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APA Style 6th Edition: Citing Your Sources

Provide guidance on the APA format style based on the 6th edition of the APA Publication Manual.

Standard Format

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For an unpublished dissertation or thesis: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  Title of dissertation or thesis (Unpublished doctoral dissertation or master’s thesis).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.

Various Examples


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

Andrea, H. (2014). Effective networked nonprofit organizations: Defining the behavior and creating an instrument for measurement (Doctoral dissertation). Retrieved from

Unpublished master’s thesis

Curry, J.  (2016).  A guide to educating single mothers about early gang intervention and prevention (Unpublished master’s thesis).  Pacific Oaks College, Pasadena, CA.

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



  • Italicize the title
  • Identify whether source is doctoral dissertation or master’s thesis in parentheses after the title