of Maryland]. ProQuest Dissertations and Theses Global. 

Master's Theses:

Hollander, M. M. (2017). Resitance to authority: Methodological innovations and new lessons from the Milgram experiment   (Publication No. 10289373) [Master's thesis, University of Wisconsin - Madison]. ProQuest Dissertations and Theses Global.

APA calls for the citation to include a unique identifying number for the dissertation, labeling it “Publication No.” That number can be found in Dissertations and Theses database, listed in the item record as “Dissertation/thesis number.”

Karamanos, X. (2020). The influence of professional development models on student mathematics performance in New Jersey public elementary schools [Doctoral dissertation, Seton Hall University]. Seton Hall University Dissertations and Theses (ETDs). https://scholarship.shu.edu/dissertations/2732

Bordo, V. C. (2011). Making a case for the use of foreign language in the educational activities of nonprofit arts organizations [Master's thesis, University of Akron]. OhioLINK Electronic Theses & Dissertations Center. http://rave.ohiolink.edu/etdc/view?acc_num=akron1311135640

Caprette, C. L. (2005). Conquering the cold shudder: The origin and evolution of snake eyes  [Doctoral dissertation, Ohio State University].

Angelova, A. N. (2004). Data pruning  [Master's thesis, California Institute of Technology].

See  Publication Manual , 10.6.

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Citing Dissertations & Theses in APA Format

Dissertations & Theses

Dissertations and theses are formatted the same way in APA 7th edition. Theses are generally the culminating work for a master's or undergraduate degree and dissertations are often original research completed by doctoral students. Here are examples of a dissertation & a thesis, and how they would be formatted: 

Examples: 

Dissertation found in Proquest Dissertations and Theses Global: 

Reference:  

Banks, B. (2020). Addressing institutional racism in healthcare: A case study (Publication No. 28154307) [Doctoral dissertation, University of Minnesota]. Proquest Dissertations and Theses Global. 

In-Text Citation (Paraphrase):  

(Banks, 2020).

In-Text Citation (Direct Quote):

(Banks, 2020, p. 157).

Master's thesis from a University scholarship database: 

Sears, L. B. (2017). The public voice and sustainable food systems: Community engagement in food action plans [Unpublished master's thesis]. University of Kansas.  https://kuscholarworks.ku.edu/handle/1808/26899  

In-Text Citation (Paraphrase):

(Sears, 2017). 

(Sears, 2017, p. 24). 

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Citation information has been adapted from the APA Manual (7th Edition). Please refer to page 333 of the APA Manual (7th Edition) for more information.

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Author, A. A. (year). Title of doctoral dissertation or master’s thesis  (Publication No. #) [Doctoral dissertation or master’s thesis, Name of Institution Awarding the Degree]. Name of Database.

Davis, P. M. (2010). Access, readership, citations: A randomized controlled trial of scientific journal publishing . (Publication No.   3429815 )  [Doctoral dissertation, Cornell University].  ProQuest Dissertations and Theses Global.  

Author, A. A. (year). Title of doctoral dissertation or master’s thesis  [Doctoral dissertation or master’s thesis, Name of Institution]. Name of Website. URL

Buckman, A. (1997). MOOSE Crossing: Construction, community, and learning in a networked virtual world for kids [Doctoral dissertation, Massachusetts Institute of Technology]. DSpace@MIT.  https://dspace.mit.edu/handle/1721.1/33821

Author, A. A. (year). Title of doctoral dissertation or master’s thesis  [Unpublished doctoral dissertation or master’s thesis]. Name of Institution.

Long, R.P. (1972). A study of instructional objectives and methods for interpersonal communication. [Unpublished master’s thesis]. West Virginia University.

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Introduction

When creating references for dissertations, theses, and projects, you will need to determine the correct reference type to follow. Dissertations, theses, and projects are generally divided into two separate groups; those that are published and those that are unpublished.

In most cases, unpublished projects are those that are in print and available only from the degree-granting institution. On the other hand, published projects are those that are available in a database, a university archive, or a personal website. 

Variations - URLs?

Some URLs may be long and complicated. APA 7th edition allows the use of shorter URLs. Shortened URLs can be created using any URL shortener service; however, if you choose to shorten the URL, you must double-check that the URL is functioning and brings the reader to the correct website. 

Common URL Shortner websites include:

More Information

For more information about URLs, see Section 9.36 on page 300 of APA Manual, 7th edition. 

NOTE:  Check your instructor's preference about using short URLs. Some instructors may want the full URL. 

Variations - DOIs?

Some DOIs may be long and complicated. APA 7th edition allows the use of shorter DOI numbers. Shortened DOIs can be located at the International DOI Foundations, shortDOI Service . 

More Information:

For more information about DOIs, see Section 9.36 on page 300 of APA Manual, 7th edition. 

NOTE: Check your instructor's preference for using short DOIs. Some instructors may want the full DOI. 

Variations - Live Hyperlinks?

Should my urls be live.

