How to make and arrange a list of references in the dissertation

An important part of the thesis is a list of references. The sources indicated in it make it possible to assess how deeply the topic was developed, how much relevant information was used, whether the latest developments were studied. Registration of the list of references for the dissertation is strictly regulated.

How to make a list of used literature for the dissertation

Definition 1

Thesis is the most extensive and serious research prepared by a student during his studies.

In this regard, the requirements for the list of references for the dissertation more stringent than for other types of work.

Example 1

For example, in the abstract it is usually enough to specify 5-10 sources used, in term paper – about 20 sources, while in the dissertation, at least 40 sources are usually required (and in the humanitarian disciplines the number can be even greater).

Basic requirements for sources of literature in the dissertation:

Sources should have a different character. It is necessary to use both books (monographs, collections, textbooks and manuals), and articles from periodicals, and electronic sources, and legal acts.

Sources must be existing. Do not invent the author or “correct” the year of publication, publishing house and other parameters. The manager may wish to familiarize himself with the source, and an awkward situation will arise.

Sources should be really used. This is expressed in the presence of references to them in the text of the work.

Example 2

It is impossible to rewrite an entire chapter from one textbook, and include 20 unused, and just seen in the library, list of references.

Sources must be relevant. As a rule, a requirement is established not to use books older than 5 years, articles older than 3 years (books of the 2015-2019 year of publication and articles of the 2017-2019 year of publication may be included in the list of literature of the dissertation in the 2019 academic year). If we are talking about a review of the development of the phenomenon or about the works of the classics, it is permissible to use older editions (especially if there were no reprints). In any case, “fresh” sources should also be listed.

Remark 1

For legal acts, there is no clear time limit in years – the edition must be valid (except for the case of analyzing historical documents).

Grouping and sorting sources in the list of references

There are several approaches to grouping and sorting sources in the bibliography:

All sources may be listed in the order mentioned in the text, regardless of their type.

Example 3

If on the third page of the work there is a link to a monograph, on the fourth to the site, and on the fifth to the law, then in that order they will be listed in the list of references.

Only the first reference to the source is taken into account; when reused, it is not duplicated in the list. The exceptions are different parts of the same composite document (two different articles from the same journal) – each element of this kind is considered separately.

Sources are sorted alphabetically. This can be grouped by type of sources (common grouping scheme: regulations, then books, periodicals after them and electronic resources last). A mixed scheme can be applied: the regulations are placed at the top of the list, and then all other sources are alphabetically distributed without category. At the same time, the normative acts themselves can be grouped by legal force, alphabetically or by date of adoption.

A specific method of sorting and grouping is established at the university and is prescribed in the guidelines for graduation design.

How to make sources in the list of references in the dissertation

This standard defines how bibliographic descriptions of documents and their parts are compiled. Bibliographic references, which are made in the text of the dissertation, are made out a little differently – the indicated refers to the list of references. A university may impose simplified requirements on how the list of references should look like – some fields of bibliographic description in this case are omitted.

The easiest to describe is a bibliographic description of a book with one author. The main specified details of the publication:

  • Author (surname and initials).
  • The name of the book (the title is written in full).
  • Type (text).
  • View (monograph, textbook, study guide, etc.).
  • City of publication, publisher name, year of release.
  • Number of pages.

Example 4

Example description:

Silvan, A. Criminal law in historical context [Text]: monograph / A. Silvan. – M.: PSC RAS, 2017. – 128 p. – ISBN 3-228-13852-0.

If there are several authors, then only one is indicated at the beginning, all the rest are indicated only in the second block of authors:

Example 5

Bashmack, D. The concept of marketing development [Text] / D. Bashmack, A. Peterson. – M.: Young Guard, 2016. – 390 p. – ISBN 5-287-39841-1.

The bibliographic description of a part of a document is drawn up as follows:

Information about the part of the document // Information about the document as a whole. – Information on where the component is in the document.

Example 6

An example of an article on this scheme:

Zim, A. Management as a basis for the development of a market economy [Text] / A. Zim // Management and Modernity. – 2018. – №4. – pp. 17-35.

Example 7

Example of the description of the material posted on the site:

Ministry news [Electronic resource] // Ministry of Education. – Access mode:, free. – Title from the screen.

Registration of references in a text editor

References are printed in the same font as the main text of the work (usually Times New Roman, 14 pt., line spacing is one and a half).

A handy tool for decorating the list of references – a numbered list.

Using a numbered list will allow shifting to the text editor control over the correct numbering, which is important when adding or deleting sources. If numbering is done manually, duplicate numbers or missing items may appear in the list.

An additional advantage when using a numbered list is the ability to correctly execute a link to the source. When making links in square brackets, you should not enter the source number on your own, but cross-reference it. This will keep the links between the source and the link to it, even if the source number in the list is changed, instead of thorough checking it will be enough just to update the fields with one click.