Dissertation - how many references? Watch

peanutbuttercup
Badges: 18
Rep:
?
#1
Report Thread starter 3 years ago
#1
I'm at the point where I'm beginning to think about my dissertation for next year and I'd just like to know how many references are required just so I can get a rough idea... how many did you guys use?

Thanks
0
reply
peanutbuttercup
Badges: 18
Rep:
?
#2
Report Thread starter 3 years ago
#2
Bump


Posted from TSR Mobile
0
reply
Jackieox
Badges: 19
Rep:
?
#3
Report 3 years ago
#3
A good method is 1 reference per 100 words =)
0
reply
David B
Badges: 20
Rep:
?
#4
Report 3 years ago
#4
(Original post by Jackieox)
A good method is 1 reference per 100 words =)
Doing a thesis of 80,000 words would require you to have 800 references.
0
reply
UWS
Badges: 21
Rep:
?
#5
Report 3 years ago
#5
No one can give you a proper answer because it depends on the dissertation topic and the course you're doing
0
reply
gutenberg
Badges: 14
Rep:
?
#6
Report 3 years ago
#6
(Original post by peanutbuttercup)
I'm at the point where I'm beginning to think about my dissertation for next year and I'd just like to know how many references are required just so I can get a rough idea... how many did you guys use?

Thanks
As others have said, we can't really give you an answer as it will depend on the topic. For example, I did my dissertation in history, but an earlier time period (15th/16th century). Because of the nature of the topic, I actually only had a couple of primary sources, mostly manuscripts from the college archive and a few printed accounts. However, friends doing topics in modern history had a lot more primary sources than me: newspapers, images, government documents, etc. The topic I was working on hadn't been extensively investigated before, so there wasn't a huge amount of secondary literature either, while friends who did a Vietnam War topic were inundated with historiography. So when you compared our bibliographies, it might appear that they did a lot more than me, and that they did better. They didn't. A good-quality topic is one that is original, and it can't be measured by how many references you have at the end of the thesis.

So don't panic about it. Expect of course that you will have plenty of references (after all, there is usually *something* written about most undergraduate dissertation topics), but don't stress yourself out about a number.
0
reply
ozzy12
Badges: 0
Rep:
?
#7
Report 3 years ago
#7
I did my dissertation in politics as an undergraduate - it was 10'000 words and used 45 references - 80% of it were books and maybe 20% of it journals.

But it all depends on your thesis, the availability of sources and many other factors. One example dissertation which was a first had about 33 references, another which was also a first I looked at had 91 references - but most/a lot of it it were links to websites.

Seriously, I wouldnt worry about it. I wouldve also asked this question last year (just finished uni) but once you get going the references will come naturally. And I wouldnt worry about the number of references - I did at first, but it mattered to me less as the argument you make is more important than number of sources.
0
reply
JamesManc
Badges: 15
Rep:
?
#8
Report 3 years ago
#8
One reference for every 100 words as someone said, so e.g. 6,000 words - 60 references.
0
reply
doodle_333
Badges: 18
Rep:
?
#9
Report 3 years ago
#9
depends on your course, how literature focussed your diss needs to be, what the topic is (i.e. will there be 5 big referenced or 20 small ones) etc

I think I used like 90 for 7,000 words but I've always gone quite reference heavy
0
reply
Panda23
Badges: 2
Rep:
?
#10
Report 1 year ago
#10
I am a BSc Hons, and have just handed in my thesis (chemistry related), I did 11,000 words and got 35 references 50/50 books and journals. My supervisor said that it was a decent amount for a BSc level. Masters (or Mchem) it should be 50-60 with a minimum of 15,000 depending on the subject. As my subject was on a very new research subject, 35 was classed as a lot. So it varied depending on whos marking and the material available. However, with reading everybody else's responses try for 1 reference for every 100 words! you might be surprised at how much you can find!
0
reply
Connor0912
Badges: 4
Rep:
?
#11
Report 1 year ago
#11
I find it completely depends on your course. I did a masters in Bioinformatics and my thesis only had around 15 references. I ended up getting 85% for it. I think my undergraduate genetics dissertation had around 20. As long as you're referencing when you're getting background from places and you reference the tools you use you'll be fine. I'd assume more literature based subjects such as English or History would have higher reference counts though as there'd be less original contribution to the work.
0
reply
izpenguin
Badges: 15
Rep:
?
#12
Report 1 year ago
#12
My diss was 8000 words and I had 44 references. And no-one ever said that it wasn't enough. But I did a science degree so a large proportion of my diss was my methods and results which were about what I did, so required no references. All of my references were journal articles, although a lot were reviews and I was told that there were occasions when I should have used a primary paper instead of a review.
0
reply
X

Quick Reply

Attached files
Write a reply...
Reply
new posts
Back
to top
Latest
My Feed

See more of what you like on
The Student Room

You can personalise what you see on TSR. Tell us a little about yourself to get started.

Personalise

University open days

  • Sheffield Hallam University
    Get into Teaching in South Yorkshire Undergraduate
    Wed, 26 Feb '20
  • The University of Law
    Solicitor Series: Assessing Trainee Skills – LPC, GDL and MA Law - London Moorgate campus Postgraduate
    Wed, 26 Feb '20
  • University of East Anglia
    PGCE Open day Postgraduate
    Sat, 29 Feb '20

Do you get study leave?

Yes- I like it (173)
61.35%
Yes- I don't like it (12)
4.26%
No- I want it (76)
26.95%
No- I don't want it (21)
7.45%

Watched Threads

View All