It depends. When adding URLs to a paper or other work, first, be sure to include the full hyperlink. This includes the http:// or the https://. Additionally, consider where and how the paper or work will be published or read. If the work will only be read in print or as a Word doc or Google Doc, then the URLs should not be live (i.e., they are not blue or underlined). However, if the work will be published or read online, then APA advises to include live URLs. This would allow the reader to click on a link and go to the source.   

For more information, see Section 9.35 on pages 299-300 of the APA Manual, 7th edition. 

NOTE: Check your instructor's preference about using live URLs. Some instructors may not want you to use live URLs. 

Print Master's Thesis, Dissertation, or Project

When creating references for dissertations, theses, and projects, you will need to determine the correct reference type to follow. Dissertations, theses, and projects are generally divided into two separate groups; those that are published and those that are unpublished. In most cases, unpublished projects are those that are in print and available only from the degree-granting institution. 

Panasuk, K. N. (2008). What variables appear to work in stress management programs in the workplace and how effective are

these  programs  [Unpublished master’s final project]? The College of St. Scholastica.

Author: Panasuk, K. N.

Begin the reference with the author's last name first. then, add the initials for the first and middle names (if the middle name or middle initial is provided). add a period after each initial, and if there is a middle initial, add a space between the initials., year of publication: (2008)..

Next, in parentheses, list the year of publication, which appears on the title page or the title verso page (back side of title page). Follow the parentheses with a period.   

Title & Subtitle of the Book: What variables appear to work in stress management programs in the workplace and how effective are these programs [Unpublished master's final project]?

Next, add the title and subtitle of the master's thesis, dissertation, final applied project, or capstone. The title and subtitle are separated by a colon. Capitalize only the first word of the title and subtitle and all proper nouns.  Italicize the title and subtitle. Do not add a period immediately after the title. Instead, add brackets with the type of project (Master's project, doctoral dissertation, etc.) you are referencing. Before the type of project add "Unpublished". When choosing wording to describe the project, use the language the degree-granting institution uses to describe the project (e.g., Master's thesis, Doctoral dissertation, Final Applied Project, Capstone Project, Clinical Project, etc.). Add a period after the brackets. If the title has a question mark or exclamation mark, replace the period after the brackets with the proper punctuation mark used in the title.   

Source Information: The College of St. Scholastica.

Complete the reference with the source information, which is the full name of the college or university awarding the degree. add a period after the institution's name.  more information:.

For more information about master's theses, dissertations, or capstone projects, Section 10.6 on pages 333-334 in the APA Manual, 7th edition.

Parenthetical Citation Example:

 (Panasuk, 2008)

Narrative Citation Example:

Panasuk (2008) identified ...

For more information about author format within parenthetical and narrative citations, see Section 8.17 and Table 8.1 on page 266 of the APA Manual, 7th edition. 

Master's Thesis Published in a Commercial Database (like ProQuest Dissertations & Theses)

When creating references for dissertations, theses, and projects, you will need to determine the correct reference type to follow. Dissertations, theses, and projects are generally divided into two separate groups; those that are published and those that are unpublished. In most cases, published projects are those that are available in a database, a university archive, or a personal website. 

Skallet, S. (2016). Environmental approval duration estimating model for improved linear energy construction project schedules  (Publication No.

10125148)  [Master's capstone project, The College of St. Scholastica]. ProQuest Dissertations & Theses. 

Author: Skallet, S.

Begin the reference with the author's last name first. then, add the initials for the author's first and middle names (if a middle name or middle initial is provided). add a period after each initial, and if there is a middle initial, add a space between the initials.     year of publication: (2016)..

Next, in parentheses, add the year of publication, which appears on the title page or the title page verso (back side of title page). Follow the parentheses with a period.   

Title & Subtitle of the Book:  Environmental approval duration estimating model for improved linear energy construction project schedules  (Publication No. 10125148) [Master's capstone project, The College of St. Scholastica].

Next, add the title and subtitle (if there is a subtitle) of the capstone, final applied project, thesis, or dissertation. Separate the title and subtitle with a colon. Capitalize only the first word of the title and subtitle and all proper nouns. Italicize the title. Do NOT add a period after the title.

After the title, in parentheses, add the publication number (normally found in the record of the project within ProQuest). Before the publication number put "Publication No." Do NOT add a period after the parentheses. 

After the publication number, add brackets with the type of project (Master's thesis, Master's capstone project, doctoral dissertation, etc.) you are referencing. Use the language described by the degree-granting institution to describe the project. Then, add a comma and the name of the institution. Add a period after the brackets.      

Source Information: ProQuest Dissertations and Theses. 

Complete the reference with the commercial database where you found the masters thesis/project. end with a period.    more information:  .

For more information on Master's Theses/Projects, see Section 10.6 on pages 333-334 in the APA Manual, 7th edition.

 (Skallet, 2016)

Skallet (2016) argued ...

Dissertation Published Online

Adame, A. (2019). Fully immersed, fully present: Examining the user experience through the multimodal presence scale and virtual reality gaming

variables [Master's thesis, California State University San Bernardino]. CSUSB ScholarWorks Electronic Theses, Projects, &

Dissertations.  https://scholarworks.lib.csusb.edu/etd/918/

Author: Adame, A. 

