A citation is a source of a written piece of work. A citation gives the reader an idea of where the writer got his thoughts from. It explains to the reader the general issues that the writer needs him to understand. A citation can follow several formats like in-text reference, list of reference and bibliography. These are the forms that a citation could take.
A citation style is the structure of a reference. It explains the format in which a source cited is inputted. There are different citation methods. The most popular ones are the APA citation method
, MLA citation method
, Chicago citation method
, and the Harvard system of citation
. Each of these citation methods has rules guiding them. Each also has their particular method of writing. For example, the APA
citation method requires that the page number and paragraph number be mentioned in the in text citation and in the list of reference. This rule does not apply in the Harvard system of reference. The Harvard system of reference only requires just the number of pages of the source and not the paragraph number.
When writing a thesis
The question is often asked on which citation method should be used. The answer to this question is not farfetched. It depends on the requirements of the institution in question. If your institution or college requires that the standard format to be used for all Theses is the MLA citation style, then you should definitely use an MLA
citation method in all your thesis papers
The choice of citation method
It is sometimes independent on the college or institution of learning. It can be the decision of your professional organization. For example, the psychology association requires that all research papers written for the organization by students and faculty must follow the APA reference format. Any deviation from this known and recognized format might lead to some penalties by the organization. A reference style
takes into consideration the type of paper being written and the purpose of the paper.
For a thesis paper, the type of citation used may also be a personal preference. For example, if your institution and professional bodies do not have particular preferences, it is up to you to decide on the type of reference you are going to use for your thesis. The first thing to consider before deciding on a citation style is the number of words your thesis is going to be. For a short thesis with a word count of 1000, it is best to use a simple citation method like the Chicago citation style or even the Harvard system of citation. These citation styles do not require you as the author to mention every detail about where you got your information from. The basic information that are required in this case are the author's name, title of book, year of publication, name of publishers and the possibly the total number of pages of the book.
While citing your thesis paper, it is good to remember that any form of citation style used should be properly formatted. If you as the writer of your thesis decides to go for the APA citation style, be sure to use the APA style all the way though. Do not mix citation methods.