A well-referenced dissertation will bring the best results out of the work which is required to bring to the notice of the assessors that you have a clear understanding of the subject matter. Our focus will be on scholarly referencing which is a far departure from the referencing that is used when writing CVs.
What Is Scholarly Referencing?
During the research work for a dissertation, there will be sources quoted; borrowed from a book, or cited to make up the final outcome of the dissertation. The series of conventions that scholars used to point readers to all the sources used in the dissertation are referred to as scholarly referencing.
There are several referencing styles and it is left to the author to choose one that he is comfortable with in order to establish the fact that his work is genuine. Referencing will enable the reader to search for the sources that you have listed and confirm the authenticity or otherwise of it.
In most universities, the emphasis is laid on referencing because of plagiarism. It is used to establish the original owner of the work and save the scholar from accusations of stealing other scholars’ works.
Scholars are expected to cite the sources that influenced their thinking during the course of the dissertation.
When work is properly referenced, it will be easy for the readers to practically engage with the work. Scholarly referencing helps to establish the fact that the author is well-read.
Your Referencing Style
The choices here are very limited. In instances where you are lucky, the university will allow you to choose any of their styles that catch your fancy. In the event that you are going to choose the style of your choice; then it is strongly advised that you understand the usage section before making your choice of style.
How Effectively Reference Your Sources
There will be hundreds of sources that you have to reference during the course of the dissertation. The question of effectively making all of them count will be an issue if you accommodate too many sources. Developing a systematic way of referencing sources that you have read will make your work tidy and more effective.
The technology of today through the use of the software is another perfect way to get organized when it comes to referencing your work. Setting up a standard spreadsheet or keeping thorough notes during the course of the work are some of the ways to achieve the best results. The software is an efficient time-saver. Do not rely on auto-generated bibliographies because they are not 100% reliable.
Parenthetical referencing: This is very common in terms of usage and it is employed across several aspects of academic disciplines. It has different formats which are dominant in different fields.
Footnote/endnote referencing styles: This is common in Arts and Humanities and it involves direct quotation of sources most often at length.
Numbered referencing styles: This is restricted to the sciences and quotes are usually very large in their numbers.
Referencing your dissertation will come pretty easy if you follow the tips given above. It should be noted that the digitalization of things has brought in some measure of relief. The Digital Object Identifier can now be used to effectively reference online sources.