Begin the reference with the author's last name first. Then, add the initials of the author's first and middle names (if a middle name or middle initial is provided). Add a period after each initial, and if there is a middle initial, add a space between the initials. 

Year of Publication: (2019). 

Next, in parentheses, add the year of publication, which appears on the title page or the title verso page (back side of the title page). Follow the parentheses with a period. 

Title & Subtitle of the Book: Fully immersed, fully present: Examining the user experience through the multimodal presence scale and virtual reality gaming variables [Master's thesis, California State University San Bernardino]. 

Next, add the title and subtitle (if there a subtitle present) of the thesis or project. Separate the title and subtitle with a colon. Capitalize only the first word of the title and subtitle as well as proper nouns. Italicize the title and subtitle. Do NOT add a period after the title. Instead, after the title, add brackets with the type of project (Master's thesis, doctoral dissertation, etc.) you are referencing. Use the language described by the degree-granting institution to describe the project. Then, add a comma and the name of the institution. Add a period after the brackets.   

Source Information: CSUSB ScholarWorks Electronic Theses, Projects, & Dissertations.  https://scholarworks.lib.csusb.edu/etd/918/

Complete the reference with the name of the website or archive where you found the project. After the name of the website or archive, add a period. Then, add the URL to the project. 

For more information about Master's Theses or Projects, see Section 10.6 on page 333 and example 66 on page 334 in the APA Manual, 7th edition. 

(Adame, 2019)

Adame (2019) distinguished between ...

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Dissertation or thesis available from a database service:

Author Surname, First Initial. Second Initial. (year of publication).  Title of dissertation or thesis (Doctoral dissertation or master’s thesis).  Retrieved from Name of database.  (Accession or Order No.)

For an unpublished dissertation or thesis:

Author Surname, First Initial. Second Initial. (year of creation).  Title of dissertation or thesis (Unpublished doctoral dissertation or master’s thesis).  Name of Institution, Location.

See Ch 7 pp. 207-208 APA Manual for more examples and formatting rules

Formatting:

  • Italicize the title
  • Identify whether source is doctoral dissertation or master’s thesis in parentheses after the title
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How to cite a dissertation in APA

APA dissertation citation

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To cite a dissertation in a reference entry in APA style 6th edition include the following elements:

  • Author(s) of the dissertation: Give the last name and initials (e. g. Watson, J. D.) of up to seven authors with the last name preceded by an ampersand (&). For eight or more authors include the first six names followed by an ellipsis (…) and add the last author's name.
  • Year of publication: Give the year in brackets followed by a full stop.
  • Title of the dissertation: Only the first letter of the first word and proper nouns are capitalized.
  • URL: Give the full URL where the document can be retrieved from.

Here is the basic format for a reference list entry of a dissertation in APA style 6th edition:

Author(s) of the dissertation . ( Year of publication ). Title of the dissertation (Doctoral dissertation). Retrieved from URL

If the dissertation is available from a database, archive or any online platform use the following template:

  • Author(s) of the dissertation: Give the last name and initials (e. g. Watson, J. D.) of up to 20 authors with the last name preceded by an ampersand (&). For 21 or more authors include the first 19 names followed by an ellipsis (…) and add the last author's name.
  • Publication number: Give the identification number of the dissertation, if available.
  • Name of the degree awarding institution: Give the name of the institution.
  • Name of platform: Give the name of the database, archive or any platform that holds the dissertation.
  • URL: If the dissertation was found on a database, omit this element.

Here is the basic format for a reference list entry of a dissertation in APA style 7th edition:

Author(s) of the dissertation . ( Year of publication ). Title of the dissertation ( Publication number ) [Doctoral dissertation, Name of the degree awarding institution ]. Name of platform . URL

If the dissertation has not been published or is available from a database use the following template:

  • Location: Give the location of the institution. If outside the United States also include the country name.

Author(s) of the dissertation . ( Year of publication ). Title of the dissertation (Unpublished doctoral dissertation). Name of the degree awarding institution , Location .

If the dissertation is not published, use the following template:

Author(s) of the dissertation . ( Year of publication ). Title of the dissertation [Unpublished doctoral dissertation]. Name of the degree awarding institution .

APA reference list examples

Take a look at our reference list examples that demonstrate the APA style guidelines for a dissertation citation in action:

A dissertation found in an online platform

Guo, J . ( 2018 ). Trust-based service management of internet of things systems and its applications ( Doctoral dissertation ). Retrieved from https://vtechworks.lib.vt.edu/handle/10919/82854
Guo, J . ( 2018 ). Trust-based service management of internet of things systems and its applications [ Doctoral dissertation , Virginia Tech ]. ETDs: Virginia Tech Electronic Theses and Dissertations . https://vtechworks.lib.vt.edu/handle/10919/82854

An unpublished doctoral dissertation

Neel, B. L . ( 2017 ). Three flute chamber works by Alberto Ginastera: Intertwining elements of art and folk music ( Unpublished doctoral dissertation ). University of Nebraska-Lincoln , NE .
Neel, B. L . ( 2017 ). Three flute chamber works by Alberto Ginastera: Intertwining elements of art and folk music [ Unpublished doctoral dissertation ]. University of Nebraska-Lincoln .

