Guide to Citing a Thesis or Dissertation in Chicago and Turabian Styles

Dissertations are documents submitted by students to support their academic degree eligibility. To deliver a winning project, you must spend a significant amount of time reading guidelines, researching various thesis ideas, working with an endless list of literature entries as well as searching for help with dissertation. Strict formatting rules add an additional barrier to producing an A-grade paper.

As a result, many students think that writing and formatting a dissertation is a huge and scary task. So, how do you cite a thesis in Chicago by using a chicago reference generator? Let’s get into this.

The assignment becomes simple to complete if you are aware of its basic requirements and potential pitfalls. Have no time for reading those manuals or guides? That you are not required to. You can simply use such APA reference generator. But they are not accurate all the time.

That’s why in this blog we gathered all the information you need to properly cite a thesis or dissertation using the Chicago turabian citation styles.

The Importance of Proper Citation in Theses/Dissertations

Data gathering, analysis, and research are all integral parts of dissertation writing. Your claim must be supported and proven to be relevant by a third-party authority in order to do so. Citations are useful in this situation. A proper thesis format appears professional and will almost never be graded poorly. Here are a few more justifications for making sure that your last academic project has a proper citation style guide:

  • Show that you have conducted extensive research;
  • Provide credit to other experts, writers, and researchers.
  • Remove text plagiarism automatically;
  • Demonstrate the credibility of your words;
  • Make sure that every important statement in your work is proven and supported.
  • By including references, you enable readers to learn more about the topic.
  • A citation style guide from credible sources is a good way to back up your own ideas and claims without casting doubt on the reader. Prove your main points and demonstrate to the commission the significance of your research and academic work.

Aspects of Citing a Dissertation or Thesis in Chicago Turabian Style

A dissertation is a document written by a student to support their academic degree eligibility. In short, thesis papers give students the chance to add fresh insights, ideas, and methods to their specialized fields. In this case, learners must advance existing knowledge by conducting informed research.

Undergraduate Thesis

An undergraduate thesis is the culmination of a student’s college experiences. For instance, students concentrate on a single research issue using the experience gained throughout undergraduate courses. Scholars need to advance knowledge in this situation so that it can close the knowledge gap that has been found. An undergraduate thesis also includes reliable information that other academics can use as a source in their papers by following the Chicago or Turabian citation guidelines.

Master’s Thesis

A master’s thesis is similar to a doctoral dissertation in practice. For instance, length and focus are the main distinctions between these kinds of papers. In general, the Master’s thesis is shorter and more focused than the doctoral dissertation. A Master’s thesis also allows students to conduct additional research in their area of specialization. Because of its originality and credibility, information from the Master’s thesis can be cited by other scholars.

Doctoral Thesis

A doctoral thesis adds something new and creative to the area of study. In short, doctoral candidates use their thesis to show that they are knowledgeable in their field of study. The doctoral dissertation typically includes a detailed analysis of a particular research issue. Additionally, students offer information that can add to the body of knowledge already known about the subject. Because the doctoral dissertation includes reliable information about a particular subject, other academics cite its contents by following the Chicago Turabian citation format’s referencing guidelines.

Dissertation or Thesis Citation Rules in Chicago Turabian style

A student must acknowledge information that they have learned from reliable sources according to the Chicago or Turabian citation style. Particularly, dissertations include reliable information that can support scientific arguments. The author, title, and year of publication should then be included in all bibliography entries. Furthermore, when providing relevant details, proper punctuation must be used. Therefore, a researcher must pay attention to the following rules when entering each element of the source: how to cite a dissertation or thesis in Chicago/Turabian.

Using a Chicago/Turabian Citation for an Unpublished Dissertation

Author’s Name

When citing a thesis or dissertation using Chicago/Turabian style, the author’s name should be the first item in the bibliographic entry. In the Turabian annotated bibliography, for example, the author’s name should be inverted. For example, if the dissertation’s author is John Smith, the bibliographic entry should be “Smith, John.” Basically, the thesis title page displays the author’s first, middle, and last names. To avoid any chances of plagiarism, one should then mention the author’s real name. Since plagiarism means using someone else’s words and marking their own (thesiswritinghelp, 2022). Your teacher reads your journals every day and can easily spot mistakes in your writing (Wilhoit, 1994).

Unknown Author

The author’s name is not always included in dissertations. If the source in question has reliable information for the citation, writers should think about using the source’s title. Furthermore, using fictitious names for recognizing the author may result in plagiarism. An individual should be able to correctly cite a dissertation in Chicago/Turabian by looking at the source’s title instead.

Dissertation’s Title

In a 6. Turabian annotated bibliography entry, the second item is the dissertation’s title. Basically, when citing the necessary entry in Chicago/Turabian, writers should mention the complete title of the thesis. Furthermore, only the connecting words should start in small letters. As a result, the dissertation title should be enclosed in quotation marks and written in title case.

Punctuation Marks

The dissertation title should use proper punctuation marks. For example, at the end of the dissertation title, a period should be used. In most cases, the period is placed outside the quotation marks. A credible bibliographic entry, on the other hand, should include the period between the punctuation marks. As a result, when citing a dissertation in Chicago/Turabian, students must use the proper punctuation marks.

Publication Details

A dissertation’s publication information should come after the title and be enclosed in rounded brackets. The identifier for the source type, the location of publication, and the year are among the most crucial bibliographic details. Basically, these components can change depending on the kind of thesis a writer uses as their informational source. These are the rules for citing publications on a thesis or dissertation in Chicago/Turabian.

