I'm currently writing a thesis and for one section the sources are only 3 papers. Some paragraphes are only about one paper. Sometimes it is also mixed, i.e. first sentence references to paper 1, second sentence to paper 2, third sentence to paper 1, fourth sentence to paper 1 etc. I think placing a reference for each sentence would be a bit crazy.

How should I handle this?

  • Does your university specify a style guide or citation format? Commented Jan 21, 2016 at 18:58
  • @MonicaCellio No, as far as I know.
    – machinery
    Commented Jan 21, 2016 at 20:12
  • I do not understand this question. A university education that ends with a written thesis usually includes courses that teach the writing of scientific publications. You have had seminars for which you had to write essays, and these had to be composed and formatted according to the standards of your discipline. How can it be that you have arrived at the end of your studies and do not yet know how to format a paper? Were those courses not offered at your university? Have you never read a scientific paper that you can use as an example and emulate? And why do you not ask your professor?
    – user5645
    Commented Sep 3, 2016 at 11:01
  • @machinery Ask your thesis advisor. What does he know about it? On the other hand, if they haven't specified a style guide, it could be interpreted as "use any style guide, we don't care which" and then pick a guide and use it consistently.
    – Erk
    Commented Sep 23, 2016 at 19:55

1 Answer 1


What does the applicable manual of style say? (E.g. APA, Chicago Manual of Style, etc)

If the manual doesn't answer your question, you can look in your source papers for inspiration. How do they cite works in this scenario?

Finally, ask your thesis advisor if you still don't have a clue.

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