What Are Different Types Of References In Dissertation You Can Use?


At a higher educational level, references make your work valuable. It is not only the dissertation that demands references but assignments too. There can be many assignments that address real-life problems. In such a case, you may add some innovation and new ideas. Not every statement or claim needs to have a ground basis. Also, there is no use of imaginary solutions for any problem. In this regard, the research of other researchers can guide you for the best actions. You can evaluate your tasks by having an idea about their intellectual property. Therefore, this article discusses different types of references in the dissertation.

1. What are the References in Dissertation?

Reference is a way to acknowledge something. You cannot claim anything randomly in dissertation writing, but it needs proper and authentic support. You collect data from other writers and add it to your work for this support. Without reference, no one can assess if the job done is yours or someone else’s. Therefore, reference is used to differentiate the work done by you and other researchers. It shows how other researchers contribute to the successful completion of your task.

2. Why do we Need References in a Dissertation?

A dissertation is a task that needs proper research on the topic of discussion. In this case, you have to collect the background information. Most students hire the best dissertation writing services to gather background information. The background information helps you get the work done on the topic of discussion. You can better understand if you are going in the right direction. The claim you will present in a dissertation is the expansion of work done in past years. So, you have to prove it with the help of a reference. Whatever you collect from internal or external sources needs a connection. Your personal opinions and first-hand data do not need any concerns in the dissertation.

In internal sources, you have to add all organisations and institutes. Based on the dissertation topic, you must contact some organisations for valid data. Sometimes, it is easy to assess data from targeted organisations. On the other hand, you may not be allowed to have the required data because of its sensitivity.

Now, the external sources of data are in so many forms. It includes books, journals and articles. Here, you can find primary as well as secondary data. The original emails, interviews, letters, diaries and speeches work as primary data. In contrast, research papers, journals and magazines play the role of secondary data.

All of these internal and external sources need references in the dissertation. You have not put any effort into it, so you cannot present it as your work. The ethical rules of conduct demand proper acknowledgement. Another essential thing in a dissertation is to avoid plagiarism. High plagiarism is an unethical consideration. Using data from other scholarly forums to support your claim is obvious. If you do not add its reference, it shows plagiarism because of no acknowledgement. So, proper data citation helps you reduce plagiarism in a dissertation.

3. What are Different Types of References?

You cannot add references to the dissertation as per your choice, but you have to follow the standards of academic writing. In academic writing, you can find a valuable guide for using references in a dissertation. The choice of referencing style can differ based on the discipline as well. There are bundles of referencing styles, but the most commonly used ones are mentioned below:

  • MLA 

MLA stands for Modern Language Association. As per the discipline of study, you can find the use of MLA references in dissertations on humanities and studies of languages. For in-text citation of data, you must go for the parenthetical citation. In parenthetical citation, you must add the author’s last name. In numeric, you have to add the publication date.

Furthermore, you can mention the page number. For example, you are adding data from a book. The publication date of that book is supposed to be a part of the in-text citation. It would be complementary if you said the book’s page number to make it easier to assess. If the publication date is missing, it is not a big deal. You can skip the date and only add the page number.

For example:

Nigro, Felix A., and Lloyd G. Nigro. Modern public administration. New York, NY: Harper & Row, 1970.

  • APA

APA stands for American Psychological Association. Its primary use can be seen in psychology and social sciences. In this style, you must add the author’s last name and date of publication. It is different from MLA, as you do not have a choice for a page number.

For example, you can mention it as:

Nigro, F. A., & Nigro, L. G. (1970). Modern public administration. New York, NY: Harper & Row.

  • Harvard

Harvard is one referencing style in which you are not bound to follow a single rule. You can go for some variation in this referencing style. It follows the parenthetical style in the form of (author-date).

Here is an example of its referencing style:

Nigro, F.A. and Nigro, L.G., 1970. Modern public administration. New York, NY: Harper & Row.

  • Chicago 

Chicago references in the dissertation go for the author-date style within closed brackets. In this style of concern in the dissertation, you have two categories: Chicago A and Chicago B. Both types are used in particular fields of study.

Let me stretch the past example for Chicago references in the dissertation:

Nigro, Felix A., and Lloyd G. Nigro. Modern public administration. New York, NY: Harper & Row, 1970.

Final Thoughts 

You are bound to develop one of the standard reference styles in the dissertation. The only relaxation you can have is in the form of style selection. You cannot go beyond these styles. Also, remember that if your advisor asks you to go for a particular type, you are bound for it. Sometimes, the organisation or institute follow a specific referencing style per higher authorities’ guidelines. So, you have to keep these aspects clear to you.

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