Referencing Styles in Dissertation Writing


The aim of this guide is to help the students understand how they can include references in their writings and why it is important to cite other sources. Dissertation writing is one of the utmost important and difficult tasks in a student’s life because it determines his final grade and career in the coming years.


While writing a dissertation, a dissertation writers thoughts and ideas inevitably build on those of other writers. Acknowledging other sources of information is called referencing and it is important because;

  • It enables other people to locate that item which you have cited in your work
  • It shows the depth of research and the work is considered as worthy and credible
  • It presents you as a good researcher and shows your knowledge about your field

If a writer fails to provide proper references, then the work is considered as plagiarised.

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Which Referencing Style is to be used?

To cite properly, you need a standard way of recording the elements of a book, journal or a website, which is the referencing style of citing a work. Most of the time, the students are told about a specific referencing style which they should use in their dissertation. A student may not have much choice while selecting citation styles. The universities may tell them to choose between the referencing system of footnotes or end-notes or the style of in-text citations or reference lists. The following questions may arise in a student’s mind after selecting a referencing style:

  • How many sources must I cite?
  • Should I cite a lot of my sources or I must cite briefly?
  • Whether to use direct quotations or paraphrasing?

After choosing the preferred referencing style, these questions will help the students to decide how they will use a specific citation style for their dissertation.

 Word Limit and Requirements of Dissertation Writing

Different types of Referencing Systems:

There are different types of referencing system used to acknowledge sources. Some of the famous dissertation systems according to dissertation experts are as follows:

  • MLA:  Modern Language Association (MLA) style is used to cite sources in the fields of liberal arts and humanities. MLA referencing style follows the “author, page” method of in-text citation.
  • APA: American Psychological Association style (APA) is commonly used to cite sources in social sciences and psychology. It follows the “author, date, page” method of in-text citation.
  • Chicago: Chicago referencing style is used for citing sources in Business, History and Fine Arts. The two main formats used in Chicago style are “author-date” and “notes or bibliography”.
  • Harvard (author-date):  This referencing style is primarily used by university students to cite the sources. It consists of two types; in-text citations and bibliography.
  • MHRA:  Modern Humanities Research Association (MHRA) referencing style is used in the fields of Arts and Humanities. It also consists of in-text citations and reference lists.
  • Numbering (Vancouver): This referencing system is commonly used in the fields of medicine and science. In this specific system, references are numbered in the text whereas, a numbered reference list has to be provided to the end of the text which contains details of in-text citations.
  • OSCOLA: The Oxford University Standard for the Citation of Legal Authorities (OSCOLA) is one of the many referencing styles mainly practiced by many law schools as well as legal publishers in the UK. A well-known footnote style, OSCOLA has the main feature that all of the citations appear in the footnotes and it doesn’t use in-text citations or endnotes.

These are different referencing systems used to refer to information sources. Students should adhere to the style referred to by their teachers or supervisors.

Referencing Software:

There are different referencing software which can help in referencing the information sources. Some of the referencing software are:

  • RefWorks: It is a web-based bibliography software that allows dissertation writers to import references from text files or other online sources. It is free to use and is highly recommended for UG or PG students.
  • EndNote: It is a referencing software used to create, import or search references. This software is recommended for lecturers, Ph.D. students and researchers.

How online Dissertation Writing Services can assist you:

Many websites are available which provide dissertation help online. There are many professional dissertation writers available who are highly educated in their respective fields and they provide high quality, original and 100% plagiarism free content for your dissertation. They provide proper references on the “References” page and proper formatting of your dissertation. Finding dissertation writing services online is very easy. You can search typing “dissertation help in the UK” on any search engine and a number of sites providing online help will appear from where you can select a helpline suitable for your dissertation. Students must choose wisely while selecting a helpline for their dissertation because there are some fake sites offering dissertation writing services. These helplines are not reliable, and they may not provide high quality and plagiarism free content for your dissertation.

August 20, 2018

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