Millsaps College
What are Dissertations and Theses?
A dissertation is: "A lengthy, formal written treatise or thesis, especially an account of scholarly investigation or original research on a specialized topic, submitted to a university in partial fulfillment of the requirements for a Ph.D. degree."

A thesis is: "A proposition advanced and defended in a formal disputation, especially by a candidate in partial fulfillment of university requirements for a master's degree."

Before you use a dissertation or thesis as a source for an assignment, ask your professor if this is an acceptable type of source for the assignment. Dissertations are usually very specific and not the most appropriate source to use in undergraduate papers. They could be useful sources for some senior level research papers.

Definitions from the ODLIS.
How to Find Dissertations and Theses

Dissertations in the Eudora Welty Collection
The Millsaps-Wilson Library makes an effort to include all dissertations written about Eudora Welty. They can be found in the library's Eudora Welty Collection. Search for them in Big Search or in the library's catalog.

Networked Digital Library of Theses and Dissertations (NDLTD)
NDLTD provides access to citations from thousands of digital dissertations and theses that are in PDF format. A significant number of these resources are freely available in full-text and can be viewed online.

OpenThesis is a free repository of theses, dissertations, and other academic documents.

WorldCat Dissertations and Theses database Restricted Resource
This database contains records for over 5 million items cataloged as dissertations, theses, or published materials based on theses or dissertations, in WorldCat, including titles provided by NetLibrary.

Electronic Theses and Dissertations (ETDs) Collections from various universities:

Auburn University
Cornell University
Georgia State University
Georgia Tech
Florida State University
MIT Theses 
Mississippi State University
Penn State University
Rice University
Texas A&M University 
University of Alabama
University of Arizona
University of Florida
University of Maine
University of Pennsylvania
University of Pittsburgh
University of Rochester
University of Texas
Utah State University
Vanderbilt University
Virginia Tech

Citing Dissertations using MLA Style
The following information is from page 244 of EasyWriter: A Pocket Reference, which is on reserve at the library.
How to cite a dissertation using MLA Style:

 Enclose the title in quotation marks. Add the label Diss., the school, the year the work was accepted, and the medium.
LeCourt, Donna. "The Self in Motion: The Status of the (Student) Subject in Composition
     Studies." Diss. Ohio State U, 1993. Print.

NOTE: Cite a published dissertation as a book, adding the identification Diss. and the university.

Onley, James. The Arabian Frontier of the British Raj: Merchants, Rulers, and the British in the
     Nineteenth-Century Gulf
. Diss. U of Oxford, 2001. Oxford: Oxford UP, 2007. Print.
Citing Dissertations using APA Style
The following information is from page 277 of EasyWriter: A Pocket Reference, which is on reserve at the library.
How to cite a dissertation using APA Style:

If you retrieved the dissertation from a database, give the database name and the accession number, if one is assigned.

Lengel, L. L. (1968). The righteous cause: Some religious aspects of Kansas populism. Retrieved from
     ProQuest Digital Dissertations. (6900033)

If you retrieve a dissertation from a Web site, give the type of dissertation, the institution, and year after the title, and provide a retrieval statement.

Meeks, M. G. (2006). Between abolition and reform: First-year writing programs, e-literacies, and
     institutional change
(doctoral dissertation, University of North Carolina, 2006). Retrieved from

Research Help
Picture: Library / Main Desk

Library / Main Desk
Tel: (601) 974-1073

Can't Find it at Millsaps?
If you cannot find the full text of a dissertation or thesis from the links in this guide, you can request the item using Interlibrary Loan.

We ask that you do not request a dissertation from Interlibrary Loan unless you're working on a senior paper. Dissertations are usually very specific and not the most appropriate source to use in undergraduate papers. They are also very difficult to borrow because they are usually owned only by the library at the institution where written.

Allow at least a week for an article to arrive and two weeks for a book to arrive. If your article is delivered in electronic format, you'll receive an email with the article attached as soon as it has arrived.