It is vital that you decide upon a reference and citation system at the onset. Once again, SOAS does not specify a specific system that all its students need to use which often leads to confusion and an ad hoc system being utilized. It is strongly recommended that you choose one of the better known systems such as:
- The Harvard Style (http://education.exeter.ac.uk/dll/studyskills/harvard_referencing.htm).
- The Chicago Style (http://www.chicagomanualofstyle.org/home.html)
- The MLA Style (http://www.liu.edu/cwis/cwp/library/workshop/citmla.htm)
- The APA Style (http://www.liu.edu/cwis/cwp/library/workshop/citapa.htm)
All styles vary simply in the order and formatting. If there is a particular system that you are used to then go ahead and use it, but make sure you stick to it throughout. Remember that the PhD dissertation is probably the longest piece of writing most of us have undertaken until that time. Sifting through 100,000 words retrospectively to make sure your references are consistent is extremely tedious! The one I chose was the Harvard Style only because I figured that it was the most economical in terms of word usage in the main body of the text.