Masters Dissertation Writing

Monday, April 2nd, 2012

Compiling a Bibliography for Masters Dissertation

In the course of undertaking research for writing a masters dissertation we discover resources and information in books and articles. This information needs to be kept track of and recorded for citation and reference. Such a compilation of resources used in the research process is called a bibliography.

When you begin working on your masters dissertation you will often be provided with a reading list. Your reading list consists of books you are required or expected to read in writing your dissertation. But your reading list does not necessarily and only makes for your bibliography. When you begin your research you discover many other additional important resources. You must know the right way to record the required information so that you can easily convert your bibliography into your works cites list.

  • Record the Cover Information

If you find the resource useful you must keep a record of essential publication and other additional information for citation. The information to be recorded depends on the kind of source used. When referring a book, record Author’s full name(Last name first), the full title of the book including any subtitle, Edition, Volume, City and date of publication and publisher’s name. The details remains more or less same for newspapers, journals and magazines save the addition of page numbers. If referring an online source, you must record date of electronic publication and last update, date when you accessed the source, name of the institution sponsoring or associated with the site, and the network address or URL.

  • Make Personal Notes

You must add other additional information for your own use. Record the information regarding the availability of the book, the library you issued the book from, the library call number, and the other identifying information required to locate the work in case you need it again.

  • Go electronic

Compiling a bibliography on a computer is convenient than having it on paper. This will help you cut paste, add and eliminate or correct references without much ado. Also, you can arrange and rearrange your list alphabetically, chronologically or relevance, however you wish.

  • Verify Recorded details

If you have the details of a book from a bibliography or an internet resource you must verify it against the original. Also, check them for missing information to avoid any last minute problems.

  • Convert to works cites list

Your working bibliography keeps changing in the process of your research as you discover more useful resources and eliminate the ones that prove irrelevant. Through a process of elimination and addition it matures into the list of references or works cited that appears at the end of the research paper or masters dissertation. When converting your working bibliography to works cited list edit the entries to remove unnecessary information and order it in the required format.

  • Format

The details of the book needs to be mentioned in a required format. Author’s last name, Author’s first name. Title of the book. edition. volume number. City of Publication: Name of Publisher, Year of Publication.

If you compile your bibliography with attention, it will make your research process for writing a masters dissertation highly productive and save you the last minute frustrations.

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