How often should you reference in your paper

One of the trickiest tasks for students while writing essays is not only to follow an appropriate referencing style but also to assess how many references are needed. Referencing is a critical component of essay writing, and it indicates that the student has read the relevant sources of information. It also allows the markers to understand whether the student has made use of original thinking. So, here is a guide that will help you in understanding how often should you reference in your paper:

Create a Link

In terms of essay writing, the best way forward is to understand the need for references. They are meant to create a link between your original thinking and the existing sources that you are using. References indicate to the markers that you have studied the concept in great detail. Further, it also indicates that you are formulating your own ideas based on previous work. But you need to be careful not to include any new references while writing the conclusion section. You should look to add a reference whenever you feel the need for creating a link.


At Least One Reference per idea

Another important thing to remember is that each new idea that you are presenting should have at least one reference attached to it. This way, you will be able to make your report writing process much more streamlined. Essay writing is something that requires you to use references in order to attribute the base of your ideas to a particular source. Therefore, it is critical to have at least one reference per idea. In fact, you could use up to three references for a single idea.


Multiple References

Assignment writing is something that may require you to use multiple references on occasion. In these cases, you could make use of signal phrases in order to avoid cluttering. Signal phrases such as “According To” can help you in inserting multiple references within a single paragraph. But you also need to be careful in terms of not overdoing it. For example, if there is an idea that you are presenting in your paper, it may also need to be countered in the same paragraph. In such cases, it is better to use connectors such as “However” and add separate references for each idea.


To sum up, essay writing involves a lot of decision making, and you need to be prudent about the number of references that you use. Try to follow the standard in terms of using at least one reference for every new idea that you present.