Reference is a document with detailed description from which you have taken a small portion of data while writing your dissertation. A reference, sometimes, may be a book, a chapter in the book or an article in a newspaper or a journal. Apparently, in a small dissertation paper, it is not possible to include entire information regarding various issues. Referencing a dissertation helps readers to have a look at the detailed information about a particular issue that was briefly described in the dissertation. To put in a nutshell, referencing is nothing but providing sources that are used while writing the research paper or dissertation. Consistent and correct referencing is essential when writing a research paper as it helps you to avoid being accused for copying other people’s work.
There are two important steps involved in referencing a dissertation.
- Reference in the body of text. This is also called as citation. In this step, you indicate the piece of work, you have written in the research paper by providing a small ‘identifier’ for its source.
- Listing the entire source details (As per the referencing style you are suggested to use in the research paper) at the end of the research paper.
How to do Referencing in the body of the text?
When you are referencing in the body of the text, you need to mention the surname of the author along with the date it was published. Both the name and published date should be in the brackets. Example: (Naveen 2011). In case, you are mentioning the author name in sentence of the text, put published date in the brackets. Example: According to Naveen (2011). It is mandatory to add the page numbers if a specific section in the book needs to be identified. Example: (Naveen 2011, P.22).
There may be instances where you need to mention a citation that includes 2 authors. In this case, mention names of 2 authors and the date it was published. Example: ….the subject by Naveen and Dinesh (2011).
When you need to cite 3 author names, use Latin word et al (Must be in italics), which means ‘and others’ in the body of the text. Example: Naveen et al (2011) found that….
How to list references at the end of research paper?
The reference list at the end of the research paper should contain the details of sources that the writer has referred in the body of the text. Make sure the list is in the alphabetical order with Author’s surname. The writer should collect the details such as Author name, Title of the Book or Article, Publication Date, Publisher Name and Edition to complete the referencing process.
Example of Harvard Style Referencing:
- Author’s name, initials.
- Publication Date (should be in brackets)
- Title of the Source(full stop)
- Place of Publication (Colon)
- Publisher Name
MLA, APA and Chicago styles have also got their own way of structuring the references.