Extensive research is vital for academic writing as it helps you support your claims, overcoming the idea that your essay was based on biased arguments. Unfortunately, there is a myriad of sources to sift from for any selected topic.
Also, some sources do not count as great resources for academic papers. this article will analyse the criteria for credible sources for research, tips for finding good books for research papers and analyse the number of sources to use for a research paper.
What is a credible source?
A credible source for academic research papers is free of bias and based on scientific research. These sources are thus published by government agencies, research institutions, or educational bodies dedicated to a particular topic.
The sources for academic writing should not advertise any product or service as this may present a conflict of interest where information that is detrimental to the brand is not fully divulged. Your research sources may thus comprise journals, books, and websites with a. Edu or a .gov extension.
Also, information on websites such as the WHO, the UN, the Census Bureau, and other agencies can be used when writing about a topic related to the agency.
How to find sources for a research paper
Finding relevant resources in the sea of information on a particular topic may often prove a challenging task. However, extensive research exposes you to a wide range of good books to research, while expanding your knowledge on a given topic. these steps should come in handy to help you find relevant sources for a research paper.
- Run a Wikipedia search
Before we proceed, you should know that Wikipedia is generally frowned upon when it comes to academic writing. this is because Wikipedia can be edited by anyone and thus does not assure you the credibility of the facts contained within the article.
However, you can use Wikipedia as a starting point for your research. For this, find a page that is relevant to your research point and check the cited materials that touch on your specific subject.
- Use a referencing tool
Unlike Wikipedia, referencing tools can easily guide you toward a myriad of sources for research papers. When using a referencing tool, feed your key phrase into the website and specify the type of resource you are seeking.
This approach will yield a vast range of sources relating to your topic, saving you from reading a vast range of general books that barely touch on your research topic.
- Consult your librarian
Your librarian is a great resource for your research papers. As such, be sure to consult your librarian on the available materials for your topic. This will save you from strenuous trips to the library in a bid to find sources relating to your topic.
How to use sources in a research paper
When writing a research paper, it is crucial to acknowledge all the authors of the sources used. Poorly acknowledging the authors of your papers may result in plagiarism, exposing you to multiple repercussions.
As such, ensure to include in-text citations where needed and to make an entry for each source in your works cited section. Also, paraphrase sources before inserting them in your work or quote the parts of an essay that have been used verbatim.
How many sources for a research paper
The number of sources to use for a research paper depends on the faculty guidelines and the length and complexity of your essay. However, most institutions do not recommend a specific number of sources, leaving you with the task of establishing the ideal range for your work.
Ideally, use a source to only support a claim within your paper. Avoid stuffing your paper with unnecessary quotes as this may limit original arguments, resulting in a low score.