All academic texts, including those written as activities for the Faculty of Political Science courses, cannot be considered scientific papers without references to the ideas and works of other authors.



The accurate retrieval of expressions or excerpts from other authors’ text is called quotation and it is used to convey as accurately as possible a particular idea, concept, visual representation, or data relevant to the argument students want to develop in their research paper. All retrievals from other authors, including images, illustrations, tables, graphs, are made by mentioning the source, by reference, following the conventions of the chosen referencing style.  Text citations must be marked in the usual quotation marks in the language in which students write their papers, even if quotations with other types of quotation marks may also appear in the original text.

If the quote is longer than 3-4 lines, it will be a separate paragraph (“blockquote”), usually aligned entirely from the left edge with the equivalent of one or two alignment units (“tab”), to visually mark the fact that this fragment is borrowed and is not part of the actual argument of the paper. More extensive (over 2-3 paragraphs) or numerous text quotes will be avoided because they can make it difficult for the reader to follow the author’s argument. For the same reasons, text-in citations cannot, as a rule, constitute the majority of the body of a scientific paper.

Pictures, illustrations, tables, graphs, etc. it will be done with the mention of the source, usually immediately below the image, illustration, table, graph, etc. (“caption”).



Acquiring the ideas of other authors, either by giving quotations or by summarizing or paraphrasing, without mentioning by complete and correct references the source of these ideas, erroneously suggests to the reader that those ideas would belong to the author of the paper. To avoid this, students must strictly follow the chosen referencing style’s conventions. The same can be suggested by taking over tables, graphs, illustrations etc. if the source is not specified correctly. When this suggestion induced to the reader is intentional, it is called plagiarism and constitutes a severe violation of the rules of academic honesty. It is also a crime punishable by law.

Assuming the author’s position implies taking responsibility for the entire paper’s content, and therefore implicitly for the impression that the author wants to leave to the reader. To avoid suspicion of plagiarism, the students must always include in the text they are writing references to the sources of ideas taken from other authors, whether these ideas are quoted, summarized, or paraphrased. When the students use images, illustrations, tables and graphs, or any materials created by other authors in their research papers, including databases, surveys or interviews, and their processing results, it is required to indicate the source.

NB! According to the Bucharest University Charter, cases of plagiarism can lead to the student’s expulsion.



These cases are not acceptable and can be severely penalized: presentation of the same paper for several courses; copying papers or parts of papers from colleagues, including during exams; any other form of cheating in order to obtain benefits.


For further information students can check the regulations of the University of Bucharest and of the Faculty of Political Science. (Codul de etică și deontologie al UB, Regulament FSPUB privind prevenirea și sancționarea plagiatului)

“Plagiarism is a serious academic crime, which consists of appropriating a written text or ideas expressed in the spoken word by another person without indicating – by quotation marks or otherwise – who owns the intellectual property. It is also plagiarism if short fragments taken from different sources are joined together and mixed up to hide the rights of the author or authors taken without using citation marks. It is also plagiarism if the work is assumed under one’s own signature after it has been submitted by another student.” (p. 1 from the FSPUB Rules concerning the preventiond and sanction of plagiarism).

BA and MA Theses

Completing the bachelor’s degree and the master’s degree involves writing a paper under the supervision of one of the faculty members. Due to their size, complexity and the criteria they must meet, the bachelor’s and master’s theses differ from the other written assignments during the academic years.

Objectives of the Bachelor’s Thesis and the Master’s Thesis

These two papers are meant to verify the student’s intellectual autonomy. The entire writing process is organized during the last semester of the undergraduate and postgraduate cycles. It is preceded by reflection and bibliographic and (possibly) empirical research that begins at the end of the second year of study for both undergraduate and postgraduate programs.

The Supervisor of the Bachelor’s Thesis and Master’s Thesis

Any faculty teacher who holds the title of doctor is authorized to supervise graduation papers. It is recommended that the supervisors have courses in the study program followed by the students.

The choice of a supervisor does not prevent the student from seeking the advice or support of any other teacher whose competence may be helpful to the development of the thesis.

The supervisor of a thesis is not its author: the work is the product of the intelligence and diligence of the student who is fully responsible for the content of the work. Instead, the supervisor has the role of guiding and verifying the student’s work, finally evaluating, during the research seminar, the quality of the student’s effort.

The supervisor helps the student choose a topic. When contacting a potential supervisor, it is advisable that the students already have a topic or set of topics in mind that they would like to address. The supervisor must be identified in advance. Students are invited to speak with one or more teachers who may assist them in completing their studies. Professors can be contacted in several ways, in the classroom, during the training hours, by e-mail (correspondence with the faculty must take place through the addresses with the extension @ or; professors are not obliged to reply to messages sent from private addresses).

