Thesis writing requires time and effort. A lot of people just freak out at the mere mention of it. However, with the help of proper thesis writing guidelines and tips, this task can be made simpler and easier. One of the thesis writing guidelines includes proper referencing and citation.
Writing a custom paper with a compilation of a referencing list at the end is no doubt hectic. But without proper referencing, your thesis is incomplete. It would also confuse the reader between distinguishing the original work from the sources used in the paper. In case of improper use of sources, you can even face copyright and plagiarism issues.
This is why to avoid all such issues; it is highly important to get your sources properly cited. We have compiled a few tips to make referencing simple and comfortable instead of tricky and confusing.
Here are the 10 easy tips to make the task of using thesis citations and references simple and easy. Let’s get started:
1. Don’t Forget to Check Your Style Guide!
You should focus on the preferred referencing style. Most journals, publishers, and colleges have a specific citation style that needs to be followed. Before writing, make sure you know the referencing style to follow in your paper, whether it is Harvard, APA, MLA, or another. This would save you from unnecessary revisions at the end. If you don’t know how to cite using a certain style, you can ask your supervisor or take help online from your favorite search engine, such as Google.
2. How many Citations to use & When?
Some students fret over not finding enough references to cite in their paper. Relax, you should go for quality over quantity. There are no hard and fast rules about the number of citations. You only have to cite a source when you quote someone or use the work of another author in support of your argument.
Referencing depicts your depth of research and guarantees plagiarism-free work.
You only have to cite relevant sources in your thesis. Don’t include irrelevant sources in your paper, as this would affect your grade.
If you are unable to find citations or material, instead of including irrelevant ones, consult with your supervisor. A successful academic paper has only relevant citations referenced with the thesis title.
3. Re-phrase your work to use in-text citations
It is difficult to edit original information from its sources. However, the best way to go about it is to paraphrase the information. Don’t copy the content from outside informative sources to avoid plagiarism.
Without this, you would end up getting a bad grade, and your work would be affected. This is the best and easiest of all ways. Write everything creatively, keeping the same information instead of copying it.
After you have done the paraphrasing, include a citation in the parenthesis with reference to the source for your work. Do the citation in the style your university follows. Be it MLA, APA, Chicago, or somewhere. Make sure you follow the format properly and do not make any mistakes when citing a source.
4. Use a period after the parenthesis
When citing, use a period after the parenthesis sign. This is a common way to cite sources in styles that require parenthesis. In case you are not using a parenthesis style, you would only write it after in-text citations.
This makes it important for you to focus on the signs used in citations when having to place a period.
Failure to do so may result in losing marks and your thesis quality. This would also cause your readers to lose track of the writing order and leave them confused.
This can easily be avoided if you have focused on the citation style and citation type. A properly cited source automatically shares a clear picture of the format used in the paper to its audience, so they don’t have any confusion when reading the paper.
5. Use only one citation style
Although there are multiple citation styles to use for academic writing, common names include APA, MLA, Harvard, and Chicago. Each follows a different set of rules and format for in-text citations. The citation style also has a list of reference entities. You need to thoroughly check the rules for citing a reference using a specific style to get it done without errors. Doing so would result in a high-quality paper.
This is why it’s best to use one citation style throughout your thesis. This would guide the reader about where to find the sources for information. This also helps them to read and understand the thesis argument better.
On the other hand, it becomes easy for you to write and finish your thesis as you only have to focus on a certain citation style to include in your paper and eventually achieve a perfect score.
6. Use entry list of references for parenthetical and in-text citations
You can always offer readers more details regarding the different citations used. Do this by sharing a long reference list.
This reference list shares the same information that the citations did use the parenthesis or in-text style do. This helps the reader to have a wider perspective of the topic before sharing their judgment. It tells your reader about your adequate knowledge from multiple sources for writing the paper.
To make it simple, you can make a list of in-text and parenthetical references. Include it in a list right after you have used one in the paper so that you don’t have to go through the entire paper at the end, just to create a list of citations.
7. Use enough citations
Although there isn’t any specific number on how many citations to use, you have to make sure that you have documented enough citations. Don’t go overboard, as that is also bad for review papers. You can avoid excessive citations by grouping similar content and using a citation at the end. The citation must point to an external source relevant to the theme.
This also helps you in having a satisfied audience. Your readers would acknowledge your referenced sources and would continue reading your thesis till the end. This also helps in getting a good score in the review paper as the work looks neater to the work that has the same citations on every line of a paragraph.
8. Use a Reference Manager
Thesis writing consists of hundreds of references and citations. You don’t want to lose your mind keeping track of them all. Fortunately, there are reference management apps such as Zotero or Endnote that help in keeping track of all the sources you need to cite in your paper. This makes citations in any style clear and easy.
9. Get an Early Feedback
Although this tip depends on your supervisor and what they prefer, however, if they approve of it, share your work as early as possible and regularly. This would help you to root out the problems sooner than later to avoid getting stuck in difficult sections. Moreover, doing revisions as you write your paper would save you from the trouble of rewriting an entire section at the end, especially when the deadline is also closing in.
10. Take Care of Yourself
This tip is more about you than thesis writing and referencing. While doing your work, you should take care of yourself and don’t compromise on health.
A healthy mind and body help to write and cite well. Maintain a good eating and sleeping routine to stay vigilant. For instance, a short walk with a friend nearby can help refresh your mind.
Thesis writing requires full-time concentration and work. However, you should not be writing all the time. That’s because it is a long process, and if you continue to write day in and day out, you will burn out. Work in breaks, and have some rest. Otherwise, you would end up not only losing your health but would also compromise the thesis quality.
Referencing and citations require more work than simply knowing a source of information and content. It is also about the proper arrangement, quality of information, and relevance of the content.
Properly arrange the citations in the right order to emphasize their presence in your paper.
Don’t forget to use a reference list at the end of the review paper. This list would help your readers in recalling the cited sources.
It’s best to compile a reference list while writing than to do it at the end. This way, you can cite all the sources without missing out on any source. If you feel stuck while writing your thesis, consult with your supervisor or online thesis writing services. They have professionals ready to help and guide you along the way to writing and citing a perfect thesis paper.