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APA Format Style Guide: Dissertations and Theses, Conference Sessions and Presentations

This guide will assist you in writing research papers using the American Psychological Association (APA) Style. It will help explain formatting your paper as well as proper citation for various resources.

Basic Citation

Conference Sessions and Presentations

Author Date Title Source - Conference Information Source - DOI or URL
Presenter, A.A., & Presenter, B.B.

(2020, September 18-20).

(2020, October 30- November 1).

Title of contribution [Type of contribution]. Conference Name, Location.


Symposium Contributions

Author Date Contribution Title Source - Conference Information Source - DOI or URL
Contributor, A.A., & Contributor, B.B.

(2020, September 18-20).

(2020, October 30 - November 1).

Title of contribution. In C.C. Chairperson (Chair), Title of symposium [Symposium]. Conference Name, Location.


Unpublished Dissertations and Theses

Author Date Title Source
Author, A.A. (2020).

Title of dissertation [Unpublished doctoral dissertation].

Title of thesis [Unpublished master's thesis].

Name of Institution Awarding the Degree.

Published Dissertations and Theses

Author Date Title Source - Database or Archive Name Source - URL
Author, A.A. (2020).

Title of dissertation [Doctoral dissertation, Name of Institution Awarding the Degree].

Title of thesis [Master's thesis, Name of Institution Awarding the Degree].

Database Name.

Archive Name.



Conference Sessions and Presentations

Remember to indent the second and following lines in your reference list entries!

Conference Session

Fistek, A., Jester, E., & Sonnenberg, K. (2017, July 12-15). Everybody's got a little music in them: Using music therapy to connect, engage, and motivate [Conference session]. Autism Society National Conference, Milwaukee, WI, United States.

  • Parenthetical Citaions: (Fistek et al., 2017)
  • Narrative Citatoins: Fistek et al. (2017)

Paper Presentation

Maddox, S., Hurling, J., Stewart, E., & Edwards, A. (2016, March 30-April 2). If mama ain't happy, nobody's happy: The effect of parental depression on mood dysregulation in children [Paper presentation]. Southeastern Psychological Association 62nd Annual Meeting, New Orleans, LA, United States.

  • Parenthetical Citations: (Maddox et al., 2016)
  • Narrative Citations: Maddox et al. (2016)

Poster Presentation

Pearson, J. (2018, September 27-30). Fat talk and its effects on state-based body image in women [Poster presentation]. Australian Psychological Society Congress, Sydney, NSW, Australia.

  • Parenthetical Citations: (Pearson, 2018)
  • Narrative Citations: Pearson (2018)

Symposium Contribution

De Boer, D., & LaFavor, T. (2018, April 26-29). The art and significance of successfully identifying resilient individuals: A person-focused approach. In A.M. Schmidt & A. Kryvanos (Chairs), Perspectives on resilience: Conceptualization, measurement, and enhancement [Symposium]. Western Psychological Association 98th Annual Convention, Portland, OR, United States.

  • Parenthetical Citations: (De Boer & LaFavor, 2018)
  • Narrative Citations: De Boer and LaFavor (2018)

Dissertations and Theses

Remember to indent the second and following lines of reference list entries!

Unpublished Dissertation or Thesis

Harris, L. (2014). Instructional leadership perceptions and practices of elementary school leaders [Unpublished doctoral dissertation]. University of Virginia.

  • Parenthetical Citation: (Harris, 2014)
  • Narrative Citation: Harris (2014)

Dissertation or Thesis from a Database

Hollander, M.M. (2017). Resistance to authority: Methodological innovations and ne lessons from the Milgram experiment (Publication No. 10289373) [Doctoral dissertation, University of Wisconsin-Madison]. ProQuest Dissertations and Theses Global.

  • Parenthetical Citations: (Hollander, 2017)
  • Narrative Citations: Hollander (2017)

Dissertation or Thesis published online (not from a database)

Zambrano-Vazquez, L. (2016). The interaction of state and trait worry on response monitoring in those with worry and obsessive-compulsive symptoms [Doctoral dissertation, University of Arizona]. UA Campus Repository.

  • Parenthetical Citations: (Zambrano-Vazquez, 2016)
  • Narrative Citations: Zambrano-Vazquez (2016)


  • Capitalize only the first word in the document title and any proper nouns.  If there is a colon in the title (a subtitle), capitalize only the first word after the colon and any proper nouns.
  • Alphabetize your reference list by the first word of the citation, usually the author's last name.  If there is no author, alphabetize by the first main word in the title, ignoring "a," "an," or "the."
  • Double space all of the citations on your reference list.
  • Indent the second and following lines of the citation 5 to 7 spaces.