Students must constantly contact their chosen supervisors during the last semester of the study cycle. They check the volume and quality of the students’ work during the research seminars. Therefore, negligence in identifying the coordinator and not attending the seminar may jeopardize the completion of the studies.


Completing the doctoral studies cycle involves writing a thesis under the supervision of one of the doctoral supervisors of the Doctoral School of Political Science. Due to its size and complexity, the doctoral thesis results from original research developed during the three years of research.

The objectives of the doctoral thesis

The doctoral thesis is intended to verify the intellectual autonomy of the doctoral student. This paper must show the ability to carry out original research within the thematic areas of the PhD supervisor.

The supervisor of the doctoral thesis

Doctoral theses can be led by the professors of the Doctoral School of Political Science.(coordonatori de doctorat)

The choice of a supervisor does not in any way prohibit the doctoral student from seeking the advice or support of any other doctoral supervisor or professor whose competence may be useful in the development of the bachelor’s thesis.

The doctoral thesis supervisor is not its author either: the paper is the product of the doctoral student who is fully responsible for its content.

The progress in writing the doctoral thesis is evaluated every six months by the guiding committee and continuously by the supervisor.

When contacting a possible supervisor of the Doctoral School of Political Science, the candidate must have already outlined a proposal for a topic or a set of topics that he or she would like to address within the thematic areas of that supervisor.

A student who wants to become a PhD candidate must find a supervisor in advance. Candidates should speak with a professor or several others who are likely to support them in this endeavour.

A PhD student must be in constant contact with the thesis supervisor. During the three years of doctoral studies, the activity is also evaluated through a research seminar, which corresponds to a credit number and is considered for completing the doctoral studies.

Writing guidelines

The doctoral thesis will have a cover whose format can be found here.

The thesis will be written in Romanian or in an international language.

The thesis will have a minimum of 500 000 – 600 000 characters, including the annexes and will be written in Times New Roman, size 12, 1.5 line spacing.

The thesis must have a solid bibliography that will be integrated according to the academic recommendations (see “References”)

See also: Guidelines for conducting interviews with research participants & the consent form.

There are two traditional referencing styles:

  • notes & bibliography
  • in-text citation (parenthetical citation) & list of references

Each reference style has many versions, depending on the preferences of the publisher/editor who assumes the publication of the text.

Regardless of the style, the references may also include the following note categories:

  • author identification notes (sometimes used in articles by the editorial staff to mention the institutional affiliation of the authors of the paper and a possible concise biography of them);
  • acknowledgements (usually the first note of a text, for articles in scientific journals or chapters of collective volumes for which the authors have benefited from some suggestions from colleagues and possibly from references, anonymous or not);
  • explanatory notes (secondary, small ideas, relevant for understanding some aspects of the text, but which would make it difficult for the argument if they were included in the actual body of the paper);
  • bibliographic notes (to identify the work/works referred to or cited in the text), mandatory for the notes & bibliography system.

The notes are also drafted

  • either as footnotes (appear in the footer)
  • or endnotes (appear at the end of the text, usually before the bibliography/list of references).

All notes are traditionally numbered in Arabic numerals continuously for the entire paper, section (chapter), or page.

The note type (footnote/endnote) and the numbering (in the whole work, in the chapter or for each page) depend on the preferences of the publisher/editor who assumes the publication of the text.

If the referencing style is not explicitly specified, the author will follow the following principles:

  • the text must be fluently readable
  • the reader must easily find the complete information to which the text refers
  • confusion must be avoided

At the Faculty of Political Science, the notes & bibliography style has been commonly used, with footnotes numbered continuously throughout the paper. However, in order to facilitate their integration into various academic traditions, students are encouraged to become familiar with and use different styles during their studies at FSPUB.

NB Some courses or assignments may require specific styles. Before submitting a paper, students must make sure that they comply with the specific administrative and formatting requirements. Regardless of the preferred/required system, only one style will be used consistently throughout the paper.


The most well-known international referencing styles for political science texts are those created by some North American universities, professional associations and publishing houses, such as

Notes & Bibliography and Author-Date;

  • APA, a style using parenthetical citation developed by the American Psychological Association;
  • MLA, a hybrid style based on the system of parenthetical references that allows complementary bibliographic notes as reading suggestions and short explanatory notes; developed by the Modern Language Association.

The scientific journals of the Faculty of Political Science have their own styles and can be consulted online:

Notes and Bibliography STYLE

This style is traditionally used in the humanities and social sciences in Europe, including political science, and is frequently preferred for monographs and study volumes.

The main advantage of this system is that it provides complete and easy-to-access information for the reader, primarily when used with footnotes. It is also much more flexible because of the use of explanatory notes.

The main disadvantages are the length of the text and its visual difficulty. For more complex texts, it is necessary to compare footnotes and use the bibliography at the end of the paper.

