How To Find Relevant Sources To Reference In A Dissertation?

Spread the love
2020 Apple MacBook Air Laptop

Writing a dissertation is a challenging task that requires extensive research and analysis. One of the key elements of a successful dissertation is the use of relevant and reliable sources to support your arguments and theories. However, finding the right sources can be a daunting task, especially if you are new to the field of research. In this article, we will discuss some useful tips on how to find relevant sources to reference in a dissertation.

It is important to note that how many references in a dissertation can vary depending on the nature of the research, the scope of the topic, and the requirements of the academic institution. However, as a rule, it is recommended to have at least 30-40 references for a dissertation. This ensures that your research is based on a solid foundation of existing literature and provides a comprehensive analysis of the topic.

Find relevant sources:

When writing a dissertation, it is crucial to find relevant sources to reference in order to support your arguments and claims. This can be a daunting task, especially if you are not sure where to start. One of the first steps in finding relevant sources is to understand the difference between the independent variable vs dependent variable. This will help you narrow down your search and find sources that are directly related to your topic.

Independent and dependent variables:

Independent variables are variables that are manipulated or changed in an experiment or study. Dependent variables, on the other hand, are variables that are measured or observed in response to changes in the independent variable. By understanding the difference between these two variables, you can identify which sources will be most relevant to your dissertation.

Where to find relevant searches from:

University library:

One of the best places to start your search for relevant sources is your university library. Most university libraries have extensive collections of academic journals, books, and other resources that can be accessed both online and in person. These resources are often peer-reviewed, which means that they have been evaluated by other experts in the field to ensure their accuracy and relevance.

Online database:

Another useful resource is online databases such as JSTOR, PubMed, and Google Scholar. These databases allow you to search for academic articles and other sources related to your topic. You can narrow down your search by using keywords related to your research question, as well as by filtering by publication date, author, and other criteria.

Types of sources:

Government reports:

In addition to academic sources, you may also want to consider other types of sources such as government reports, industry publications, and news articles. These sources can provide valuable insights and context for your research and can help you demonstrate the real-world implications of your findings.

Combination of research skills:

Overall, finding relevant sources to reference in a dissertation requires a combination of research skills, critical thinking, and attention to detail. By understanding the difference between independent and dependent variables, and by leveraging resources such as university libraries and online databases, you can find high-quality sources that will support your argument and help you achieve academic success.

Citation tracking:

Another useful strategy is to search for relevant sources through citation tracking. This involves identifying a seminal article or book in your field and then tracing the sources that have cited it in their own work. This can help you identify other scholars and experts who have written on similar topics and can provide valuable insights and perspectives.

Steps to find relevant sources:

Step 01: identify your research question

The first step in finding relevant sources for your dissertation is to identify your research question or topic. This will help you determine the type of sources you need to look for. You can start by conducting a literature review to get an overview of the existing research in your field. This will also help you identify the key scholars and experts in your area of study.

Step 02: look for their publications

Once you have identified the key scholars and experts, you can start looking for their publications. You can use academic databases such as JSTOR, Google Scholar, and Academic Search Premier to search for articles, books, and other publications related to your topic. These databases provide access to a vast collection of academic literature, which can be filtered by keywords, authors, and publication dates.


In conclusion, finding relevant sources to reference in a dissertation requires careful planning and research. By identifying your research question or topic, conducting a literature review, using academic databases, and citation tracking, you can find the right sources to support your arguments and theories. Remember to cite your sources properly and adhere to the guidelines of your academic institution. With these tips, you can create a well-researched and compelling dissertation that will impress your readers and contribute to the field of study.