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How To Use The Sources Properly When Writing Your Dissertation

When writing your dissertation, you will be required to find evidence to prove your claims. These sources will need to be used properly and properly cited. When using a source there are several ways to use the information for your paper. You can use the information as a direct quote. You can use the information to paraphrase a portion of the piece of work. Or you can use the information to gain knowledge.

Direct Quote

One of the most frequent uses of a source is to pull from it a direct quote. Direct quotes are used in research papers and dissertations because they show factual evidence of your point. The use of direct quotes looks to the reader as if you are expressing a professional opinion on the matter. These should be properly cited and obtain quotes around the direct quote.

If you decide that you need to pull a direct quote from the source, but it is more than a sentence long, you can. You would still cite your source and this information would form a single spaced, indented paragraph with no indentation in the beginning.

I have found that this is a great way to cite a source when you can’t explain the idea in only one sentence. That is because this method keeps the idea separate from your text so the reader does not confuse if for you own work.


At times you will feel the need to take a larger amount of information from the source to explain your concept. If you do this without using the exact words and instead write a summary of the information, this is called a paraphrase. It should still be cited or the author should be referenced. This is a summarization of what the reader wrote without using exact words.


If you just read the article and it decide not to use any direct information from the novel, it does not have to be cited. Sources that you may have read in order to do research but don’t specifically pertain to the topic do not need to be cited either. If the information is common knowledge, you won’t have to cite that either.

So there is a general idea of how you can properly use sources to write your dissertation. Make sure to follow the specific guidelines of the format that you are asked to use to cite them properly under those guidelines.