But your most important work will come later. Think of your PhD as an apprenticeship. Your peers are unlikely to read your thesis and judge you on it. They are more likely to read any papers articles, chapters, books that result from it.
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It allows you to make checklists too so you know that all of your important stuff is listed and to-hand, meaning you can focus on one thing at a time. On the contrary, actively draw attention to them; identify them in your conclusion as areas for further investigation. Repeatedly reprinting and editing draft thesis chapters has two very helpful functions. Firstly, it takes your work off the screen and onto paper, which is usually easier to proof.
Dissertation Research Help: Finding and Using Secondary Sources - Dissertation Editor
Secondly, it gives you a legitimate excuse to get away from your desk. Remember that you are the expert in your specific field, not the examiners, and ask your supervisor to arrange a mock viva if practically possible. What I found constructive was paying attention to the work of novelists I enjoy reading. It's only when you get to the literature directly relevant to your own work that you need real depth and detail. If you have that broad knowledge, it's easy to go back to the literature to look up specific work or examples of types of work for a literature review as and when you need to.
There is a difference between reviewing the literature for your own benefit, and writing a literature review. Not everything you read needs to go into your written literature review. The literature you select should represent the best examples you can find of the point you want to make. You should vary the level of detail you include in each section of the literature review, depending on the relevance to your own work. Depending on your research, there may be relatively few such sources, but they will be the most important to cover in your literature review. In my own PhD, there were maybe 10 or 20 articles I referred to again and again throughout my research because they were essential to my work.
I would also keep an eye on any new work published by those authors, and any new articles citing them as it was highly likely that anyone doing the same work as me would cite the same key sources. Truly groundbreaking research is rare.
Although countless new papers are published daily, most of them only contribute incrementally to the body of knowledge. You can save yourself a huge amount of time by focusing on the truly influential work, because it gives you a solid foundation for understanding the incremental work that follows.
As you develop that fundamental understanding, it should become easier to read and judge the importance of the papers you read, and to identify the trends and key principles in the field. Although the process of reviewing literature for your own benefit is never complete, it is possible to write a review that outlines these key principles and trends and provides a snapshot of the current-state-of-the-art, shared challenges and open questions.
So, returning to the original question, how do you know how much is enough when reviewing the literature? It's probably the wrong question, because there is no absolute measure of "enough" for you to aim for. Even if there was an arbitrary goal of, say, references, this would not necessarily result in a good literature review. Skip to page:.
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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 Student life, in partnership with UEA Uni advice and experiences: visit our student life hub. Report Thread starter 3 years ago 2. Jackieox Badges: Report 3 years ago 3. David B Badges: Report 3 years ago 4.
UWS Answer Heroes. Badges: 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. 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 Report 3 years ago 7.
But it all depends on your thesis, the availability of sources and many other factors. Seriously, I wouldnt worry about it.
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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. JamesManc Badges: Report 3 years ago 8. One reference for every words as someone said, so e.
Report 3 years ago 9. Panda23 Badges: 2.
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Report 1 year ago My supervisor said that it was a decent amount for a BSc level. Masters or Mchem it should be with a minimum of 15, 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 words! Connor Badges: 4.
I find it completely depends on your course. I did a masters in Bioinformatics and my thesis only had around 15 references. I think my undergraduate genetics dissertation had around 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.
My diss was words and I had 44 references.
Dissertation Research Help: Finding and Using Secondary Sources
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. Quick Reply. Submit reply.