How Many References for a 2000 Word Essay – Student’s Guide for Writing Essays

Whenever students are assigned essay writing tasks, a number of questions are raised such as what is the topic? Or what should be the word count? But one question is often ignored that how many references should be given. Actually, using too many or too fewer references is never recommended. Therefore, you should always know an approximate number. This post will specifically let you know how many references you actually need for a 2000 word essay.

Why Not to Include Too Many References?
When you write your essay, you are expected to present your own point of views which shows your knowledge and research. On contrary, giving unnecessary references would just fill the gap which would limit the chances of your own original thinking. However, you should include a reference wherever necessary to enhance significance and authority of your essay.

How to Calculate an Approx Number for References?
The most ideal way to calculate an approx number of references is to take individual sections of your 2000 word essay. You can divide the entire paper into three main sections i.e. introduction, body and conclusion.

1: Introduction (Approx 10% of Total Word Count)
Introduction defines main topic and let’s readers understand what they are going to read in body of the essay. Therefore, you must include few strongest points in this section which may contain an average 150-300 word. Additionally, you can include 1-3 references to enhance the authority of your strongest points.

2: Body (Approx 75% of Total Word Count)
Essay’s main body is the section where actual arguments take place so you should allocate at least 75% of the space. For example, if you are writing an easy of 2000 word count, you better put at least 1500 words in body. Let’s make it a little simpler:

If you have 1500 words to write and have five main points to discuss, you can allocate approx 300 words for each point. Hence you can include 1-3 references to support every point which will make a total of 15 references for body section. Some important points to remember:

  • Average word count may be counted as 1500 words for body section.
  • Ideal number of points may be counted as 5 for body section.
  • You can describe each point in 1-3 paragraphs as this will ease reading of your essay.
  • Include 10-15 references at different places in 1500-Word essay body.
  • It is better to use direct references but references in text would also be fine.

3: Conclusion (Approx 15% of Total Word Count)
In a 2000 words essay, you may allocate 15% of total word count for the conclusion section. To support concluding remarks, you better include at least 1-3 references.

Final Words
Though, it is quite hard to calculate an exact number, an approx number can still be figured out. In fact, it depends upon the subject, type of essay and total word count. Sometimes, you have to write an essay which may involve lots of theory, science and evidences and in such cases you might have to include even more references.

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