Academic Research Paper Writing Help: Finding Good Sources

Once you have chosen a topic for your research paper the next step is finding useful sources to use that will enhance your paper and help to defend your main points. Finding, credible resources in the world of the Internet (where anything can be written) is tricky. Simply searching for what you want on Google may not be the best approach. Because students need to be able to cite their sources, online resources are not always ideal for academic research papers. Part of the academic learning curve is learning how to sort out resources and evaluate them for quality. We do this by looking for information in the right places to begin with and knowing how to verify a source to make sure that it is accurate. In order to help students do this we have included 5 tips for finding good sources.

  1. Do start with a simple search
  2. Although search engines like Google are not the best place to go for all of our resources, they can be useful for finding leads. Start your research by doing a quick online search and seeing what comes up. You may have to weed through a few papers to find anything worth using. Best-case scenario you will find list of books or academic journals on the topic that you are researching to look in to.

  3. Stay Away From Wikipedia
  4. Real encyclopedias are fantastic resources for research. However, a Website like Wikipedia is not properly citable and therefore is not a reliable resource. Because anyone can edit Wikipedia pages the information listed may not be accurate or may be modified. Instead, look for credible sources that have been written by experts.

  5. Online Scholarly Databases are Wonderful
  6. If you are going to get your information online, there is nowhere better than official online scholar databases. These websites proudly list publications that have been written by expert academics on various topics.

  7. Say YES to: Newspapers, Magazines, and Other Publications
  8. These are fantastic resources for information that are easy to cite and confirm. Look for prestigious sources such as: TIME magazine and the Wall Street Journal.

  9. Don’t Forge About The Good Old Library!
  10. You know that place with books! Ever since the Internet came about students have been quick to dismiss the library in favor of the Internet. However, actual publications that you will find in the library have a lot more credentials than say “so-and-so’s blog”. If you want to ace your research paper trying going back to the old fashion way of doing things. A.K.A Scouring the library for a great book and citing it in your research paper!