Tallinn University of Technology

Formatting guidelines

TalTech guidelines for writing papers (including dissertations).


Everything you have cited in the text of your work (books, journal articles, web pages, etc), should be listed at the end of your work. These are your references. References should include everything you need to identify the item, and should be in a consistent format. Your reference list can also include items you have read but not referred to directly in your text.

Electronic sources should also be cited consistently and systematically. With e.g. web pages, e-journals, you need to say when you last accessed them. This is because electronic sources are updated frequently, so saying when you accessed them is like giving the edition of a book.

There are hundreds of different citation (referencing) styles from which to choose when you are citing the sources of your research material.

Remember these are intended only as a guide and you should always use the referencing style your lecturer recommends. Once you have selected a referencing style you must follow the same style consistently.

You can use free reference managers like Mendeley and Zotero to keep track of your references. They can provide help with collecting refrences, citing sources and automatically generating bibliographies of used references.

The most common citation styles:

  • APA Style (author-date) - mainly for use in psychology, but has also been adopted by other disciplines

  • IEEE Style (numeric) - widely used in electrical, electronic and computing publications

More styles:

  • ACS Style Guide (American Chemical Society) - used in chemistry
  • MLA (Modern Language Association) - used in humanities
  • Chicago Style - most commonly used by those working in literature, history, and the arts

More information about citing and reference managers (Mendeley and Zotero) is available in the self-study course on Moodle.

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