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9.4 Tips on Citation in Your Ph.D. Thesis

The previous section has given you detailed information about how and why you should cite correctly. What follows is a quick reference to this to which you can refer:

  1. Referencing correctly is vital and you should never overlook or underestimate its importance to the success of your doctorate.
  2. Familiarise yourself with the correct referencing style before you even begin your proposal.
  3. Use the required referencing style at all times during the research and writing of your thesis – even in note-taking – as then it will become second nature to you to use it and not seem so tedious to adopt and to maintain.
  4. Remember that certain disciplines, such as Law and Medicine, employ the same referencing techniques whatever the degree or academic institution.
  5. However, most disciplines have a specific non-generic style requirement for referencing and this is what you need to familiarise yourself with.
  6. All citations must be carried out in the same referencing style throughout the course of your thesis.
  7. Adhere precisely to any and all style requirements right down to every dot and comma – that’s how exact referencing needs to be.
  8. Remember that there is a logical reason for precise referencing – it isn’t being inflicted upon you as a punishment by evil examiners!
  9. If you consider, the idea of every thesis employing certain common features allows you to note precisely where the source from which it is taken can be located.
  10. Examples of this include the common feature of placing titles not published separately in single inverted commas, whilst sources that have been published alone are either underlined or in italics: knowing this helps you to know that a text may be found either within a book or searched for separately, which is very helpful.
  11. When citing within the text of your thesis, remember that it is important to limit the use of terms such as ‘ibid’ as it can become confusing.
  12. When you cite a text for the first time, you need to give the full details, after that you can – and should - use abbreviations.

"Cite correctly within both your main thesis and your bibliography from first to last!"

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