How To Correctly Cite A Dissertation

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When it comes to scholarly writing, citing sources, especially dissertations, is a critical aspect that contributes not only to the credibility of your work but also to its academic integrity. In this guide, we delve into the nuances of how to correctly cite a dissertation. Understanding and implementing precise citation methods not only showcase your respect for intellectual property but also positions your work favorably in the eyes of your peers and, importantly, in the discerning eyes of search engines like Google.

How To Correctly Cite A Dissertation

Importance of Proper Citation

Enhancing Academic Credibility

Citations serve as the backbone of academic work, providing a robust foundation for your assertions and conclusions. Properly citing a dissertation is a testament to the thoroughness and reliability of your research, establishing your work as a credible source in your field.

Avoiding Plagiarism

One of the primary reasons for meticulous citation is to avoid plagiarism. Plagiarism, intentional or not, can lead to severe consequences in academia. Search engines, including Google, prioritize content that demonstrates originality and adherence to ethical standards.

Formatting Dissertation Citations

APA Style

The American Psychological Association (APA) style is a widely accepted format for dissertation citations. When citing a dissertation in APA, include the author's last name, followed by a comma and their initials. The year of publication comes next in parentheses, followed by the title of the dissertation in italics. The institution granting the degree should be mentioned, and finally, the URL or DOI if available.


Doe, J. (Year). Title of the Dissertation. University Name. [URL or DOI]

MLA Style

The Modern Language Association (MLA) style is another commonly used format for dissertation citations. In MLA, the author's name is listed in reverse order, with the last name first, followed by a comma and their first name. The title of the dissertation is italicized, and the degree-granting institution is mentioned. The publication year and the medium of publication (Web) are included.


Doe, John. Title of the Dissertation. University Name, Year. Web.

Chicago Style

The Chicago Manual of Style offers two citation styles: notes and bibliography and author-date. For a dissertation, the notes and bibliography style is often preferred. In this style, the citation includes the author's name, the title of the dissertation in quotation marks, and details about the publication.


John Doe, "Title of the Dissertation" (PhD diss., University Name, Year).

Online Dissertation Citations

Including URLs and DOIs

In the digital age, many dissertations are available online. When citing an online dissertation, it's crucial to include the URL or DOI to direct readers and search engines to the source. Google values content that is easily accessible and provides a seamless user experience.

Ensuring Accessibility

Apart from including URLs or DOIs, it's essential to verify the accessibility of the online dissertation. Broken links or restricted access can hinder the visibility of your citation. Choose reputable sources or repositories for online dissertations to ensure lasting accessibility.

Best Practices for SEO-Friendly Citations

Strategic Keyword Placement

To optimize your content for search engines, strategically incorporate relevant keywords related to your dissertation topic. This not only enhances the discoverability of your work but also aligns with Google's algorithm, which prioritizes content with well-integrated keywords.

Engaging Meta Descriptions

Craft compelling meta descriptions for your citations. These concise snippets not only entice readers but also provide search engines with a succinct summary of your content. A captivating meta description can significantly improve click-through rates and contribute to higher search rankings.


In conclusion, mastering the art of dissertation citations goes beyond fulfilling academic requirements. It plays a pivotal role in elevating the visibility of your work on search engines, particularly Google. By adhering to established citation styles, embracing online accessibility, and implementing SEO best practices, you can ensure that your dissertation citations not only meet academic standards but also stand out in the vast digital landscape.

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