It is important to separate your ideas from those of others in any piece of writing. However, in a dissertation that must be written to obtain your professional qualifications or academic degree, it is especially important. For this reason, you should be very careful to follow the rules for using quotations. Here are the guidelines that you should follow to properly use quotations in your dissertation.
Quotation marks should be used for any short passage of text that is someone else’s writing or ideas, copied word for word. There are two types of quotations: single and double. While double quotation marks are more commonly used, singular quotes may be placed inside of double quotation marks, or to identify single words that are not your own in the text.
The quotation marks should be placed at the beginning, and again at the end of the quoted text. Your punctuation should go inside of the quote, regardless of whether the period stems from your own writing or the writing of other person, provided it comes at the end of the sentence. If there is a question mark or exclamation point, you can use this to end your sentence as well.
In some cases, students choose to include longer passages of text in their dissertation. A long passage is considered anything with 40 words or more. You do not use quotation marks in this instance, but instead set the quote apart from your text.
Do this by placing a space before and after the quotation and indent the quotation at the margin. Following this formatting indicates that the text is not your own, and it will prevent the person who is reading your dissertation from accusing you of plagiarism.
In the event that you are unsure of how to properly use quotes, or to find examples, be sure to look to credible resources. You can find information in style guides or even online. If you do choose to look online, consider educational websites that often provide many tips and guidelines to help students properly format their dissertation.
Remember, it is never okay to take credit for someone else’s work. This is especially true for dissertations, which can determine whether or not you receive certification in your field or obtain your degree. Follow the proper formatting to set quotations apart to be sure that you are not accused of plagiarism.
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