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APA (7th ed.) Reference Style

An introduction to the APA (American Psychological Association) 7th ed. referencing system with reference formats & examples.

Theses: Reference format

The basics of a reference list entry for a thesis or dissertation:

  • Author. The surname is followed by first initials.
  • Year (in round brackets).
  • Title (in italics).
  • Level of Thesis or Dissertation [in square brackets].
  • University, also in [square brackets] following directly after the level of thesis, for e.g. [Doctoral dissertation, Victoria University]
  • Database or Archive Name
  • URL
  • The first line of each citation is left adjusted. Every subsequent line is indented 5-7 spaces.



ref theses

Thesis APA ref

Theses: Examples

Material Type In-Text Example Reference List Example
Thesis: Institutional Repository  According to Mosek (2017) “flow was considered a highly functional state” ( p. 6) .

Mosek, E. (2017). Team flow: The missing piece in performance [Doctoral dissertation, Victoria University]. Victoria University Research Repository.

Thesis: Commercial database … research is required to fill in gaps in our knowledge (Smith, 2018).

Smith, G. (2018). Examining the impact of mindset and personality on athletes’ attitudes toward sports psychology consultants (Publication No. 10746190) [Doctoral dissertation, Drake University]. ProQuest Dissertations and Theses Global. 

Note the inclusion of the Proquest Publication Number in round brackets between the title and the thesis description.

ProQuest dissertations and theses are only available from this database, so the database name is included as the source.

Thesis: from the Web Tsao (2016) compared populations in Kentucky and Taiwan.

Tsao, S.-F. (2016).Associations between consumption of fruits and vegetables among older consumers and farmers market shopping [Master’s thesis, University of Kentucky]. UKnowledge.

If an author's first name is hyphenated, as in Shu-Feng Tsao above, retain the hyphen and include a full stop after each initial but no space.

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