Jewish Council

Dissertation Writing Rules: How To Organize Citations

Keeping track of sources, citations, references and all the detail that goes along with it for your dissertation can be quite a nightmare. It’s no easy task, and that’s why many graduate students opt to use a software program to do the work for them. It just means entering the data in once and then all the organizational details are taken care of from within the program. It includes choosing which style format you are required to use, such as APA, MLA or Chicago among others.

Some of the necessary tasks involved in organizing citations include:

  • Importing citations from a database, library catalog or website

  • Manually entering citations

  • Building and organizing a bibliography

  • Proper style format for papers and briefs

  • Annotating and highlighting articles to save in a collection of citations

  • Saving and organizing other types of sources such as images, graphs, PDFs, screenshots, music files and so on.

Rules for choosing a software program for citations:

  1. Decide what will meet your needs the best. Would it be a web-based format or stand alone? Do you need it to sync across different devices?

  2. Is cost an issue? Some of the free ones don’t have adequate storage and you end up getting charged extra fees for storage.

  3. New systems require a steep learning curve. Any program, especially one you buy, needs to give adequate support. Without this support you may find yourself stranded high and dry without help to overcome the challenges of using the software.

  4. Consider using an online writing agency to help you with this task. You can hire an expert for a very reasonable fee to take care of this important part of your dissertation writing for you.

  5. The software must be able to help you organize everything, including separate libraries, folders and so on.

Once you’ve chosen your preferred software and are ready to get started, do some practicing. Get very familiar with all the options in the program. Use them and make sure you understand the potential it has to keep your citations organized. In former days, all the organizational work was done by hand. Imagine having cases and cases of index cards; each one with a complete citation written out by hand by you? And each one is numbered, as well. This is the way they did it. Needless to say, technology has been a big asset for students writing their papers.

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