Dissertations, doctoral studies, project studies, capstones, and theses are all student-produced works that present and discuss an individual's research.
Note: While dissertations are definitely scholarly and are reviewed and edited before publication, they do not go through a peer-review process, and thus, aren't considered peer-reviewed sources.
A distinguishing characteristic of dissertations is that they generally start with a cover page.
Dissertation reference citations are perhaps the easiest citations to recognize; they include the words doctoral dissertation right in the citation! They also contain:
- Database name: For dissertations that are downloaded from a database, the database name is included. This is generally the ProQuest Dissertations & Theses Database.
- Publication number: In ProQuest Dissertations & Theses Database, this is the Dissertation/Thesis Number.
In APA 7th, dissertations retrieved from the ProQuest Dissertations & Theses Database generally follow this format:
Author. (Year). Title of dissertation (Publication No.) [Doctoral dissertation, University]. Database Name.
Here is an example:
Burley, M. A. (2009). Working for social change: Using student-centered instructional designs to improve achievement. (Publication No. 3379796) [Doctoral dissertation, Walden University]. ProQuest Dissertations and Theses.
Note: Not all dissertation reference citations will follow this format exactly. If you have questions about citing a capstone using APA style, please contact the Writing Center.
The first page of a dissertation or doctoral study may contain:
- university name - for example, Walden University
- college name - for example, College of Nursing
- type of degree - dissertation or doctoral study
- committee member names
- year completed