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Citations and Notes

  1. Literature Review – Overview
  2. Part One – Literature Survey
  3. Literature Survey – Part Two
  4. Efficient Ways Of Searching The Literature
  5. Where to Hunt
  6. Other Useful Info
  7. Citations And Notes
  8. Errors Of Judgment
  9. Planning Checklist

Other acceptable variations of each of these forms can be found in the bibliographies and lists of references in books and journals in your field of study.
Since you will need information about the style used for kinds of publications other than books and journal articles (such as unpublished dissertations, newspaper articles, conference proceedings, and personal communications), you will find it helpful to consult such sources as the APA and Chicago manuals.

When you select a style, it is important (a) that it be acceptable to the members of the faculty committee that supervise your project and (b) that you consistently stick to that same style throughout your work. In some universities, the rules governing the form of theses and dissertations are available in a booklet or style sheet available in the central library, in your own department, in the campus bookstore, or in the graduate school office. If your institution has such a publication, you can benefit from obtaining a copy at an early stage of your project.

Citations and notes: Throughout the final version of your study, you are obligated to identify the literature resources from which you have drawn quotations and key concepts. There are several common ways of citing such references. One way that has increased in popularity over recent decades is to note the name of the author and the year of publication in parentheses. Then readers can find the exact title and publisher of the book or article in the list of references at the end of your document. That’s the system we use throughout this book.

An alternative approach involves a superscript – a small number raised above the line, like this 1 – which guides readers to the cited source at the bottom of the page. Sometimes the source that is signaled by a superscript is not displayed at the bottom on the page but, rather, it is located in a numbered bibliographic list at the end of the current chapter or at the end of the entire document.

You may occasionally wish to add an explanatory note to a segment of your presentation, but you don’t want to interrupt the flow of thought of the present paragraph. There are several options for adding informative material. One is to place the added comments in parentheses within the body of the writing. (Such a note then looks like this, which does, indeed, interrupt the flow, but the parentheses show the reader that the inserted comment is simply an aside.) Another popular practice is to cast the addition as a footnote at the bottom of the page, signaled by a superscript. Or else the insertion can be an end-note in a listing of such notes at the close of the chapter or at the end of the thesis or dissertation.

These options and others are illustrated in such resources as the Chicago Manual of Style ( 1993).Coding material from the literature: The word coding is used here to mean attaching code numbers or letters to each passage or set of notes that you take from the professional literature. The code indicates what function you intend the passage or notes to perform in your project. We are thus suggesting that you should not take any material from the literature (quotations, concepts, theories, appraisals) unless you can estimate where in your work that material will likely be used. We believe it’s a waste of time to lift passages from a book or journal simply because such material “might be useful someplace or other.”Once you have selected the topic or research problem on which your project will focus, you should be able to predict, at least in a general way, the kind of content and pattern of organization that your thesis or dissertation will assume. To make such a prediction requires that you (a) envision the kinds of questions your project will answer for readers and (b) estimate the sequence of chapters or sections into which your entire document will be divided. One way to accomplish this task is first to list the questions you hope to answer for the reading audience.