Detailed Guide on How to Cite a Thesis

As you are about to start writing, it is important to know how to cite a thesis or how to cite a dissertation. In this article, you will learn how to cite a dissertation or a thesis and more.

How to Cite a Thesis Paper

Citing dissertations or theses is simply mentioning whatever research work you are referencing in your study. When citing a dissertation, write the author’s surname name, and year in a parenthesis. For example, “Bracknell (2021) or (Bracknell, 2021) affirms that healthy food is healthy living.”

Content of a Thesis or Dissertation


The abstract of a thesis or dissertation is the summary of what the dissertation or thesis contains. Here, you are to write your thesis or dissertation title, its aims, the methodology you used, and if you achieved your aims. Usually, an abstract is one-paged and it comes first before the chapters of your dissertation or thesis. However, it is advisable to write your chapters first. This way, it becomes easier for you to write your abstract.

Chapter One: Introduction

In this chapter, what you do is introduce your dissertation or thesis to the reader. Anyone reading the introduction chapter of your thesis or dissertation must be able to have a clear picture of what you intend to present in your study. Now, the introduction chapter of a thesis or dissertation can be as long as three to four pages or as short as two pages. This depends on three factors: the first is the word count your school gave you, the second could be because you have a lot more to write in your succeeding chapters. The last factor is if you are writing a thesis or dissertation by the practice where you do not need many words but to present practical work.

Your introduction should contain certain key details. First of all, state your dissertation or thesis title. Secondly, give background information that is relevant to your topic. Thirdly, state the problems and what you hope to achieve. You can highlight these as aims, objectives, or research questions. Fourthly, state that you have consulted previous literature and what methodology you intend to use. Now, you do not have to give many details here. You can state and write, “This will be fully discussed in the methodology or literature chapter.”

Chapter Two: Literature Review

Usually, the next chapter that comes after the introduction chapter is the literature review. However, this depends on the guideline that the school gives the student. In some schools, the literature review may come after the methodology.

The literature review is the chapter of your thesis or dissertation where you discuss the works of other researchers that you consulted. Consulting previous literature as soon as you get approval for your topic is necessary. This way, you learn new perspectives about your topic. After discussing some key contributions of previous literature that are relevant to your dissertation, critique. To critique, you have to point out any gaps in the previous literature. These include questions that the authors did not answer, important areas of research that they did not cover, problematic research areas, etc. Next, you write about how your study differs from theirs. This way, the reader knows that you are presenting an original and fresh topic.

Chapter Three: Methodology

In this chapter, you will explain the methods you have used in gathering the information needed for your analysis. You will also explain the theoretical framework you chose and why. Furthermore, you will write on whether or not you encounter any problems during your research. For some students, their methodology chapter may be as long as three to five pages. For others, it may be as short as two pages. Again, this depends on your word count, the work involved, and the type of thesis or dissertation you are doing.

Chapter Four: Analysis and Discussion

This chapter is what most examiners are interested in the most. Here, you will analyze the work you have done, showing the little and important details. You will also discuss what you have analyzed and then what you have discovered. Finally, you will inform the reader whether you have concluded your research or if it is open to further research.

Chapter Five: Conclusion

In this chapter, you give a summary of your chapter one to four. Here, your focus is more on what you have achieved in chapter five. You can end your Conclusion chapter with suggestions on how to solve a problem.


After citing dissertation, you should list out detailed information such as name, year of published work, name and place of publication, and the access dates. This is what is expected after citing dissertation.


Citing a dissertation or thesis is simple, writing one is not so easy. However, with the guide in this article, you are on the right track to starting.