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This citation style guide is based on the official Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association ( 6 th edition).

More useful guides

  • APA Referencing: Theses
  • Reference List: Other Print Sources
  • APA 6th Edition Citation Style

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Reference List: Other Print Sources

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Welcome to the Purdue OWL

This page is brought to you by the OWL at Purdue University. When printing this page, you must include the entire legal notice.

Copyright ©1995-2018 by The Writing Lab & The OWL at Purdue and Purdue University. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, reproduced, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission. Use of this site constitutes acceptance of our terms and conditions of fair use.

Note:  This page reflects the latest version of the APA Publication Manual (i.e., APA 7), which released in October 2019. The equivalent resource for the older APA 6 style  can be found here .

Important Note: Because the 7 th edition of the APA Publication Manual heavily emphasizes digital and electronic sources, it does not contain explicit instructions for certain less-common print sources that earlier editions covered. For this reason, some of the examples below have been adapted from the instructions for sources with similar attributes (e.g., the conference proceedings example is derived from the instructions the 7 th edition manual gives for citing edited collections). Every example below that has been adapted in this way is accompanied by a note explaining how it was adapted.

Please also note: While this resource contains many examples of citations for uncommon print sources that we think are helpful, it may not account for every possibility. For even more examples of how to cite uncommon print sources, please refer to the 7 th edition of the APA Publication Manual.

Entry in a Dictionary, Thesaurus, or Encyclopedia with a Group Author

The 7 th edition of the APA manual does not provide specific guidance on how to cite physical reference works such as dictionaries, thesauruses, or encyclopedias. Therefore, this citation, as well as the one for an individual author of an entry in a reference work, is modeled on that of a chapter in an edited book or anthology, both which are similar in format to reference works.

Institution or organization name. (Year). Title of entry. In Title of reference work (edition, page numbers). Publisher name.

Merriam-Webster, Incorporated. (1997). Goat. In Merriam Webster’s collegiate dictionary (10 th ed., pp. 499-500). Merriam-Webster, Incorporated.

Entry in a Dictionary, Thesaurus, or Encyclopedia with an Individual Author

Lastname, F. M. (Year). Title of entry. In F. M. Lastname (ed.), Title of reference work (edition, page numbers). Publisher.

Tatum, S. R. (2009). Spirituality and religion in hip hop literature and culture. In T. L. Stanley (ed.), Encyclopedia of hip hop literature (pp. 250-252). Greenwood.

Work Discussed in a Secondary Source

Provide the source in which the original work was referenced:

Nail, T. (2017). What is an assemblage? SubStance , 46 (1), 21-37. http://sub.uwpress.org/lookup/doi/10.3368/ss.46.1.21

Note: Provide the secondary source in the references list; in the text, name the original work, and give a citation for the secondary source. For example, if Deleuze and Guattari’s work is cited in Nail and you did not read the original work, list the Nail reference in the References. In the text, use the following citation: 

Deleuze and Guattari’s concept of the assemblage (as cited in Nail, 2017)….

Dissertation Abstract

The 7 th edition of the APA manual does not provide specific guidance on how to cite dissertation abstracts. Therefore, this citation models that of a journal article, which is similar in format.

Lastname, F. M. (Year). Title of dissertation. Dissertation Abstracts International , Vol., Page.

Angeli, E. L. (2012). Networks of communication in emergency medical services. Dissertation Abstracts International, 74 , 03(E).

Dissertation or Master’s Thesis, Published

Lastname, F. M. (Year). Title of dissertation/thesis (Publication No.) [Doctoral dissertation/Master’s thesis, Name of Institution Awarding the Degree]. Database or Archive Name.

Angeli, E. L. (2012). Networks of communication in emergency medical services (Publication No. 3544643) [Doctoral dissertation, Purdue University]. ProQuest Dissertations Publishing.

Note: If the dissertation or thesis is not published in a database, include the URL of the site where the document is located.

Dissertation or Master’s Thesis, Unpublished

Lastname, F. M. (Year). Title of dissertation/thesis [Unpublished doctoral dissertation/master’s thesis]. Name of Institution Awarding the Degree. 

Samson, J. M. (2016). Human trafficking and globalization [Unpublished doctoral dissertation]. Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University.

Federal or State Statute

Name of Act, Public Law No. (Year). URL

The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, Publ. L. No. 111-148, 124 Stat. 119 (2010).  https://www.govinfo.gov/content/pkg/PLAW-111publ148/pdf/PLAW-111publ148.pdf

Report by a Government Agency or Other Organization

Organization Name. (Year). Title of report. URL

United States Government Accountability Office. (2019). Performance and accountability report: Fiscal year 2019 . https://www.gao.gov/assets/710/702715.pdf

Report by Individual Authors at Government Agency or Other Organization

Lastname, F. M., & Lastname, F. M. (Year). Title of report . Organization Name. URL

Palanker, D., Volk, J., Lucia, K., & Thomas, K. (2018). Mental health parity at risk: Deregulating the individual market and the impact on mental health coverage . National Alliance on Mental Illness. https://www.nami.org/About-NAMI/Publications-Reports/Public-Policy-Reports/Parity-at-Risk/ParityatRisk.pdf  

Conference Proceedings

The 7 th edition of the APA manual does not provide guidance on citing conference proceedings. Therefore, this citation models that of an edited collection, which is similar in format.

