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10 Tips On How To Cite Your Sources In A Dissertation Properly


If you have ever written a paper on any subject, whether in high school or college, you will probably agree that citing your sources can be quite problematic. It gets even trickier when you’re working on your doctoral dissertation. These simple tips will help you get through that:

  1. Find out the needed format.
  2. Different disciplines often require different citation formats. So, the first thing you should do is to ask your supervisor about what is expected for your paper in particular.

  3. Make your reference list a thorough one.
  4. When you base your own paper on someone else’s work, it is only fair to give him or her credit for it. You should add every single quotation you use to your bibliography.

  5. Be careful not to mention the author’s name more than once.
  6. When you put it in your own sentence, there is no need to duplicate it in brackets.

  7. Be consise when introducing your sources.
  8. It is always better to elaborate on your actual ideas and thoughts, leaving fewer words needed for the citations.

  9. Sum up selectively.
  10. Reviewing outside sources is a great means to fill up the blanks, if there are any. However, that will not earn you a lot of points most of the time. Whether it is worth it or not is really up to you.

  11. Be picky about what you quote.
  12. There is no need to use the exact words from the work you base your point on. You should try to rephrase initial statements and weave it into your own sentences.

  13. Don’t forget about quotation marks.
  14. If you cite more than three words from someone else’s paper in the original word order, you should definitely format it as a quote. The same goes for a specific term that has been invented by a certain author.

  15. Use separate paragraphs for long quotations.
  16. If you need to use more than three lines of the initial text, it is better to separate that abstract from your own thoughts. However, don’t forget to put the author’s name below it.

  17. Use special expressions when necessary.
  18. If you cite a work written by several scholars, there is no point in repeating their names over and over. Use "et al." for the citation after you named them all for the first time.

  19. Make sure you know how to cite foreign sources.
  20. If you need to translate a quote into English, you should use quotation marks. You will also need to put “(my translation)” after the interpreted abstract.

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