Simple Techniques of Doing Basic APA Referencing in a Dissertation
Jun 21, 2019

In order to accomplish a master’s or doctorate degree, you need to come up with good scores in the dissertation. In other words, a dissertation is a project which is mandatory for the completion of master’s degree. It basically requires findings on those areas which are undiscovered and not explored yet. Moreover, the student has to make hypothesis in a particular field and thus, produce original data through the research.

Apart from this, a dissertation consists of many principal elements which must be followed to maintain the format of it. Within those elements, the essential one is how to cite references in research whether it is in-text or for reference list. The most renowned style of formatting which is frequently used in the field of social sciences is, APA which stands for American Psychological Association. This style is not considered a piece of cake for many of the students but with the help of certain guidelines, you can easily make the most of this style. To create a better understanding of APA, you need to know some basics of it. So let’s get started.

What Is APA?

APA style is based on author-date format. It comprises of two major categories that are the in-text author-date citation at the appropriate place within the text of the document, and the detailed reference list at the end of the document. The term ‘citing’ refers to the acknowledgement of the author whose work you are summarizing, contributing, or quoting in your research. Basically, when you cite someone’s original research, then you give credits to his work in the form of proper and accurate references. In this manner, you can easily quote or cite anyone’s work in your research to create and proliferate coherence, credibility and significance related to your topic. Furthermore, citing enhances your work academically and solidifies the statements or conclusions of your study. On the contrary, if you take someone’s work and do not cite it then it will be considered as plagiarism, therefore, in order to avoid that and to make your work disciplined and well organized, you must learn how to give references.

In-text Reference

There can be two ways of citing an author’s work, either you can read the respective information and then scribble it in your own words by paraphrasing and recapitulating it, or the second thing you can do is to quote the work directly in its original form. Therefore, first, you will encounter the way to quote within a text.

  • If the quotation is of less than 40 words, then you can incorporate it within the text by enclosing double quotation mark with it. In addition, if you quote directly from an author, you need to include, the name of author/s, the year of publication, the page or paragraph number, and round brackets. For instance:

  • On the other hand, Reid (2016, p. 15) states, “The International Reading Association emphasized the importance of integrating information and communicate technologies (ICTs) into current literacy programs.”

    Additionally, if the quote consists of more than 40 words, then it needs to be written in a form of a new paragraph which would be indented from the left. Along with that, the whole quote would be double-spaced. For instance,

    “The dream of the whale filled him. Avi felt his body to be suffused, like a peach soaked with brandy, the smell, and flavour of the dream more present than the corporeal self”

    (Parker 2011, pg. 40)

  • Furthermore, if you are concluding the author’s work in your own words by understanding it then you will include the name of author/s and year of publication and use round brackets. For example:

  • Moreover, people who use audio books, the apps along with the websites of a public library and have higher income and qualification level are more inclined towards e-book reading (Gu and Berger, 2018).

    Moreover, you can also use different words to begin your paragraph while doing this kind of referencing like, state, suggest, discover, explore, and examine etc. For instance, let’s look at the following example:

    Chen, Chang, Zheng and Huang (2014) investigate the effects of computer-based reading and paper-based reading by dividing the college students into three groups that are paper group, tablet group and computer group. They sum up that the paper group performs considerably better than the computer group.

The Reference List

The reference list contains all the references in a proper alphabetical order which you have cited in your text by the end of your study. This list aims to provide all the information about the links you have used in your work to the reader so that they can easily reach out for them.

The fundamental structure for this type of referencing is that it should include the name of author/s (the surname will be followed by the first initials), year of publication, title of the article, name of the journal (in italics), volume of journal (in italics), issue of journal (no italics), Page range of article, DOI. of the research. Let’s have a look at the following example:

Chen, G., Cheng, W., Chang, T., Zheng, X., & Huang, R. (2014). A comparison of reading comprehension across paper, computer screens, and tablets: Does tablet familiarity matter?, Journal of Computer Education, 1(2-3), 213-225. Retrieved May 11, 2018, from

Therefore, these were the basic ways of doing formatting through the APA style. This is not enough in APA as there is much to it! So, that will be discussed in detail in the next blog. Besides, if you are inquisitive regarding dissertation writing or need any kind of guidance in it, feel free to order dissertation writing online as we take pleasure in catering your needs.