A research paper is a common type of writing in schools and colleges that represents how students involve themselves in extensive research to find the best possible information about the subject under research.
Therefore, a research paper is simply a detailed essay that presents an individual’s interpretation, argument, and evaluation. Hence, the difference between a research paper and essay is that when writing a research paper, you try to build upon every single idea you know, or you’ve ever read about the topic under research as well as making a deliberate attempt to find out what experts know about the topic. Thus, it majorly involves surveying a field of knowledge to dig in all the available information about the subject. An essay, on the other hand, consists in writing everything you know or think about the subject without consulting professionals or experts.
When we talk of the ways for finding credible sources for writing a research paper, we hope you’re aware of the fact that a research paper is an academic work. Thus, it requires up-to-date information sourced from all the valid sources. Moreover, your facts should also be proven points based on research. Nothing should be taken for granted.
In that note, herewith are some of the guidelines for choosing credible sources for your research paper you should know. Therefore without any further ado, let’s have a look at them one by one.
Types Of Research Paper Sources
There are different types of research paper sources, but to your surprise is that not all students are aware of their existence. Moreover, those who are aware of the availability of different types of research paper sources still are not in a position to distinguish them.
To help you differentiate between these sources, here are the three main categories of academic resources for research papers.
Primary sources of information refer to various materials that serve as the basis for different studies. Some such materials include; interviews, poems, surveys, diaries, court records, and fieldwork, to name a few.
Secondary sources of information, on the other hand, refer to academic resources that contain detailed analysis or description of the primary sources. They try to elaborate on some of the information provided by the primary sources with some proven facts. They include books, encyclopedias, dictionaries, and articles.
These are academic resources that serve for organization and detection of primary and secondary sources of information. For instance;
- Databases- these serve as online indexes, thus contains digitalized copies or abstracts of different credible sources.
- Abstracts– an abstract provides a summary of various primary and secondary sources of information.
- Indexes– they contain all the essential bibliographic information of different academic resources.
List Of The Credible Sources of Information For Your Research Paper
Determining the credibility of a given source of information has never been as simple as we might sometimes think. Moreover, with the vast growing online sources of information, validating their credibility can be quite a challenge. But since academic work calls of proven facts from only validated sources, using such sources earns you good grades at the end of the day.
That’s so because vetted information strengthens your arguments. Hence, let’s take a look at these credible sources you should use for all your academic assignments.
Sourcing information from any one of the government entities sources is a must-try for all dedicated students. Some of the advantages of using Government information resources is that they are;
- Reliable– these resources include statistical information, research analysis, opinions from experts, laws, and regulations.
- Relevant– unlike other sources of information, government entities provide relevant sources of information. It thus addresses every topic for which the government has an interest. For instance, historical resources that provide the basis for understanding the past.
- Responsible– Government resources are excellent sources of information because they help us understand the various decisions made by our leaders. We live in a democratic world, and we deserve to be informed on every move the government is making.
The following are some of the Government information resources we should sort to when writing your research paper.
- United States Bureau of Justice Statistics
- CIA World Fact Book
- Environmental Protection Agency
- European Central Bank
- Research from Health and Human Service
Professional Standards Organizations
When it comes to fetching information from professional standards organization, there are five highly credited sources of information you should use. They include;
- International Organization for Standardization
- American Psychological Association
- International Atomic Energy Agency
- National Association of Professional Engineers
- American Bar Association
Research Think Tanks
Credibility is paramount to any academic writing assignments; for instance, a research paper and think tanks qualify as one of the credible sources of information. It thus promotes engagement with the media as experts in their field and also facilitates access to all reputable networks.
As a matter of fact, quality research has always been at the core of what think tank does. Thus, the credibility assessment of an organization solely depends on what is perceived as carrying out quality research.
Some of the credible information resources for Research Think Tanks are;
- Rand Corporation
- The Milken Institute
- The Center for Economic Policy and Research
- Institute for Defense Analyses
- Pew Research Center
Academic Libraries And Databases
There are several academic libraries and databases around the globe, but only a few of the same is only considered credible. Thus, the following are the trusted few among the many.
- Sage Publications
- Spring Science + Business Media
With these four credible sources of information, you should no longer let misleading information from uncredited websites lower down your academic grades. The quality of data is paramount to any academic assignment, and thus you should stick to only the credible sources.
Un-vetted information from non- academic resources might prevent you from getting empirical data that an academic paper calls for.
Steps On How To Determine The Credibility Of A Source
The credibility of all your writing sources is paramount; thus, you should ensure that you are very well conversant with all the ways of determining the credibility of a given source. Therefore, here are some of the steps to follow to ensure that you only use credible sources of information.
The Depth Of The Material
Before deciding on which academic resource to use for your research paper, it is always good to look at a depth of the material. When we talk of the depth, we mean everything in detail and not only the written content. Examine the length of the article, check whether the abstract, reference list, and the documented data is something relevant to your topic.
If you feel that the content does not relate to what you were looking for, then you should not consult the material.
The Target Audience
When checking the credibility of an article, it is also very important to always check the target audience of that particular resource. Therefore, when it comes to the credibility of a given source, you should not hesitate to ask yourself who is reading it? This is so because some materials have specific goals and audiences. Hence, if it is not relevant to you, then it is not suitable for your research paper.
What’s The Goal
Every academic resource has its own specific goal. So depending on your wants and needs, you should look for materials that answer your questions. Always ask yourself what the article is trying to achieve. Therefore, based on your subject, you should try to understand the ultimate goal of a given material and how it persuades you.
