At PhD level, students have to read a significant number of articles, books, conference proceedings, and scholarly reports. They use the ideas and data they found to compose their theses, so it’s important for them to be able to organize citations in a proper way.
Today, PhD students use special software, such as word processors, note-taking programs, and so-called bibliographic or bib software. The latter resource allows students to organize their thesis citations and bibliography effectively and provides many other useful options. The following five good suggestions will help you to get started:
- Decide which bibliographic software to use.
- Consider using free bibliographic programs.
- Use this software all the time.
- Make sure to choose the right citing format.
- Include all the cited sources in the bibliography list.
Graduate students use several most popular bib software products, including in-build features of their word processors. It’s hard to choose one product over another if you haven’t had experience with them, so it makes sense to ask your supervisor which one he or she can recommend you to use.
Though most scholars use paid citing software, you can consider using free options. Some of them are available online while others are downloadable. This open-source software is built by a community of users, who are continually improving it, helping students fix issues, and providing great customer support.
Most students agree that it’s necessary to make a bib program a part of the daily writing routine. You should take down bibliographic information as soon as you’ve studied the resource, so you won’t miss anything and avoid a situation when you can’t remember where an idea or fact comes from. In other words, cite while you write and don’t insert citations manually.
Modern citing programs allow students to use dozens of citation formatting styles, so you should check the requirements of your supervisor in order to ensure that you provide a proper citation of the resource used. Typically, you should mention the last name of an author, year the resource was published or released, and the page number if applicable.
Your bibliography should include all the resources that you’ve cited in the text. Remember also to include any materials that you’ve been consulting without making references in the thesis. You can use the same software that you’ve employed for organizing your in-text citations, so you’ll save time and effort and compose the bibliography list quickly.