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How Many References are Enough for a 1500 Words Essay?

You know one of those things that take a drastic turn when you are done with schooling and enter university academics’ domains? Referencing your essays is one of these changes. Till the school level, we are to write essays without worrying about referencing. At the university level, things get serious because you must cite the information you are claiming in the article.

Having this said, referencing your essays can turn out to be a real headache. This is one of the many reasons why students opt for essay writing services such as the Writing Metier. Your concerns regarding how many references you need, how many footnotes you need and many more can be addressed once you hire such services to do your essays.

In case you are wondering how do you reference a 1500-word essay and why is referencing even important, to begin with, we will be explaining everything to you in this article.

If you wonder how many paragraphs are 1500 words or how many pages in 1500 words essay, keep in mind that it will be around 4 to 5 pages. This further means that together with the right transition words, you would need sufficient references in the essay, and we will explain how that works.

Why is it Important to Reference your Essays?

Academic reasons aside, when you reference your essay, it shows the marker that you have engaged in the subject at hand. Additionally, it is also crucial that you show that you have acquired and cited key sources to support the narrative you are sharing in the essay. When referencing your essay, it also shows that you have given a lot of time and attention to the essay through the materials and sources you cite. The more relevant and appropriate references, the better your essay seems. Then again, it is not about quantity but quality. When it comes to referencing your essays, you need to go for sources that are accurate and suit the subject. With respect to academic writing integrity, one needs to acknowledge the writers’ work from who you took the inspiration and information.

Also, do not forget to check the citation style needed for your paper. One of the most popular styles is APA citation style, the second place goes to MLA which is also popular in most universities, and then comes Oxford, then Turabian, Harvard, and others. Now, let’s come back to the right number of references.

Is there anything Such as Too Many References?

The short answer: yes. If you are wondering how many references are enough, just be sure that you do not crowd your bibliography section. If you are citing the references in your essay just for the sake of showing off your knowledge or filling texts, it becomes obvious that you are in this for all the wrong reasons. Essays need to have a personal touch as well. If you keep filling them with references, you lose that personal touch.

When choosing sources, keep in mind that they contribute to the angle of the essay. The relevant questions you are posing, the arguments you are contesting or supporting – these need to support them with sources to make the essay case strong.

Your teacher or the marker would like to assess you on your creativity, your thought process. When you fill the essay with too many references, there is no room for one to share their own thoughts.

Generally, you need to use one to two references for the point you are trying to make. Roughly, for a 1500-word essay, this makes a minimum of 10 references. This, however, also depends on the topic or the subject you are covering in the essay.

To make things easier for you to understand, let’s breakdown the main contents for your 1500-word essay so you may know how and where to use references:


The introduction makes up for 10% of the essay you are writing. In this section, you can use one to two references to set the angle of the essay.


Now, this is where the real game is played. In this part, you make the real claims and arguments, which makes this part 75% of the essay. For instance, in the case of your 1500 words essay, you need to write at least 850 to 900 words in this heading. For every main point, you need to write at least 2-3 paragraphs. Using primary or direct or even secondary references (depending on the nature of the subject), you can support each point with 2-3 references.


Now here comes the remainder 15% of the essay. You may conclude the essay by supporting your finishing lines with 2-3 references for the entire paragraph. Just enough references that support the claims you are making.

If you are still in need of assistance, please contact our team, they will consult you on essay writing and will help you with referencing for your essay at affordable rates.

This article serves as a complete guideline on the importance of referencing and how it needs to be done. Feel free to share your ideas in the comments section. We would appreciate your feedback.

Vasy Kafidoff

Vasy Kafidoff is a co-founder and CEO at Writing Metier, who has a keen interest in the academic world and technology. He is a cryptoromantic and blockchain enthusiast for more than 4 years now, and he is excited about the way technology shapes financial and educational systems. Check his personal blog to find more tips on writing.

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