How Many References for A Dissertation Are Necessary?

The dissertation has no value if you do not mention the correct reference. But the question that bothers most students is: what is the valid number of references in a dissertation? So, reference in any content or assignment is vital, regardless of whether the answer is the direct quote the student used. The references in a dissertation list the level of studies and research you have done to prepare the right piece of writing. However, there is no fixed number reference in a dissertation. It does not mean you ignore the value of references in a dissertation or add too little or too much.

In this blog, we offer suggestions to follow and assure you of the correct number of references in a dissertation.

Value of References in Dissertation

So before we go forward and look for the correct number of references in a dissertation, we will find its value. We learn it through examples. If you visit Shibuya Street in Japan, Tokyo on Mindat, and plan to scream, “The world is going to end in 24 hours,” Will anybody listen to you? Just ignore whether they believe you; they do not even bother to stop and correct you.

Imagine you did the same with the facts and points you wrote in your dissertation without reference. On the other hand, if you write the same poems and facts with many references in a dissertation, then everyone will benefit from those points.

Let us understand the reference idea in more detail. In short, references result from previous studies or research work performed by scholars, which one adds to their dissertation. Why is that so? It is because:

1.     To Evade Plagiarism

It is the act of using someone else’s idea or work without giving them due credit. So, by reference and dissertation. You acknowledge that you know their job and do not intend to copy their ideas.

2.     To Give Praise to Other Scholars

When you state the source, you praise the work of the person who wrote that content or paper. This is vital because it tells that you, as a researcher, respect your job. Also, you need to take credit for other works.

3.     To Support the Arguments

When you quote references in a dissertation, you offer proof to support the claims. This is vital because it reveals that your dissertation is well-researched.

4.     To Show the Knowledge of a Field

When one cites a medley of sources, they indicate that they are aware of the recent research in the field. It is vital because it reveals that they are a skilful researcher and their work needs reading.

5.     To Allow The Readers to Know More

When writers cite references in a dissertation, they offer their readers the data they require to learn about the subject. It is crucial because it permits the readers to confirm the facts and to know more about the subject.

Additionally, reference in dissertations is vital in papers because it is the demand of most colleges. Many colleges have a specific policy for references in dissertations. Students who ignore those guidelines may feel the dissertation rejection.

How Many References In the Dissertation Are a Must?

So, here comes the main thing: having many references in a dissertation is a must. So, there is no fixed number, depending on various factors. These factors consist of:

1.     Degree Level: References in Dissertation

So, if you are talking about the degree level, then it is divided into three parts:

  • Bachelors: A bachelor’s level consists of words from 10,000–12,000. Hence, 45–50 references will likely be required for this kind of count, and the highest 100 references in the dissertation will be the right bar to add references to.
  • Masters: At Master Level, a dissertation contains words, beginning at 15,000 with a maximum of 25,000 words. For this, 50–95 or 100 citations will likely be suitable.
  • PhD: Here, a dissertation consists of 50,000 words or more. A minimum of 150 references in a dissertation will be required for the PhD level, with a maximum of 200 references. It is the best benchmark.

2.     The Topic of the Dissertation

Here comes the next point that determines the number of references in a dissertation. It also depends on the idea of the dissertation. So, if your dissertation’s statement or topic is new, you are still looking for relevant references. Hence, there needs to be more reference in these cases in the identification.

In this situation, the college or institute rejects the dissertation topic and asks you to pick another one. Why do they reject the topic? At the student stage, it is not advisable to do independent research.

If students are stuck on the topic of a dissertation, then they look for the London Dissertations UK services. These services help them to create compelling content with the correct number of references in a dissertation.

3.     Academic Demand

So, the right number of references in a dissertation this point is the last. Some colleges have different demands for references in dissertations. Some colleges permit only 25 references in dissertations for master’s degrees. On the other hand, 50 references in a dissertation are needed; otherwise, they reject the work. It also depends on the type and topic, such as quantitative and qualitative data. These factors can influence the cited source.

Tips for References in A Dissertation

Here are a few tips for referencing the sources. Let’s find it out in more detail.

  • Pick a citation style and adhere to it. There are several various styles, like Chicago, MLA, and APA. Pick a style that a college uses throughout the paper.
  • Also, mention all of the sources. This consists of references that you mention directly or paraphrase.
  • Take help from tools like Zotero to add citations in your dissertations.


The correct number of references in a dissertation depends on various factors like the degree level, the demand of the colleges, and the topic. But if you face any issues with the writing, we advise you to go for writing services. Also, keep in touch with the supervisor; he will guide you on writing and quoting the source in the paper. Hopefully, this guide clarified how many references you should include in your dissertations.

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