References are vitally important. This is a statement you can find in every dissertation writing guide. The same guidelines also explain how to find good references, how to include them in the correct manner, and many other formalities. However, very few touch upon the subject of why they are so important in the first place.
Somehow, people believe this to be obvious. It’s a rule that is simple assumed without doubting or questioning it. Therein lies the problem, because every wise person knows that one must question everything to gain true knowledge. This includes the rules of referencing and their obvious necessity.
When working on a dissertation, you will imminently borrow some ideas from other people. It may be a conscious choice, and you will quote them directly. You may also only borrow their ideas to combine with your own, or simply wish to draw inspiration from them. Regardless of the situation, people that created those original works deserve to be acknowledged. This is exactly what referencing does; it gives credit where it’s due.
Writing the reference list also allows you to help readers see what ideas are your own and appreciate them from this angle. It is essential that you not only restate the known facts in your dissertation, but introduce new concepts and theories that will help the general progress of the field of study.
People will only appreciate your input in regards to the development of the subject when they see how much of the actual work was done by you. Thus, referencing helps show off the value of your own thoughts and their significance in the specific field.
Another reason to add references to your dissertation is to allow readers to verify and further your own research by studying the same sources. This will increase the credibility of the paper because it can actually be proven by addressing the same sources. Technically, this will become another piece of evidence of your personal success with the research.
If you want to ensure that compiling a reference list will be easy, you should follow the rule of thumb that states that one must write down the source they work with every time they use information from it.
This way, you will be sure that you don’t forget to include it into the final list. This will allow you to avoid any accusations of intentional or unintentional plagiarism. You should be very careful of this matter, because it can completely ruin your reputation and affect your career in a negative way.
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