How to Use Quotations in Your Thesis

This entry was posted in Dissertation , Editor , on September 21 , 2015.

A thesis is the last step towards your destination of the degree in which candidates may show their knowledge of the specific area of interest and their achievement by identifying and proposing solutions to problems within their field.

Thesis, on the other hand, is the transition from a research candidate to the contributor within their area of research by engaging in original research and adding to the body of knowledge.

The thesis requires demonstration of thorough understanding from a candidate’s end.

Quotations amassed from previously written work are one of the ways to show the thorough understanding in a specific area of research though inappropriate, or overuse of quotations may affect the impact of your thesis.

Therefore, candidates must use quotation judiciously in their thesis.

The length and number of quotation vary depending upon the academic field.

Eg: If a research candidate is working on Shakespeare’s contribution in figurative language will need to include a number of quotations from his plays.

And if a candidate is working on qualitative studies based on extensive interviews with different participants then he will also need to use quotations from the conducted interviews.

Once the researcher has decided to include quotation, he has to be careful how is going to handle.

Here are some tips:

1. Introduce Quotations:

Many university guidelines require candidates to introduce quotations in their thesis.

In that scenario, use any of the following methods:

i) Use any short introductory phrase such as ‘According to’, followed by the authors name, a comma and the quotation.

According to John, “Computer science is a practical approach to computation and its application”.

ii) Mention person’s (author’s) name, an appropriate verb such as ‘said’, ‘stated’ followed by the quotation Smith stated, “No work is small.” 2. Reproduce Quotations:

The fact is that the quotation should be written the same way it is in the source, however, depending upon the guidelines or in some exceptions, candidates can make changes in the quotation for the grammatical corrections only, but those corrections should not change the meaning of the quotation.

Grisham stated, “The books are in the table.” Grisham stated, “The books are on the table.”

3. Don’t Use Single Word Quotation: Avoid using single-word quotation.

They are known as ‘scare quote’ and their purpose is to flag a word, description, and emotion as being not entirely accurate or appropriate as per the author.


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