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How many sources should you cite in a research paper – quick guide

How many is too many in citing a research paper? The answer is that it depends on how much is required or how it is related to your topic. Most of the times your teacher or the professor will tell you how many citations they would require you to gather. So it is important to pay attention to the teacher’s instructions and to make sure you get it right the first time, but what if the teacher didn’t say how many you need to gather, well here is a few tips to help you figure it out.

Tip 1: Priority

Now depending on the type of article you are working on you will have to adjust to the amount of citation you will need. If the paper requires in-depth data collection that needs a plethora of details, 10 article citations would be a bare minimum. Now hear me out yes that looks like a lot, but it’s not, for a professional grade paper more citations are often required and asking for ten is a Hail Mary that most would gladly accept. Then for the average research article which is around 3-5 pages, 6 articles would be just fine.

Tip 2: Usefulness

Choosing what kind of articles for citation is very important. The citation you gathered must have a connection to your paper. That will help you narrow down the number of articles you will need to gather. This tip helps make your paper more credible. The date when the article was published is also important; articles more than have been published more than 5 years ago will most likely be outdated and have been revised, it is better to choose a more recent article rather than the older ones.

Tip 3: Categorize

Categorizing your data for citation requires you first to sort out the parts that do need citation, then divide it to the part in order of importance, this helps cut down on the time you will spend on citing. Once completed you need to look over your work and check if everything is in its right place and that all data that has been collected have categorized and cited.

And with that, you have a quick guide on how to get the right amount citation you need for your research paper. Just keep in mind that the amount of citation your produce won’t guarantee the success of your paper, but it will depend on the content of your work. So do not assume that because you have cited multiple sources, it would mean that you are going to be given a good grade, but it is the content of your work that will determine your grade when you submit your finalized paper.