What You Should Know about the Accuracy of Thesis Citation | Tips from Experts


thesis formatting guidelines

We all aspire towards that elegant thesis in which the writing style is as compelling as the content. Proper adherence to citation rules forms a strong foundation towards achieving that goal. Correct citation of specific sources for the various facts that we present get rid of the impression of intellectual laziness, unclear statements, generalization, and unsubstantiated claims.

When you cite sources accurately, you leave no question in your readers mind about the argument that you’re trying to make. The ideas presented in your thesis or custom dissertation will gain credence when supported by the authoritative sources. Therefore, citations are very critical in making your thesis more persuasive.

What Are the Benefits of Accurately Citing a Thesis?

Some of the hallmarks of a first-class thesis include attention to details and ability to be consistent in citations. Good citations practices entail correctly identifying the information that needs to be cited and appropriately formatting cited materials.

There are many benefits derived from reserving a block of time to ensure you have meticulously cited your thesis. Though the obvious reason for accurate citations is for the good of the academic community by making sure that you use information ethically and responsibly, there are other direct benefits which include:

  • Enables you to portray your research knowledge by using a broad range of sources.
  • It allows you to strengthen your assertion and reasoning by use of quality research materials.
  • Enable the readers, marker, or other researchers to quickly verify your work by locating and reading your sources.
  • Citation gives your thesis more authority by mapping your debates within your chosen field of study.
  • It helps you avoid the appearance of accidental plagiarism which can lead to negative consequences.

Finding Credible Sources for Thesis Citation

Before you think of citing a source, you should make sure that the source is credible within the field of your study. It is important to note that not all sources are reliable. The best sources to cite in a thesis include books, journal articles, authoritative websites, newspapers, and magazines. Avoid using sources such as Wikipedia, and Print and digital encyclopedias. When researching online make use of online scholarly databases such as EBSCO, LexisNexis, and InfoTrac, which provides access to credible sources in hundreds of subject areas.

When should I Cite?

You should always provide citations when you are:

  • Extracting a direct quotation from another author's work.
  • Paraphrasing or summarizing ideas, theories, and opinions taken from another person work.
  • Basing your ideas and arguments from someone else’s work.
  • Indirectly referring to the printed text of another author.
  • Using diagrams, images, statistics, illustration, table or figures from other sources.

Formatting an In-Text Citations

One of the challenges of writing a thesis is properly integrating your ideas with material from other sources. In-text citations play a critical role in documenting your sources within the content of your thesis.

Though there are different styles of citation for various disciplines, they predominately fall into two categories:

  • Author name and date, e.g., APA- requires the in-text citation to comprise of the author’s last name and the year in which the source was published in parentheses at the end of a sentence, e.g. (Brown, 2017). Page numbers must be included for direct quotes. Then provide a separate list of the sources cited alphabetically at the end of the work.
  • Numeric, e.g., Chicago- requires the in-text citation to have a number that links to the footnote/endnotes, such as [1]. A full bibliography should be provided at the end of the work.

Common Citation Mistakes to Avoid

  • Make sure to have a reference list of all sources that have been cited.
  • Double-check author name (s) for correct spelling.
  • Verify that you have the right year of publication for both in-text citations and reference entries.

Tips to Accurately Cite Your Thesis

  • Consult with your instructor to determine the appropriate citation format for your thesis.
  • Make sure to identify credible sources to use in your work.
  • Remember sources (e.g., book, journals, websites, newspapers, and magazines) have different formatting requirements.
  • When using APA and Harvard style, your citation must include the author name and year of publication.
  • When citing direct quotation, you must use quotation marks as well as include page number. 

Bibliography Example

Bibliography example for Thesis paper

Knowing how to correctly manage your citation is crucial to carrying out your thesis research and to your readers in ascertaining the quality of your research.  With this guide at hand, you will save a lot of time and energy as well avoid common citation errors when writing your thesis.

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It is allowed to use the delivered essay model in the following way:

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As a reference for new ideas of our own analysis (if cited). 

Direct quote citing (if cited). 

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