Lastname, F. M., & Lastname, F. M. (Eds.). (Year). Title of Proceedings . Publisher. URL (if applicable)

Huang, S., Pierce, R., & Stamey, J. (Eds.). (2006). Proceedings of the 24 th annual ACM international conference on the design of communication . ACM Digital Library. https://dl.acm.org/citation.cfm?id=1166324&picked=prox

APA 6th Referencing Style Guide

  • APA referencing style
  • In-text citation
  • Reference list
  • TV, film & video
  • Tables, figures & images
  • Conferences

Thesis, dissertation or exegesis?

Theses and dissertations from online sources, theses and dissertations in hardcopy format.

  • Personal communications
  • Lecture notes
  • Social media
  • Computer software & mobile applications
  • Legislation & cases
  • Standards & patents
  • Specific health examples
  • Exhibition catalogue

Terminology

Thesis and dissertation can mean different things, depending on which institution the work is from.  For study purposes and for your APA reference you need to know the level of the work.

  • Always check the title page, or subsequent pages, to determine exactly what the work is
  • Use the information there for your APA reference

At Auckland University of Technology (and other NZ universities)

Thesis is either for a doctoral or a master's degree.

Dissertation is either for a master's or a bachelor's degree with honours.

Exegesis is the written component of a practice-based thesis where the major output is a creative work;  e.g. a film, artwork, novel.

In some other parts of the world such as North America, a dissertation may be for a doctoral degree and a thesis for a master's degree.  

See Section 7.05  in the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association, 6th edition .

Reference format for a thesis from a commercial database:

Reference format for a thesis from an institutional repository:

A Doctoral dissertation (USA) from ProQuest Dissertations and Theses database

Reference list entry:

  • Include the name of the database and the order number of the document
  • Use this style for theses retrieved from a commercial database

Thesis from a NZ institutional repository :

  • Include the full URL for the thesis/dissertation and the full name of the degree-granting institution/university
  • Also include the location of the university, if outside the United States.

In-text citations guide  

Reference format for unpublished thesis/dissertation:

  • Give the correct full name of the university, not its abbreviation or brand name.
  • << Previous: Conferences
  • Next: Personal communications >>
  • Last Updated: Apr 20, 2023 1:46 PM
  • URL: https://aut.ac.nz.libguides.com/APA6th

EdD Dissertation Research

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7th Edition Learning Resources

  • Extra: Consult Research Methods

Read the descriptions of the tools listed below to select the one most useful for your immediate needs. 

  • Reference Examples Chart All the different types of things you might reference organized in a chart with hotlinks to examples of how that thing would appear in References, in a parenthetical citation and as a narrative citation. Very cool!
  • Student Paper Formatting Checklist Well-laid out with hotlinks to more information for complex elements. Easy to skim to get to the piece you need, but can also be read through quickly. 7 pages long.
  • Creating an APA Style Reference List Short and sweet ... really seems to zero in on the most common questions/issues that arise. Should be read from beginning to end -- only 2 pages!
  • Journal Article Reference Checklist Really short but focused on the main issues with citing journal articles.
  • Quick Reference Guide Quick annotated example/description of citation for BOOK, BOOK CHAPTER, JOURNAL ARTICLE.
  • Reference Examples An example of every sort of thing you'd want to reference laid out clearly in 4 pages!
  • APA Style Reference Formatting Activity A "fix these" type activity clearly designed to go along with the 4-page Reference Examples handout linked here.
  • << Previous: Grow Citations From One Article
  • Next: Extra: Consult Research Methods >>
  • Last Updated: Jan 22, 2024 10:19 AM
  • URL: https://libguides.scu.edu/EdDDissertation

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  • How to cite a dissertation in APA Style

How to Cite a Dissertation in APA Style | Format & Examples

Published on December 16, 2020 by Jack Caulfield . Revised on September 14, 2022.

The format for citing someone else’s dissertation or thesis in APA Style depends on whether the thesis is available from a database, published somewhere else (e.g. on a university archive or personal website), or unpublished (only available in print form directly from the author or university).

To cite a dissertation or thesis from a database, use the following format. In the square brackets, specify the type of dissertation or thesis and the university. As with other database sources, no URL or DOI is included.

Table of contents

Citing a dissertation published elsewhere, citing an unpublished dissertation in apa style.

To cite a dissertation or thesis published in a university archive (often in PDF form ) or on a personal website, the format differs in that no publication number is included, and you do list a URL.

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apa dissertation cite

To cite an unpublished dissertation (one you got directly from the author or university in print form), add “Unpublished” to the bracketed description, and list the university at the end of the reference, outside the square brackets.