References are given in bibliographic or explanatory notes, footnotes or endnotes, and contain all the identifying elements of the source (author/authors, title, place and date of publication), including in the case of electronic sources.

All note categories are allowed, but they are either footnotes or endnotes.

The BIBLIOGRAPHY is placed at the end of the paper.

  • The bibliography includes only the works referred to in the text
  • Note: There are bibliographies, usually annotated and as a working tool of textbooks or overviews of larger themes, which may include sources not referred to in the text and are included as reading suggestions for the reader. In the study programs at FSPUB, it is unlikely that students will write papers of the type and complexity of those that require such bibliographies.
  • Even if the bibliographic notes have been drafted correctly and contain all the elements necessary to identify the cited works, in the scientific texts, it is recommended to include the bibliographic list in order to facilitate the reading.
  • The bibliography is ordered alphabetically by the last name of the authors;
  • For the same author, the items in the bibliography appear either in alphabetical order of the titles or in descending order of the year of their appearance (regardless of the main ordering criteria, it will be used consistently throughout the bibliographic list);
  • As a rule, bibliographic entries are NOT numbered;
  • A bibliography can be structured into categories (e.g. primary sources and secondary sources/specialised literature).

For more suggestions on organising the bibliography, students can ask the course instructor, the course assistant, or the supervisor in the case of the graduation paper.

Parenthetical Citation and References / Author-Date STYLE

This style is sometimes known as the “Harvard style”, although it rather designates a style class. In fact, at the university of the same name, this is not the only referencing style, nor is it used in a single version.

Most commonly used in natural sciences and especially under the influence of US commercial publishers, this style is increasingly used in political science, especially in English and/or international English-language text as a scientific language.

Its primary advantage is the reduction of the text size by reducing the number of characters dedicated to references. Also, limiting the notes discourages potential digressions from the main argument.

Its main disadvantage is that it requires following in parallel the list of references at the end of the paper, which may be less easy for inexperienced readers.

The references are given in round brackets in the text and contain the name of the author/authors, the year of publication of the paper and, in case of a quotation, the page number(s).

If the reference is a significant idea or the main argument of the original text as a whole, the inclusion of the pages where this idea appears is unnecessary, but in all other cases, the inclusion of page numbers in the original text is mandatory. If an excerpt is quoted, the inclusion of the pages on which it appears in the original text is mandatory.

A list of REFERENCES will be included at the end of the paper:

  • The list of references contains, without exception, only the works referred to in the text.
  • The list of references is ordered alphabetically by the authors’ last names.
  • For the same author, the references in the list usually appear in descending order of the years of publication of his/her texts.
  • If an author has several works published in the same year, they will be ordered by title, and after the year of publication, a letter will be added, in order (“a, b, c, …”).
  • The entries in the list of references are NOT numbered;
  • The reference list can be structured into categories (e.g. primary sources and specialised literature), but this is not usual.

The allowed notes are, as a rule, those of acknowledgements and the explanatory ones, the latter being minimal in number.

For more details on how to write the research paper using this style, students can ask the course instructor, the course assistant or, in the case of graduation work, the supervisor, after consulting the suggested style manuals.


Some hybrid styles use Harvard-style conventions and include references, not in the text, but notes (usually footnotes).

Regardless of the system used

  • Quotations are enclosed in quotation marks, in the language in which students write their texts, regardless of the type of quotation marks used in the original text (if any).
  • In most academic styles, regardless of the system used, citations are NOT marked in italics (“italics”), except
  • in cases wherein the original text, the fragment or certain words from the quotation appear marked in italics or highlighted by another visual means (in which case the note “emphasis/italics in the original” will be included in the reference); or
  • in cases when students want to highlight specific concepts or expressions in their research papers (in which case the note “emphasis/italics mine” will be included in the reference).

NB! Regardless of whether another author’s idea will be used as a quote or as a paraphrase, or as a summary, the citation is mandatory. Otherwise, the author may be suspected of its conscious appropriation, which is called plagiarism and constitutes a serious deviation from the rules of academic honesty.


The Oxford English Dictionary, Second Edition, Edited by J.A. Simpson and Edmund Weiner, 20 volumes, Oxford University Press, Oxford & New York, 1989.

The Compact Oxford English Dictionary, Second edition, Edited by J.A. Simpson and E.S.C. Weiner, Oxford University Press, Oxford & New York, 1991.

Webster’s Third New International Dictionary, 3rd edition, Merriam-Webster, 1993

Oxford Dictionaries Online (free access)

Meeriam-Webster Dictionary & Thesaurus Online (free access)

RESEARCH RESOURCES (free access with the fspunibuc/unibuc address)

„Carol I” Central University Library:

The National Library of Romania (The National Digital Library