How To Cite Sources In Your Dissertation Properly

Not trying to scare you, but the dissertation will be the most important paper you ever write in your life. It will influence not only your academic career, but pretty much your whole life. If uncited sources in your essays can be treated mildly and the professor will most likely give you a second chance before taking the issue further, if plagiarism is found in your dissertation, the board will want to take immediate actions. That is why citing everything you use in the paper, if it does not come from your own head, is extremely important.

How to manage your sources successfully.

A dissertation is usually a pretty big paper and sometimes you use up to a hundred sources. It is really easy to get lost among them and forget what information comes from where. That’s why you need to be careful with your sources from the first moments of your research. Here are a few tips for you:

  • Write down every interesting piece of information you come across and the source of it. You will be reading so much that in a few days you may not remember what is was, so keep track.

  • Arrange the sources you use. If you have a plan of your paper (and you shall have it by now), assign sources to the parts of it to make sure you don’t lose anything or repeat yourself.

  • Mark every piece of used information while you are still writing your paper. You may think you will come back to it later, but it will be much easier to miss something later. You may not use the full citation, just mark the source and the page it came from.

Study the citation guidelines.

Even if you cite the information, but you don’t do it correctly, it will still be a huge mistake. It’s not enough just to put the quotation marks, you will need to state the source of the information in a correct way. This way is decided by the citation style you use in the paper. The most common are MLA, APA, Chicago, Harvard and a few others. Your board or instructor will let you know, which style is typical for your subject and university. It will influence how you form your bibliography list, how many in-text citations you may use per page and how to cite them properly. Make sure to study the guide before you start working on the paper to avoid numerous mistakes.


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