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APA Format for End References

APA format is the official style used by the   American Psychological Association .

APA style is used primarily in the social sciences and communicates data in a concise style that precisely describes material, makes the relationship between ideas or data as clear as possible, is generally in the active voice, and utilizes the past tense. In addition to being scientific and precise, you must use bias-free and inclusive language when writing in APA style. Your role is to be objective, to be conscious of word choice, and to avoid discriminatory language.

Title pages include the paper title (in bold) followed by an extra space, the author (your name), affiliation (department and college), course number and name, instructor, and due date.

Crediting Sources

In-text citations.

Paraphrasing means summarizing relevant information from a source. This method of borrowing is more commonly used in APA papers than quotations because it allows a writer to maintain their objective voice and combine the source’s ideas with their own. Paraphrases are always cited both in the text of the paper and in the reference page.

Paraphrase example using the narrative citation method

Rogers (1994) compared younger and older adults’ perceptions of economic stress.

Paraphrase example using the parenthetical citation method

The citation information is included at the end of the paraphrase in parenthesis.

In some instances, the hierarchical level at which employees worked significantly impacted their behavior in work groups (Mellers, Ortiz, & Smoot, 2006).

Direct quotations

Direct quotations are limited in APA style papers. Instead, you should paraphrase whenever possible to blend borrowed information with your context and voice. The   APA Publication Manual, 7 th   Edition   notes that a writer should use direct quotations “when reproducing an exact definition, when an author has said something memorably or succinctly, or when you want to respond to exact wording.” The author, years, and page number (or section identifier) is always paired with quoted material through the narrative or parenthetical citation format.

Short quotation example

This example uses the parenthetical in-text citation format.

In several double-blind experiments, "'the placebo effect' . . . disappeared when behaviors were studied in this manner" (Miele, 1993, p. 276).

Reference(s)

McCauley, S. M., & Christiansen, M. H. (2019). Language learning as language use: A cross-linguistic model of child language development.   Psychological Review, 126 (1),   1-51. http://doi.org/10.1037/rev0000126

Parenthetical citation:   (McCauley & Christiansen, 2019)

Narrative citation:   McCauley and Christiansen (2019)

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APA 7th edition publication manual

How to create APA citations

APA Style is widely used by students, researchers, and professionals in the social and behavioral sciences. Scribbr’s free citation generator automatically generates accurate references and in-text citations.

This citation guide outlines the most important citation guidelines from the 7th edition APA Publication Manual (2020).

  • Cite a webpage
  • Cite a book
  • Cite a journal article
  • Cite a YouTube video

APA in-text citations

APA in-text citations include the author’s last name, publication date, and, if relevant, a locator such as a page number or timestamp. For example, (Smith, 2021, p. 170) . See it as a shorter version of the entry in the reference list .

You should include in-text citations every time you’re quoting or paraphrasing someone else’s ideas or words. In doing so, you give credit to the original author and avoid plagiarism .

Parenthetical vs. narrative citation

The in-text citation can take two forms: parenthetical and narrative. Both types are generated automatically when citing a source with Scribbr’s APA Citation Generator.

  • Parenthetical citation: According to new research … (Smith, 2020) .
  • Narrative citation: Smith (2020) notes that …

Multiple authors and corporate authors

The in-text citation changes slightly when a source has multiple authors or an organization as an author. Pay attention to punctuation and the use of the ampersand (&) symbol.

When the author, publication date or locator is unknown, take the steps outlined below.

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APA references

APA references generally include information about the author , publication date , title , and source . Depending on the type of source, you may have to include extra information that helps your reader locate the source.

It is not uncommon for certain information to be unknown or missing, especially with sources found online. In these cases, the reference is slightly adjusted.

Formatting the APA reference page

APA reference page (7th edition)

On the first line of the page, write the section label “References” (in bold and centered). On the second line, start listing your references in alphabetical order .

Apply these formatting guidelines to the APA reference page:

  • Double spacing (within and between references)
  • Hanging indent of ½ inch
  • Legible font (e.g. Times New Roman 12 or Arial 11)
  • Page number in the top right header

Which sources to include

On the reference page, you only include sources that you have cited in the text (with an in-text citation ). You should not include references to personal communications that your reader can’t access (e.g. emails, phone conversations or private online material).

In addition to the APA Citation Generator, Scribbr provides many more tools and resources that help millions of students and academics every month.

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  • AI detector: Find out if your text was written with ChatGPT or any other AI writing tool. ChatGPT 2 & ChatGPT 3 supported.
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U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

Here’s how you know

Official websites use .gov A .gov website belongs to an official government organization in the United States.

Secure .gov websites use HTTPS A lock ( Lock A locked padlock ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .gov website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

JavaScript appears to be disabled on this computer. Please click here to see any active alerts .

How to Cite This Source

As part of the U.S. government, information on EPA pages is a reliable and authoritative source for research. EPA.gov webpages do not have one author, so use “U.S. EPA” or “U.S. Environmental Protection Agency” in your sources. Find the last updated date at the bottom right of all EPA webpages.

