This basic guide was created to assist you in understanding the major differences between citation styles – specifically for a dissertation. Generally, each discipline will follow one of the three major styles: MLA, APA, and Chicago. And the subtle differences between the three can make the difference between an adequate dissertation and an outstanding dissertation. A dissertation citation machine – of which there are many – can be very helpful. But nothing compares to being able to tell the differences on your own:
MLA Style Citations
This style is usually applied to subjects within the humanities disciplines. When you need to cite dissertation MLA within the text, you only need to include the author’s last name and the page number in which the citation was taken from. In dissertation citation MLA you need to include a separate Works Cited page at the end of the work which includes all additional publication information for that source. Unpublished dissertation MLA is the only exception to the rule because with these documents you need to reference the database in which the material was found. Since these have yet to undergo extensive academic validation, it is recommended that you avoid them when possible.
APA Style Citations
This style is usually applied to sciences, psychology, and education disciplines. In-text citations require you to add three components: the author’s last name, the year of publication, and the page number where the citation was taken from. A dissertation citation in APA also requires you to add a separate page section at the end of the work titled Bibliography. It is similar to the Works Cited page as described above but deals with unpublished dissertation meaning differently. Within the APA style there are a lot of works that can be cited through research as they are often in progress – the important thing is that you also provide a brief explanation for why you have decided to include it within the document.
Chicago Style Citations
This style is usually applied to fine arts, history, and business disciplines. This style was made popular in the early 20th century and incorporates American English. The biggest difference in citing dissertation in Chicago style is that it incorporates a lot of end notes as a supplement to the bibliography. This is system is great because it allows the freedom to delve into slight tangents that might be interesting to the reader and add value to the overall dissertation. Just be aware that because it typically invites a lot more resources, you need to know the specific differences in the type of source material when creating the bibliography. Book in print, book out of print, article from a journal, article from a collection, website, presentation, etc. all have a different citation format and must be followed diligently in order to be credited by colleagues and academics.
In order to save yourself the time and effort double-checking your work, you can hire a professional dissertation service to review your content and ensure that all citation information is accurate, consistent, and follows the right style. You can also consult your professor or graduate advisor – but they are probably only going to be able to tell you which style you should be using and they won’t be able to provide you with the one-on-one support that only a professional could give.