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Common Citation Styles for Dissertation Writing

When writing a dissertation, it is crucial to properly cite all sources used in the research process. This not only gives credit to the original authors but also allows readers to locate the sources and verify the information. There are several citation styles commonly used in academic writing, each with its own set of rules and guidelines. In this article, we will explore five of the most common citation styles for dissertation writing, including APA, MLA, Chicago, Harvard, and Vancouver. Understanding these citation styles will help you effectively and accurately cite your sources, ensuring the integrity and credibility of your dissertation.

APA Style

The American Psychological Association (APA) style is widely used in the social sciences, including psychology, sociology, and education. It provides guidelines for formatting and citing sources in academic writing. Here are some key points to remember when using APA style for your dissertation:

  • Use in-text citations to acknowledge the source of any information or ideas that are not your own.
  • Include a reference list at the end of your dissertation, listing all the sources cited in your work.
  • Format the reference list entries according to specific rules, including the author’s name, publication date, title of the work, and publication information.
  • Use hanging indentation for the reference list, where the first line of each entry is flush left, and subsequent lines are indented.

For example, if you are citing a book in APA style, the reference entry would look like this:

Author’s Last Name, Author’s First Initial. (Year). Title of Book. Publisher.

MLA Style

The Modern Language Association (MLA) style is commonly used in the humanities, including literature, languages, and cultural studies. It provides guidelines for formatting and citing sources in academic writing. Here are some key points to remember when using MLA style for your dissertation:

  • Use in-text citations to acknowledge the source of any information or ideas that are not your own.
  • Include a Works Cited page at the end of your dissertation, listing all the sources cited in your work.
  • Format the Works Cited entries according to specific rules, including the author’s name, title of the work, publication information, and medium of publication.
  • Use hanging indentation for the Works Cited page, where the first line of each entry is flush left, and subsequent lines are indented.
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For example, if you are citing a journal article in MLA style, the Works Cited entry would look like this:

Author’s Last Name, Author’s First Name. “Title of Article.” Title of Journal, vol. Volume Number, no. Issue Number, Year, pp. Page Numbers. Name of Database, DOI or URL.

Chicago Style

The Chicago Manual of Style (CMS) is commonly used in history, art history, and other humanities disciplines. It provides guidelines for formatting and citing sources in academic writing. Here are some key points to remember when using Chicago style for your dissertation:

  • Use footnotes or endnotes to acknowledge the source of any information or ideas that are not your own.
  • Include a bibliography at the end of your dissertation, listing all the sources cited in your work.
  • Format the bibliography entries according to specific rules, including the author’s name, title of the work, publication information, and page numbers.
  • Use hanging indentation for the bibliography, where the first line of each entry is flush left, and subsequent lines are indented.

For example, if you are citing a website in Chicago style, the bibliography entry would look like this:

Author’s Last Name, Author’s First Name. “Title of Web Page.” Title of Website. Publication Date or Access Date. URL.

Harvard Style

The Harvard referencing style is commonly used in the sciences, including biology, chemistry, and medicine. It provides guidelines for formatting and citing sources in academic writing. Here are some key points to remember when using Harvard style for your dissertation:

  • Use in-text citations to acknowledge the source of any information or ideas that are not your own.
  • Include a reference list at the end of your dissertation, listing all the sources cited in your work.
  • Format the reference list entries according to specific rules, including the author’s name, publication date, title of the work, and publication information.
  • Use hanging indentation for the reference list, where the first line of each entry is flush left, and subsequent lines are indented.
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For example, if you are citing a journal article in Harvard style, the reference entry would look like this:

Author’s Last Name, Author’s First Initial. (Year). “Title of Article.” Title of Journal, volume(issue), page numbers.

Vancouver Style

The Vancouver referencing style is commonly used in the medical and health sciences. It provides guidelines for formatting and citing sources in academic writing. Here are some key points to remember when using Vancouver style for your dissertation:

  • Use numerical citations to acknowledge the source of any information or ideas that are not your own.
  • Include a reference list at the end of your dissertation, listing all the sources cited in your work.
  • Format the reference list entries according to specific rules, including the author’s name, title of the work, publication information, and page numbers.
  • Use a superscript number to indicate the citation in the text, and list the references in the order they appear in the text.

For example, if you are citing a book in Vancouver style, the reference entry would look like this:

Author’s Last Name, Author’s First Initial. Title of Book. Place of Publication: Publisher; Year.

Summary

In conclusion, when writing a dissertation, it is essential to use the appropriate citation style to ensure the accuracy and credibility of your work. The five common citation styles discussed in this article, APA, MLA, Chicago, Harvard, and Vancouver, each have their own set of rules and guidelines for formatting and citing sources. By understanding and following these citation styles, you can effectively and accurately cite your sources, giving credit to the original authors and allowing readers to locate the sources for further verification. Remember to consult the specific style guide for detailed instructions and examples, and always double-check your citations to ensure accuracy.

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