Title of specific document. (Last update or copyright date; if not known, put n.d.). In title of website. Retrieved date, from link

What is Acid Rain? (2023). In EPA.gov. Retrieved January 1, 2024, from  https://www.epa.gov/acidrain/what-acid-rain

Find more information about APA citations .

Chicago Manual of Style

"Title of specific page." Source. Last modified use the last modified date provided near the bottom of every page in month day, year format. Link.

"What is Acid Rain?" EPA.gov. Last modified June 1, 2023.  https://www.epa.gov/acidrain/what-acid-rain .

Learn more information about Chicago style citations.

"Title of specific page." USA.gov, use the last modified date provided near the bottom of every page in day abbreviated month. year format, link.

"What is Acid Rain?" EPA.gov, 1 Jun. 2023,  https://www.epa.gov/acidrain/what-acid-rain .

See more about creating an MLA citation .

If you have any remaining questions about how to cite information on this webpage, please contact us .

  • Acid Rain Home
  • What is Acid Rain?
  • Effects of Acid Rain
  • Acid Rain Program
  • Acid Rain Program Results

IMAGES

  1. APA Citations for a Thesis or Dissertation

    apa dissertation cite

  2. APA Citations for a Thesis or Dissertation

    apa dissertation cite

  3. How to cite a thesis or dissertation using APA style

    apa dissertation cite

  4. How to Cite a Thesis or Dissertation in APA

    apa dissertation cite

  5. How to Cite a Thesis in APA: 8 Steps (with Pictures)

    apa dissertation cite

  6. How to Cite a Dissertation or Thesis in APA 7 with Examples

    apa dissertation cite

VIDEO

  1. referencing APA style part 1

  2. A Basic Guide to APA Style Citation

  3. How do you cite an online article in APA 7th edition?

  4. How do you cite APA easily?

  5. APA7

  6. APA How to Cite a Practice Guideline

COMMENTS

  1. Published Dissertation or Thesis References

    In the source element of the reference, provide the name of the database, repository, or archive. The same format can be adapted for other published theses, including undergraduate theses, by changing the wording of the bracketed description as appropriate (e.g., "Undergraduate honors thesis").

  2. How to Cite a Dissertation in APA Style

    To cite a dissertation or thesis from a database, use the following format. In the square brackets, specify the type of dissertation or thesis and the university. As with other database sources, no URL or DOI is included. Tip Scribbr's free APA Citation Generator automatically creates accurate citations. Table of contents

  3. APA Formatting and Style Guide (7th Edition)

    Cite your source automatically in APA Cite Using citation machines responsibly Powered by Basic Rules Basic guidelines for formatting the reference list at the end of a standard APA research paper Author/Authors

  4. How to Cite a Thesis or Dissertation in APA

    Parenthetical : (Ames & Doughty, 1911) : Ames & Doughty (1911) Citing a published dissertation or thesis from a database If a thesis or dissertation has been published and is found on a database, then follow the structure below. It's similar to the format for an unpublished dissertation/thesis, but with a few differences:

  5. PDF APA Style Dissertation Guidelines: Formatting Your Dissertation

    Dissertation Content ............................................................................................. 5 Inserting Page Numbers into Your Dissertation ................................................... 5 Automate Your Table of Contents & Lists of Tables and Figures ...................... 6

  6. Thesis/Dissertation

    Last Updated: Nov 1, 2023 3:17 PM

  7. Dissertations and Theses

    Database. URL Elements: Author: List the last name, followed by the first initial (and second initial). See Authors for more information. Year: List the year between parentheses, followed by a period. Title of dissertation/thesis: In italics. Capitalize the first word of the title, subtitle, and proper nouns.

  8. APA Citation Style, 7th Edition: Dissertations & Thesis

    Addressing institutional racism in healthcare: A case study (Publication No. 28154307) [Doctoral dissertation, University of Minnesota]. Proquest Dissertations and Theses Global. In-Text Citation (Paraphrase): (Banks, 2020). In-Text Citation (Direct Quote): (Banks, 2020, p. 157). Master's thesis from a University scholarship database: Reference:

  9. Theses and dissertations

    Reference format Theses published online (e.g. in institutional repositories) Miller, T. (2019). Enhancing readiness: An exploration of the New Zealand Qualified Firefighter Programme [Master's thesis, Auckland University of Technology]. Tuwhera. https://openrepository.aut.ac.nz/handle/10292/12338 Kelly, C. B. D. (2018).

  10. Dissertations & Theses

    A quick guide to using APA citation style. General Rule: Author, A. A. (year). Title of doctoral dissertation or master's thesis (Publication No. #) [Doctoral dissertation or master's thesis, Name of Institution Awarding the Degree].Name of Database.

  11. APA Formatting and Citation (7th Ed.)

    Knowledge Base APA Style 7th edition APA format for academic papers and essays APA Formatting and Citation (7th Ed.) | Generator, Template, Examples Published on November 6, 2020 by Raimo Streefkerk . Revised on August 23, 2022. This article reflects the APA 7th edition guidelines. Click here for APA 6th edition guidelines.

