Using doctoral dissertations and master’s theses is a useful way to bolster your research for your school paper. As post graduate students are required to do original research for their theses, these sources cover current, timely topics.
Doctoral Dissertations and Master’s Theses
Teachers prefer you use as many primary sources as possible. It is good to incorporate secondary sources in your research, especially to guide you to authoritative, primary sources. Look through the reference list, works cited or bibliography for additional sources.
Many graduate and post graduate students submit their theses to subscription databases, institutional archives and even publish on their own websites. Although there is a trend towards creating a portfolio rather than publishing a master’s thesis, there is still plenty of original material out there.
Some dissertation indexing and abstracting sources include Dissertation Abstracts International and ProQuest Dissertations. Usually you will have access to paid databases through your school and/or public library.
Doctoral dissertation or master’s thesis available from a database service format:
Unpublished dissertation or thesis format:
- Italicize title.
- Indicate doctoral dissertation or master’s thesis in parenthesis after the title.
- Provide accession or order number listed in the database in parentheses.
Using a variety of sources makes the research process more interesting, rather than just looking for easy online sources, finding primary sources in doctoral and master’s theses shows off your research skills.
Source: Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association, 6th Edition.