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7.2 Tips on Quoting Correctly in your PhD Thesis

The previous section has given you information on how to use quotations effectively in order to bring out the points you are making in your Ph.D. What follows here is a brief referral list so that you can quickly remind yourself of the basics to quoting within a thesis:

  • Ensure that you have selected the most appropriate evidence at all times to make your thesis as powerful as possible.
  • Remember that what works well in one chapter may not necessarily work in another so adapt your use of quoting according to what you are hoping to achieve in a specific chapter in your Ph.D. thesis.
  • Use your quotations innovatively - in other words, tie them into the primary need for originality which is directing your thesis as a whole.
  • Decide when you are quoting whether in individual cases the block quote or the embedded quote is best. As has been pointed out, the best of all scenarios is a combination of the two in most cases but you must use your judgement to decide if specific areas require specific methods.
  • Bear in mind the advice given in the previous section on how you need to differentiate between disciplines in the use of evidence and analysis.
  • In the main, you will use close reading and comment on texts in an innovative way with an Arts thesis and opinion will be primary, supplemented by evidence.
  • In a science thesis, methodology will largely determine your method of quoting and you will be dealing with fact rather than opinion, interpretation being substituted for creativity.
  • Remember, though, that in both cases you need to use quotes from the critics in the same way.
  • With critical quotations, whatever the discipline, you are primarily establishing the place wherein your new research will be established.
  • It is vital always to bear in mind the fact that a doctorate aims to add to the body of knowledge on the subject in which you are working.
  • Remember that quotes are an integral part of your thesis and should not appear to be separate from it or in any way superimposed.

"The way in which you use quotes must add to the originality of your thesis!"

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