Documentation styles usually describe certain standard ways of citing references at several places in a dissertation. Different academic disciplines generally choose their own styles of documentation. Beforefinalizing a specific documentation style to follow in your dissertation, you need to consider some important factors. You should also gain a thorough understanding of a particular style before deciding to implement it in your writing. Knowing these standard documentation styles also helps you in applying a selected style in a consistent manner. Let us look at some required considerations before choosing a specific style to follow.
The most critical factor determining the choice of a documentation style is a course’s requirement. For varied courses, instructors usually recommend a professional style to be followed. You should consult your course instructor and ask to recommend a specific style. If there are no guidelines issued by your instructor or academic institution, then you are free to select a style per your preference. However, it is suggested to consider another factor before you do that. Usually, some academic disciplines follow documentation styles that commonly suit the readers and researchers in those fields. Thus, you should consider a style that is generally followed in your academic discipline.
If you look at the field of humanities, then researchers prefer to use the MLA style of referencing and formatting. On the other hand, researchers in the field of behavioral or social sciences opt to go for the APA style of referencing. Thus, different fields have preferable styles that their readers mostly understand. You may select a style followed by researchers in your study area. Lastly, you may also opt to choose a style on your own when it is not recommended by your institution. You may also select an appropriate style that fits your own style of documentation in case you are confused about the choices your academic field provides.