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How to Find Good Sources for a Research Paper

How to Find Good Sources for a Research Paper

To write awesome paperwork you need to pay a lot of efforts. Among your tasks are to improve own writing skills, follow all guidelines, and so on. But it is fair to say that good mark wouldn’t be yours if you don’t collect proper sources.

First of all, the array of your sources demonstrates how deep did you research the topic before starting your essay. It means that it will be a great field in your mind with numerous reputable ideas and thesis. As a result, the value of your paperwork will definitely increase. Second of all, the long list of references always impresses professors and shows your serious attitude to the task. Such small things will add you bonus points beforehand.

So yes, your priority task is to find the best sources for your paper even before writing the title page. Sounds simple, but in real life it is difficult to estimate which articles, books, and newspapers are deserved to be on your references list, and which of them may only harm your final mark.

Let’s see how to find good sources for your essay and discern great information from ordinary one.

Types of Sources for a Research Paper

You may be impressed, but there are different types of sources for your papers. Before you start looking for the best options, it would be great to understand the main types of sources and its particularities.

All sources are divided into 3 groups of academic ways of information. Here they are:

  • Primary research paper source. Such materials are considered to be basic sources for all research papers. That’s why this group includes such traditional options as surveys, diaries, studies, interviews, etc. As a result, primary materials are the most worthful and always deserve praise.
  • ¬†Secondary paper materials. These are those documents which include detailed description or analysis of the primary source. You may find encyclopedias, dictionaries, books, etc. Such materials don’t have personal minds and must contain only primary information in general. But they are very useful if you haven’t a month to read Aristotle in origin.
  • Tertiary resources. Such materials are great for organization of previous types of resources. There are several types of them: Abstracts (the summary of both previous sources); Indexes (the most important bibliographic information); and Databases (work as online sources so usually have digital copies on the Web or online library).

What are the Right Sources?

Not every book or document is good for your paper. This rule may twist you and create more barriers in writing, but it’s true. Before picking up exact source you need to check it for authority and other criteria. Only in this way you will collect worthful reference list.

So right resources must have such particularities:

  • authority (means the high reputation of author or place where you found the document);
  • accuracy (is about the facts and other information which should be verified);
  • objectivity (means the material has only objective ideas and doesn’t distort arguments, the topic, and evidence);
  • currency (is about the current status of paper whether it updated, actual or not actual for nowadays);
  • coverage (means type of material which can be complete, partial, or use ideas out of context).

If your resource complies such requirements, then it is really worth to be in your reference list.

Tips For Finding Credible Sources for a Research Paper

Now you know which types of resources are proper for your research paper. The next step in writing is to collect materials. To make this process easier you may use several qualitative and reputable places.

By the way, professors like students to use unusual and unknown sources but they must be reputable and verified. For instance, you shouldn’t add to your reference list an article written by the unknown author on the Web. As a result, you may use the wrong facts in your paper and break your hopes for high mark.

This is the list of good places to find materials for your writing:

  • Library. This is the best way to find primary and secondary documents for your paper. But everybody knows students don’t like to spend their time sitting among tons of books. It is easy to understand because using Internet sources is much more comfortable.

But let’s be honest: you can’t find all rare documents only on the Web. Usually rare materials are saved at specialized libraries. No matter what but traditional sources from the library are the most desirable to be in every essay.

  • Wikipedia. This free encyclopedia had one great disadvantage because everyone could make changes there. And such fact didn’t allow Wikipedia to be reputable source till now. But nowadays the administration of encyclopedia is very attentive and check all corrections in articles. Besides, this source can have really rare and unique documents about millions of topics.

In addition, every Wikipedia article contains a list of references which you can add to your paper for free. Notice that there are also sometimes great citations.

  • Citation and reference list in secondary materials. When you find a proper article on the Web or in the library it is helpful to use its final materials. The author did use different sources besides primary documents to make his job. So why wouldn’t you check them too? Such an approach in finding sources is really useful when it goes about difficult topics which don’t allow you finding just anything in the library.

Additional advice: use unusual sources to dig the best content or even ideas. You can read newspapers, journals, watch TV-shows, video on YouTube, etc. As more information you can get and as better you can sort it, as great will be your paper!

When you write your papers no matter the formatting you need to mix resources. If you use only links for websites hardly your paper would be highly estimated. So one of your main goals in this task is to find, collect, and use different documents in different places. Only hard work with citations, references, and sources will bring you the best results!

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