  12. Citation Help for APA, 7th Edition: Master's Thesis, Dissertation, or

    For more information about master's theses, dissertations, or capstone projects, Section 10.6 on pages 333-334 in the APA Manual, 7th edition. Parenthetical & Narrative Citation Examples Parenthetical Citation Example:

  13. Thesis/Dissertation

    Thesis, from a commercial database. Nicometo, D. N. (2015). Increasing international education to develop culturally competent social workers: Social media recommendations for social work abroad program 501(c)3 (Order No. 1597712). Retrieved from ProQuest Dissertations & Theses Global. (1717577238). Dissertation, from an institutional database

  14. APA Citations for a Thesis or Dissertation

    To cite a published dissertation in APA 7th edition, you need to include: Author, A. A. (Year). Title of doctoral dissertation or master's thesis (Publication number, if available) [Doctoral dissertation or master's thesis, Institution]. Publisher. Published APA Dissertation Example Gavinea, D. S. (2010).

  15. PDF 7th edition Common Reference Examples Guide

    This guide contains examples of common types of APA Style references. Section numbers indicate where to find the examples in the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association (7th ed.). More information on references and reference examples are in Chapters 9 and 10 of the Publication Manual as well as the Concise Guide to APA ...

  16. How to Cite a Dissertation in APA

    Full Citation Rules. To cite a dissertation in APA on the References page, follow this formula: Author's Last Name, First Initial. Middle Initial. (Year). Title of dissertation/thesis (Publication No. #) [Dissertation type, University]. Database.

  17. Unpublished Dissertation or Thesis References

    In the source element of the reference, provide the name of the institution that awarded the degree. The same format can be adapted for other unpublished theses, including undergraduate theses, by changing the wording of the bracketed description as appropriate.

  18. APA: how to cite a dissertation [Update 2023]

    Take a look at our reference list examples that demonstrate the APA style guidelines for a dissertation citation in action: Examples A dissertation found in an online platform Guo, J. ( 2018 ). Trust-based service management of internet of things systems and its applications [ Doctoral dissertation, Virginia Tech ].

  19. Reference List: Other Print Sources

    Cite Using citation machines responsibly Powered by Please also note: While this resource contains many examples of citations for uncommon print sources that we think are helpful, it may not account for every possibility. For even more examples of how to cite uncommon print sources, please refer to the 7 th edition of the APA Publication Manual.

  20. Library Guides: APA 6th Referencing Style Guide: Theses

    Thesis and dissertation can mean different things, depending on which institution the work is from. For study purposes and for your APA reference you need to know the level of the work. Always check the title page, or subsequent pages, to determine exactly what the work is. Use the information there for your APA reference.

  21. Cite a Thesis / Dissertation

    Knowledge Base Your references will expire in 30 days. Save your work by creating a free account. Sign up Thesis / Dissertation Cite a thesis or dissertation (unpublished, published online, or accessed through a database). Use other forms to cite books, journal articles, reports, and conference proceedings. Title Required Contributors Recommended

  22. APA (7th ed.) Formatting Tools

    Find Other Dissertations; ... APA (7th ed.) Formatting Tools. 7th Edition Learning Resources; Extra: Consult Research Methods ... All the different types of things you might reference organized in a chart with hotlinks to examples of how that thing would appear in References, in a parenthetical citation and as a narrative citation. Very cool!

  23. How to Cite a Dissertation in APA Style

    To cite an unpublished dissertation (one you got directly from the author or university in print form), add "Unpublished" to the bracketed description, and list the university at the end of the reference, outside the square brackets. Cite this Scribbr article

  24. APA Format for End References

    The header includes only a page number at the top right-hand corner of the page. Student papers usually don't require a running head, as seen in professional APA papers, unless requested by the instructor.Title page . Title pages include the paper title (in bold) followed by an extra space, the author (your name), affiliation (department and college), course number and name, instructor, and ...

  25. On the background and foundations of psychodiagnostics.

    During the century that has passed since its publication, there have been innumerable investigations on the Psychodiagnostics with relevant contributions in the codification, interpretation, and validity of its results. However, Rorschach's work and his intentions remain in many respects little known. Knowledge of his research on the determinants and the foundations of their meanings is ...

  26. Free APA Citation Generator

    Start citing Citation Generator features you'll love Autocite Search for your source by title, URL, DOI, ISBN, and more to retrieve the relevant information automatically. APA 6th & 7th edition Scribbr's Citation Generator supports both APA 6 and APA 7 (as well as MLA and Harvard ). No matter what edition you're using, we've got you covered!

  27. Dr Amina Yonis on Instagram: " Join me on Fri Jan 26th 2024 at 9

    470 likes, 30 comments - draminayonis on January 19, 2024: " Join me on Fri Jan 26th 2024 at 9:00AM PM (GMT) for an online event on Thesis Writing Essent..."

  28. How to Cite This Source

    This page will help users cite the information they find on the Acid Rain website. This page will help users cite the information they find on the Acid Rain website. Skip to main content. An official website of the United States government ... APA style. Title of specific document. (Last update or copyright date; if not known, put n.d.). In ...