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How Do You Cite References in a Dissertation?

Composing an academic project is a blend of being creative and taking inspiration. This is especially true in the case of dissertation writing. As a lengthy process, it involves a lot of research, which means using other people’s ideas along with yours.

When you do that, you need to give them credit; that’s what citing references is all about. But how do you cite references in a dissertation? It’s easier than you think! Let’s walk through it together and find the best referencing style for your paper.

Why Do We Cite References in a Dissertation?

Referencing or citing is like informing your readers, “See, this is where I got this great piece of information!”. It helps in verifying the information you’ve used in your paper. Furthermore, it gives credit to the original researcher for their efforts.

You can go as far as to say it’s one researcher’s way of thanking the other for their help. But there’s another reason why referencing is so crucial: It backs up your argument or claim. Thus, citations bring about authenticity and trustworthiness in your work.

Choosing Your Best Referencing Style for a Dissertation

In academic writing, you can credit people’s hard work in various ways. These different methods of citing references are typically known as “Styles”.

When choosing a citation style, plenty of factors are at play. The most crucial is your assignment requirement. Some of the major formatting styles include:

  • APA (American Psychological Association). This is popular with social science subjects.
  • MLA (Modern Language Association). Learners of language and literature subjects often utilize this method.
  • Chicago. Chicago is a diverse style of referencing used for a range of subjects from humanities to sciences.

Now, don’t get too tangled up in which style to use or which to skip. In case of any confusion, you can consult your instructor. Moreover, you can also ask a professional writer to assist you. Look for a student-friendly, cheap assignment service platform offering proper guidance.

Cite References in a Dissertation: The APA Style

The “APA” style involves mentioning the original researcher’s name and the year of publication. Think of it like remembering to mention the person’s name and when they said or did the thing you’re writing about.

To Illustrate:

  • John Smith, in his Book Name (2020)… OR (Smith, 2020)

At the end of your paper, you’ll list all your references in detail, which would look like:

  • Smith, J. (2020). Title of the Book. Publisher.

The MLA Style: Cite References in a Dissertation

This MLA method involves mentioning the researcher and the cited page. It’s like telling who said it and where they’ve said it in their work.

To showcase:

  • John Smith says in his Book Name (p.24)… OR (Smith 24)

In your list at the end, you’ll write:

  • Smith, John. Title of the Book. Publisher, Publication Year.

Citing Your Dissertation the Chicago Style

The “Chicago” style is a bit different. It’s like telling who said it, when, and exactly where they said it. It entails adding footnotes (endnotes).

For example:

  • John Smith, in his Book Name (2020, p.24)… OR (Smith 2020, 24)

At the end of the paper, the listing would look like:

  • Smith, John. 2020. Title of the Book. Place of publication: Publisher.

When using an academic journal or a blog post to support your claim, give credit where it’s due. Mention the author’s name and their work, along with the publication date.

Mistakes to Avoid When You Cite References in a Dissertation

Inappropriate use of even the best referencing style for a dissertation can make things quite messy! So, let’s review some common mistakes people make when citing references and how to avoid them.

Not Citing Everything

The golden rule of writing a dissertation is simple: If it’s not your idea, cite it. This applies to direct quotes, paraphrased ideas, images, tables—everything! So, don’t step on this pitfall.

How to avoid it: When in doubt, cite it. If you think, “Should I cite this?” the answer is probably “Yes!”

Using the Wrong Citation Style

MLA, APA, Chicago—it seems like a sea of citation styles, right? Using the wrong style can confuse your readers and frustrate your teachers.

How to avoid it: Ask your teacher which style you should use and stick with it. Keep a reference guide handy, or get help from a citation generator tool.

Incomplete References

Missing out on important details in your reference is like giving wrong directions, which leads to confusion.

How to avoid it: Each citation style has its own requirements, but typically, you’ll need the author’s name, year of publication, title of the source, and other relevant details like pages, publisher, or URL.

Mixing Citation Styles

Using one style in one part of your dissertation and another elsewhere is a big no-no. It’s like mixing up languages in a conversation!

How to avoid it: Choose one citation style and stick to it consistently throughout your entire dissertation.

Not Proofreading Citations

Typos, incorrect page numbers, or wrongly spelled author names can all make your dissertation look sloppy.

How to avoid it: Before you submit your work, take an extra hour or two to double-check every single citation.

Using the best referencing style for a dissertation is more than a rule—it shows your respect for other people’s ideas. So don’t let these common mistakes trip you up! Stick to these tips, and you’ll not only avoid hassle but also write a dissertation that everyone can follow and appreciate.

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We hope you got the answer to the question: How do you cite references in a dissertation? Remember, learning to cite correctly is a journey. So, allow yourself some mistakes, and don’t be so hard on yourself. Keep practicing; before you know it, citing references will be a breeze!

By the end of your paper, you’ll have a list of all of those people you’re saying thank you for helping with your work. It shows where your ideas came from, it highlights the hard work others did, and it makes your work trustworthy.

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