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MLA Doctoral Dissertations and Master's Theses


Examples of how to document the most common types of dissertations and theses are illustrated in this document. However, you might need to use a reference for a source which is not listed on this document.

In such a case, refer to The MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers (Sixth Edition, New York: Modern Language Association, 2003) or the MLA Style Guide to Scholarly Publishing (Second Edition, New York: Modern Language Association, 1998). Choose the example that is most like your source and follow that format.


Dissertation abstracted in DAI and obtained from university

Wu, Li. H. "The Transactive-developmental Writing Process

as an Instructional Theory in Response to Competency Testing."

Diss. Penn. State U, 1986. DAI 47 (1986): Z5603.

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Published dissertation

Johnson, Janet Lynn. The Théâtre Italien and Opera and Theatrical Life

in Restoration Paris, 1818-1827. Diss. U of Chicago, 1988. Ann

Arbor, Mich.: UMI, 1994. ATT 003068322.

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Unpublished dissertation

Van Zee, George R. "The Life of the Peasant Class in Renaissance

England." Diss. U of Minnesota, 1990.

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Unpublished thesis

Boleman, James M. "The Human Animal: The Unbreakable Chain between

Mother and Child." MA thesis, U of Southern California, 1989.

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LEO: Literacy Education Online

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Updated: 16 March 2004