Writing A Dissertation: Citation Rules For Dummies

Writing a dissertation is a long process that includes choosing an interesting study question, doing a research, analyzing the findings, formulating conclusions, and identifying directions for further study. However, one of the important aspects of the work is to format the paper and cite all the sources that you have consulted. Keep in mind that you should follow the requirements of your supervisor carefully. The following citation rules for dummies are designed to help you get started:

  • Cite the resources in each section of the paper if needed.
  • You should insert citations in the introduction and discussion sections if you refer to outside sources of information. If you have any doubts whether you need to cite the source, you should cite it. Remember to introduce the information properly by outlining the relevant aspects of the work in your own words. It is recommended to paraphrase the material or else you should format it as a quotation.

  • Take the notes while doing a literature review.
  • You will save your time and effort if you make small cards that contain vital information about the sources that you have consulted. The important elements of bibliography include the name of the author, the year of publication, the page number, the city of publication, and the name of the publisher. Internet sources should also be cited and included in the list of references, so remember to note the complete URLs.

  • Study the basics of the text citation format.
  • There are several formats popular in the world of academic writing, including the American Psychological Association, Modern Language Association, and Chicago styles. You can easily find a complete writing manual that contains all the details that you might require while working on your paper. However, you can save time by studying general rules and consulting an appropriate style manual when needed.

  • Avoid using footnotes and long quotations.
  • Although some supervisors allow their students to use footnotes, it is advisable to avoid them if possible. So, you will make your writing easier to read. Do not use long quotations since the dissertation should contain your own research findings and data interpretation. You should put the material in your own words, analyze it, and interpret the important relationships.

  • Compose a complete list of references.
  • Your list of references should contain all the sources that you cited throughout the text. It is a good idea to list the citation entries in alphabetical order. However, you can also make this list in chronological sequence by a year of publication. Remember to format the list according to the formatting style requirements. You can use a special bibliographical software that will help you generate the list of references.

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