If the material is convincing, then go ahead and burrow content from that particular source. However, if not, do not force content; instead, you should go-ahead to the next resource.
The writer of a given book or article also helps you to determine the credibility of that given source. Hence, you should ask yourself whether the author of the article is known or unknown. Several book authors are known all over the globe due to their excellent work, but there are also some with a bad reputation.
Therefore, apart from that particular article or book you are about to consult, you should first look at other published works the author has done as well.
Can It Be Trusted?
The other concern you should ask yourself is whether or not the material or the academic resource can be trusted. This can be determined by looking at the credibility of the website in which the article is published. Make sure you check everything you need to know about the material. It can be time-consuming, but it is necessary because you do not want to mess with your research paper.
Hence, you should look at the big picture and do not assume things. Writing a good research paper is a matter of success or failure, so you should choose wisely.
Is It Relevant Now?
Some materials we find in the library are outdated, so you should check whether the material is up to date. Here, you should look at the date the article was published, or look at the specific things that are being mentioned in the article. The two pieces of information will give a hint on whether the paper or material is relevant. So, if it was updated a few years ago, then it’s probably not too relevant to your current research.
Can It Be Proven?
Lastly, you should ensure that the article or any resource you are about to use can be proven. Even though some items may sound convincing, their credibility might be in question. Hence, you should be cautious about their credibility no matter how good the article is to your topic.
You should carefully examine whether the content, facts, and ideas in that article are proven or not. Some people have a way with words and persuasion. So, you should not fall into their interesting but un-proven content.
Tips For Finding Credible Sources Of Information For Your Research Paper
Moreover, apart from ways of distinguishing credible sources from uncredible sources, it is not time we have a look at the various tips for finding good sources for your research paper
Identify Your Research Paper Topics
First and foremost, you should identify your research paper topic before sorting information from different resources. You should never, at any point, start researching sources before you clearly state your case.
In any research, the topic is fundamental, and thus, it should be your first step. Failure to which you will wondering around several sources of information without a specific plan. Moreover, you should ensure that you choose a broad topic, as it will help you come up with vast ideas and data.
Keep The purpose Of Work In Mind
Keeping in mind the key purpose of your work is fundamental for any successful research. This is so because you need to find the most appropriate and relevant materials. But if you are not careful, you can easily drift your mind away, and that’s not good for your research paper. Furthermore, there are several research projects, and each one has its p specific purpose, so according to the particular purpose of your project, you need to fix your mind to it.
Create A List Of Major Points
Depending on the topic under study, you find that there several concepts about the subject. However, it a great idea to only create a list of the significant contents and relevant keywords. By so doing, it makes your research work much simpler because you are no longer going to gamble around materials looking for information. You got the list concepts, so your job is to search for the available data from the various sources.
Go To The Library
The next thing you should do after ensuring that the above three aspects are well taken care of is going to the library. The library is the only place you can find valid, vetted, and up-to-date data, unlike the internet sources. In the library, you will discover voluminous books on your subject. Thus, you will have to sort them based on their relevance to your topic.
When you are in the library, your main work is to make notes of all the ideas and facts you get from all the library sources. Some people might find it difficult, but trust me; this is the only way you will be able to gather all the relevant information to your subject. Furthermore, the process of note-taking makes the entire research process simpler.
Consider Different Types Of Resources Materials
There are several credible sources of information for your research paper you can rely on. However, you are advised to intensify your research so that you do not have to only use books. You should, therefore, consider different types of information as it will make your fact-finding process much enjoyable.
Information sourced from one material tends to make your writing less convincing. Hence, you should try something else apart from books, for instance, interviews, documental films, statistical data, and many more.
Even though not all online sources are credited sources for academic papers, researching online sometimes helps you to find some of the information that can not be found in books. However, the best thing when dealing with online sources is that you should avoid Wikipedia by all means. The Internet has everything, but you should not forget to check on the credibility of every online resource you visit.
Analyze And Organize Your Data
When everything is said and done, it is now time to analyze and organize all the collected data. It would help if you examined your work to ensure that you determine all your key resources and organize them well. By so doing, it makes your paper look presentable and easy to read because everything is in order.
Once you have all the needed information at hand, it is now time to start writing down all your fact findings on paper. There are different structures for writing a research paper, so depending on the style you choose, you should ensure that you stick to it to the latter. When writing, you may realize that your topic might change a little bit, so if it something that you need to refer back to your sources, then you should not hesitate to do so.
When writing also, you should not be afraid to edit where necessary because un-edited work is sometimes difficult to read and understand. However, if you have problems compiling your work, we can help you do that. Just visit our website on “do my paper for me” for all your online services. We have professional writers who will deliver a plagiarism-free research paper, at an affordable price and on time.
Use The Correct Citation Format
Citation is the last part of writing a research paper. It entails noting down all the relevant sources of information you consulted during your research. Moreover, failure to cite your bases will make your essay look plagiarized, and this is not what you would want to happen to you as a student.
Therefore, even though this may consume a lot of your time, it is necessary, so you should be patient to do it. You should also ensure that you follow the required style format to make your work complete and worth good grades.
Doing your research paper should be fun, especially if you follow the above guidelines. It is now your turn to put every detail into practice. Moreover, writing a good research paper is a matter of having confidence in your writing skills, and you will never regret it.