Source Type Identifier

The bibliographic entry’s first item is the source type identifier. The source identifier basically refers to the type of dissertation that is used as the source of the evidence. In this case, the source should be identified as a doctoral dissertation, master’s thesis, or undergraduate thesis. The phrase “Ph.D. diss.” should be used for doctoral papers. In addition, the word “dissertation” should be abbreviated. For the other two varieties of dissertations, students ought to use “Master’s Thesis” or “Bachelor’s Thesis.”

Publication Place

The author’s learning institution is referred to as the place of publication. Determining the university where the thesis’ author submitted their work for academic approval, for instance, is important. One should mention the institution’s full name.

Publication Year

The publication year should be the final detail. Writers should specify the year in which the dissertation was presented for academic defense. As a general rule, a thesis published within the last five years should be used.

Punctuation Marks

To distinguish each source’s entry in the bibliography, writers must use the appropriate punctuation. In practice, commas should be used to separate bibliographic data from the source. As a result, when citing a thesis or dissertation in Chicago/Turabian, a good bibliographic entry should look like this: (Source type identifier, publication place, year).

Using a Chicago/Turabian Citation for a Published Dissertation

A published dissertation’s bibliographic entry should include the author’s name as well as the title. In essence, this information should be presented in the same manner as unpublished journals. Other details, however, differ. To finish particular sections of a journal article, one should adhere to the rules listed below.

Publication Details

A published source’s bibliographic entry should not contain the publication information in brackets. For instance, unlike in the unpublished thesis, the type of dissertation, publication location, and year should not be enclosed in rounded brackets. Commas, however, should be used to separate these details.

Page Numbers

Dissertations with individual page numbers may be published as research articles. Essentially, the range of pages containing the relevant article should be included. A hyphen should be used to differentiate between the pages in this case. Furthermore, when showing actual pages of the thesis, do not use “p.” or “pp.” When a research thesis is actually published, the pagination should read “15-50.” Following the pagination, a period should appear.

The name of the database and its accession number

The writer must identify the database’s name and accession number. In this case, the database name should be followed by the thesis’s publication details. This name basically refers to the journal that actually published the dissertation. The published dissertation’s accession number should then be written between the brackets. Furthermore, a period should be placed after the bracket containing the number of the accession

Using a Chicago/Turabian Citation for an Online Dissertation

Dissertations of various types can be found online. A published dissertation’s bibliographic entry, for example, should include the author’s name and the title. They explain how to cite a published  thesis or dissertation in Chicago/Turabian.

Publication Details

An online source’s bibliographic entry’s publication information shouldn’t be enclosed in brackets. Basically, one should list the type of thesis, the location, and the year of publication, separating each with a comma. These details must come after the source’s title.


Students should include a link to the source’s URL. To avoid ambiguity in the bibliographic entry, the URL should be precise in this case. The URL link, for example, should be “http://www.” In addition, the URL link should be the final item in the bibliographic entry. In order to link to the thesis that has been published online, one should use a valid URL.

Relevant Citation Examples

The following are illustrations of Chicago/Turabian citation styles that can be used to reference dissertations and theses in written, electronic, and unpublished works.

  1. An unpublished dissertation’s bibliographic entry

Last name, First name. “Title.” Unpublished dissertation, modified Month, Day, Year. Format.

Actual example:

Smith, John. “A Study of a Scientific Topic.” Unpublished manuscript, last modified June 11, 2023. Microsoft Word file.

  1. A published dissertation’s bibliographic entry

Last name, First name. “Title.” Master’s thesis or PhD dissertation, University Name, published year. Identification Number (Database).

Actual example:

Knight, Kimberly.  “Media Epidemics: Viral Structures in Literature and New Media.” PhD diss., University of California, Santa Barbara, 2011. MLA International Bibliography (2013420395).

  1. An online dissertation’s bibliographic entry

Last name, First name. “Title.” Master’s thesis or PhD dissertation, University Name, published year. URL.

Actual example:

Hendrick, David. “Traditional Marketing vs Digital Marketing”. PhD diss. University of Illinois, 2022.

Note: Please note that all the above examples presented to you are the actual work. These are served for learning purposes.

Wrapping up

Dissertations are documents submitted by students to support their academic degree candidature. In short, thesis papers give students the chance to add fresh insights, ideas, and methods to their specialized fields. They do so because they offer trustworthy data that academics can use to support their arguments. Then, master’s thesis, doctoral dissertations, and undergraduate dissertations are the most popular types of dissertations. Additionally, in order to prevent plagiarism claims, students in higher education at all levels must learn the fundamentals of the Chicago/Turabian citation style. There is also a manual for writers of research papers theses and dissertations that authors need to stick to when creating citations for dissertations.


What is the Turabian style format?

All sides should have one-inch margins. Times New Roman 12 pt is the preferred font/size. Each paragraph in the paper’s body should be indented by one-half. Block quotes, footnotes, bibliographies, reference lists, table and figure titles should not be double-spaced throughout the paper.

What are examples of Turabian style?

Format: Last name, First name. “Title.” Master’s thesis or PhD dissertation, University Name, published year. Identification Number (Database).

Example: Knight, Kimberly.  “Media Epidemics: Viral Structures in Literature and New Media.” PhD diss., University of California, Santa Barbara, 2011. MLA International Bibliography (2013420395).

What is the difference between APA Style and the Turabian style?

The fields of science, psychology, and education use the APA (American Psychological Association). While, business, history, and the fine arts all use the Chicago/Turabian style.

What is another name for the Turabian style?

Chicago style is another name for Turabian. Both are interchangeable words. Moreover, the guidelines are also the same for Turabian and Chicago.

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