15 sources, not enough for a 2000 word essay? Watch

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RJ555
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I've just got back a 2000 word essay, and the marker has commented how I don't have enough evidence of wider reading (dispite all my research being outside the course reading), and marked me a third for the research criteria. I had fifteen sources in total ranging from books, to journals to press articles released at the time of the event (it was a history based essay).

Am I right to think this is a bit harsh? I mean, I didn't expect a first, but 2:2 or 2:1 for research seems fair.
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PhoenixFortune
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(Original post by RJ555)
I've just got back a 2000 word essay, and the marker has commented how I don't have enough evidence of wider reading (dispite all my research being outside the course reading), and marked me a third for the research criteria. I had fifteen sources in total ranging from books, to journals to press articles released at the time of the event (it was a history based essay).

Am I right to think this is a bit harsh? I mean, I didn't expect a first, but 2:2 or 2:1 for research seems fair.
It's not always about the quantity, but the quality.

You may not have used the sources analytically, or in an appropriate manner or place.
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RJ555
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(Original post by PhoenixFortune)
It's not always about the quantity, but the quality.

You may not have used the sources analytically, or in an appropriate manner or place.
You're probably right. Its just weird as I've been getting firsts-thirds across my degree without any change in my technique, writing style, research etc. Seems its a bit too subjective at times/whether the marker is in a good mood.
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Owly
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(Original post by RJ555)
I've just got back a 2000 word essay, and the marker has commented how I don't have enough evidence of wider reading (dispite all my research being outside the course reading), and marked me a third for the research criteria. I had fifteen sources in total ranging from books, to journals to press articles released at the time of the event (it was a history based essay).

Am I right to think this is a bit harsh? I mean, I didn't expect a first, but 2:2 or 2:1 for research seems fair.
It seems harsh; normally I use around 10 to 15 for a short essay. Did you use anything on the reading list? Some markers seem to prefer this.
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aeterno
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Did you just look up a bunch of random books/articles and use those or did you actually look for relevant sources? Were all the books too similar in content? (It's good to be able to back something up with more than one author but it's no good overdoing it and listing 6 authors.) Did you analyse what you read? Do you look up some of the references made by the author(s)?
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Cicerao
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15? It's probably worrying that I'm in awe of this. :rofl:
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screenager2004
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That seems highly suspicious to me. I recently did a 2,000 word essay with 8 references and got marked down for over-referencing, as I was 'too reliant on existing literature and not showing enough independent thought. On the other hand, I did a 1,500 word essay with 3 references, and got a first for it and a small comment saying 'references are a little thin'.

It also depends on the university. When I went to Goldsmiths, the tutors said "For a 2,000 word essay you'll want at least 15 references" - when I went to Warwick, in one of the first seminars I asked the teacher "How many references should we have for an essay this long? at my old uni they said at least 15" and the professor looked horrified, and said "good lord, no! If you have 15 references for a 2,000 word essay, that's far too much, your essay will just look like a patchwork of quotes strung together"
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BigV
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When you guys are talking about a reference list, are you meaning just a list of sources you have actually quoted from or a comprehensive list of all the books/sources you have read from, regardless of whether you have quoted them within the essay itself?
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sweetness345
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(Original post by BigV)
When you guys are talking about a reference list, are you meaning just a list of sources you have actually quoted from or a comprehensive list of all the books/sources you have read from, regardless of whether you have quoted them within the essay itself?
It's the list of sources that you quoted from.
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Welsh_insomniac
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(Original post by BigV)
When you guys are talking about a reference list, are you meaning just a list of sources you have actually quoted from or a comprehensive list of all the books/sources you have read from, regardless of whether you have quoted them within the essay itself?
I thought the latter was a bibliography?
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starfired
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I'm currently writing two 2000 word essays that my lecturer wants 50 references for each - totally ridiculous! I think 15 is good but very much depends on the style - maybe discuss it with coursemates and see if everyones annoyed?
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reviresco
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Well i just did a 9000 words essay with about 25 references, so.... haven't got it back yet though.
I'd say 15 for 2000 words is definitely overkill.
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04MR17
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(Original post by Elizabeth Harris)
I'm a mature student and I've just received my first 2 assessments back One marked as a 2:2, the other as a high 2:1.The approach I used was to look at the primary sources ,suggested ,then I added a few other sources (including articles and audio clips ). I think I quoted from some but then also used others but just to show where my 'thought process ' was coming from .I used about 10 different sources in the 2,000 word essays .
This thread is 7 years old.
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Bio 7
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(Original post by 04MR17)
This thread is 7 years old.
I was going to say that as well.
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