Writing A Doctoral Dissertation In The APA Format: Citation Rules

Why is it important to cite the resources you used while writing your paper? Well, if you don’t, your work might amount to plagiarism, in which case its authenticity and your credibility are questioned. Therefore, keep in mind to cite and credit all authors whose work you used as a reference in your paper, especially in your doctoral dissertation. However, since papers are in different styles, there are different rules when it comes to citing sources.

When do we use the APA format?

The APA format is most commonly used while writing papers pertaining to the social sciences. In such a case, the date on which the work being referred to was created is most important. Thus, when citing in the APA format, focus on obtaining the date of the source used.

Citing Books:

When citing books, the format is as follows:

‘Name of author, year of publication, title of work, city of publication, publisher.'

Example: “Jones, X. (2006). Book X. City X: Publisher X”

  • When citing more than one author, mention each of their names in alphabetical orderAdditionally, when citing a work authored by multiple writers in text, mention the first two writers, followed by the term ‘et al.'
  • If two works by the same author have been cited, both will be mentioned separately in the references sectionIf the author was working with an editor/publisher/translator and so on, the name should be mentioned after the title of the work:
    • Jones, X. (2005). “Book X” Jones, Y (Ed). City X: Publisher X
  • If the author published two or more works in the same year, mention all works followed by alphabets in the years section:
    • Jones, X. (2005a)
    • Jones, X. (2005b)

Citing Periodicals:

When citing periodicals, keep the following points in mind:

  • Mention the author by his/her last name, followed by his/her initial
  • Enclose the publication year within parentheses
  • For the title, capitalize only the first word and proper nouns. Follow the title by the volume number, and italicize both.
  • If the periodical was part of an editorial, letter to the editor, or a similar section, mention the same after the publication year and before the title.

Citing Online Sources:

  • When citing online sources, use the Digital Object Identifier of the particular source. If you cannot obtain the same, use the URL.
  • The format is as follows:
    • Author, date of publication, title of work, the site on which work was published, page numbers (if available), URL or DOI

This article, of course, gives only a cursory glance at the citing regulations required for writers following the APA format. If you need more information, you may consult any university website.

Set goals and reward yourself.

As you work on your project you should have goals in place to motivate you to finish in a timely manner. As you complete parts of your work you are getting closer to finishing your work according to your schedule. Maybe you can entice yourself to finish sooner if something was waiting for you upon completion. Make it something fun and enjoyable. It helps if it is something you may not usually enjoy. Make things interesting to encourage yourself to finish faster. You can at least consider trying to get your work done a week or so before your deadline.

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