Research paper – two words that send panic and anxiety into the hearts of numerous students. Mostly this panics is caused by the inability to find relevant references in the needed time.
Dedication of time and effort is needed when writing an extraordinary and quality research paper. However, this can be easily achieved if you have a good topic with access to credible sources of information.
Let’s take a look on how to find credible sources!
When searching for sources, especially websites, think about whether they are reliable or not. You would want your paper to contain sources from professional and unbiased experts, rather than from people with business interests.
The information you get from the author, publisher, bias, citations, accuracy, currency, design, reproduction will help you determine if a source is reliable:
- Librarian/Teacher/Specialist in m=Media Related Field. You could request one of them to lead you to where there are valuable sources as regards your research topic. There is a high probability they are aware of all ins and outs of this subject more than you are for now. In some schools, libraries are divided according to the field of the potential research. It means you can receive advice from a librarian specialized in your particular topic of interest.
- Academic Journals. They add some professionalism and credibility to the paper, and perform a potentially efficient way of finding amazing articles on your subject, especially in science and humanities.
Most colleges have a membership to a large database of scholarly articles like JSTOR or less known EBSCO Host. Ask your librarian about the similar services and databases your school might be subscribed to.
Google Scholar is good as it displays how frequently an academic article was cited – a rough numerical indicator of the influence of the research.
Microsoft Academic Search works especially well for technical papers in fields of physics, biology, engineering, and mathematics.
- Books: These are one of the ideal ways to find valuable and credible information. Because books have more details than websites, they are preferred as sources, particularly in the humanities. Your school or public library website contains so many of them.
Google Books can also help you find relevant books related to your topic. Information relating to purchase of the book or how to access it in your library is also usually provided.
- Websites: They should be approached with caution. While a few seasoned experts and professionals publish great information across different websites, there’s a great deal of awful information published by money-minded people as well.
RefSeek and ERIC (Education Resources Information Center) are databases designed for students and researchers. They incorporate a number of related journals on topics, such as social work, psychology, and other social issues.
Sources You Shouldn’t Use
- The Dictionary. Beginning your paper with, “According to the dictionary” renders the statement weak basically because the meaning of most words is already known to the readers. So rather than using a dictionary for definition of a complex word, use a more subject centred definition from credible sources or journals in case you’re using complex terms that readers might not be acquainted with.
- About.com. It has a bunch of valuable information, most of which is not relevant to your research paper, like the best new cars, and 10 places to visit before you die. These are articles written basically by people who are passionate about their interests.
- It is a really cool website, however, you cannot be sure of the accuracy of the information because anyone can write it. And mostly professors restrain you specifically from using Wiki and similar resources.
There’s no use being panic-stricken about writing an academic research paper. You’ll be on your way to writing an awesome paper if you make use of the resources in this article. They will help you access the most credible and valuable sources to base your essay on.