My thesis is based on the application of a evaluation process. Therefore I want to add a subsection in the "Theoretical Background" chapter where I summarize the whole process. The process is described very well in an official (extensive) document so it is the only source I need to describe the steps of the process.

The problem is that it seems kind of awkward to cite the source 2 to 3 times per paragraph and several paragraphs in a row.

Considering that the whole subsection is based on this official document. What would be the best way to make the in-text citations?.

I am using IEEE reference style and my thesis is about Computer Science.

2 Answers 2


The following section summarizes the process as described by Smith [16, pp. 14-22].

Then summarize the process, using your own words

  • Can I also do this at Chapter level? (e.g. In the chapter that shows the implementation of the evaluation process). Commented Mar 16, 2018 at 17:31
  • @Renato Sanhueza If that is your only source in the chapter, the citation would be technically correct; but I'd be concerned about the originality of the chapter. Commented Mar 16, 2018 at 19:57
  • It is not the only source, so I can't do it. Thanks for the clarification. Commented Mar 17, 2018 at 6:47

You should give a reference at the end of each paragraph and start with a sentence telling that the following chapter is an excerpt from [source].

The citation at the end of each paragraph is recommended since it might happen that someone misses your first sentence), the first sentence is technically not necessary but helps your advisor.

If it sums up to several pages, I would recommend to put the whole subsection to an appendix and mention only in one sentence that you followed the process described in [source] which is summarized in appendix x.

  • How many pages are too much? If my thesis has a little more than 100 pages. Commented Mar 10, 2018 at 19:55
  • 1
    @RenatoSanhueza I usually start getting twitchy if it's more then one page. If it's more then two, there must be very good reasons regarding readability for it, otherwise I'll give a slight deduction. But my main criteria are readability and understandability. If I have to turn pages too often, I'm unhappy as well ;-). It's best to ask your advisor if the current version is fine for them.
    – OBu
    Commented Mar 10, 2018 at 20:20

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .