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Citing sources properly when writing a thesis


It is probably a bit silly to suggest that somebody writing a thesis needs assistance in knowing how to properly cite sources. Before they get to writing a thesis they will have spent many years writing term papers, research papers and general essays and in each of these situations will have quoted material and hopefully cited their references. So after all the years of doing hopefully the right thing, they come to creating their largest document, a thesis. The rules for citing references in a thesis are the same for all other essays and written documentation for an educational institution.

The first important thing to remember is that if you fail to cite the reference there is a possibility you could be accused of plagiarism. This is the situation you must avoid. Even if you make a mistake, even if you accidentally quote a section of somebody else's work and do not cite the reference, plagiarism is still a distinct possibility. So before you learn how to directly cite all references, make sure you do exactly that.


Which method or formula are you using?

Your educational institution will decide upon a style, a writing style which you as the creator of the thesis will have to follow. This goes without saying. Know the requirements of the person or institution supervising your PhD. You do not have a choice here. If it is the APA or MLA or some other writing style, you must know this formula backwards and inside out.

There are numerous examples of how to cite sources properly when using a particular writing style. Your college or university will have many examples of the correct format and there are websites aplenty which likewise explain and illustrate the situation.

The important thing to remember is that good quotations, relevant references do a number of things for your thesis. They add to the impact of the argument you are trying to make in your PhD thesis. And they demonstrate that you have read widely and well. Therefore having decided to use the references you have chosen, do not spoil the quality of your work by using incorrect or inappropriate citations.

One of the most simple ways to ensure your citations are accurate is to read other thesis examples which have been rated highly. Look at their references and how they were cited and copy them exactly.

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