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Credible Online Sources For Research Papers

Credible Online Sources for Research Papers

The idea of writing research papers instills fear, panic, anxiety, and dread in the minds of most students. Many college students opine that writing a research paper is the most difficult challenge they have to face to clear college.

They all agree that writing a research paper is time-consuming, energy-sapping, and brain-draining; all rolled into one big insurmountable task. Despite these challenges, many students look back with pride at all their hard work when they are awarded their degree and their paper gets published in an approved journal.

Before giving your more information and telling you where you can look for credible sources for research papers, allow me to list out a few challenges that students face while writing a research paper.

Challenges of writing a research paper

Finding good sources of relevant information and data for the research – Many students face a lot of difficulties in finding good sources from which they can gather and collate information for their research. The latter half of this article gives details of how to find credible sources for research papers.

Creating a thesis statement for their paper – It is imperative to create a thesis statement that tells the reader what exactly the paper is going to discuss. A well-writing thesis statement should contain your opinion along with the conclusion of the topic. Read your thesis statement carefully to ensure it covers these points. If it does not then you have to rephrase it.

Consistency and coherence in the writing – Considering the vast amount of information that is included in any research, it is easy to understand why students find it difficult to keep their writing consistent and coherent. It is not difficult to get carried away and meander off from the topic at hand. This can be overcome by creating an outline and making notes of the primary and secondary points that you will raise in your paper.

Finding supporting evidence – This is a common failure among many students. Finding credible evidence that supports your thesis statement is not just difficult but can be, perhaps, the toughest part of writing a research paper. If you do not find the sources that support your idea, then your research paper will not have any value.

Contrarily, if there is an overflow of data and information regarding your topic, then rummaging through the vast amount of data and finding those that suit your needs is equally daunting.

Following the correct citation requirements – Formatting and citation standards can be quite challenging for many research paper writers too. Some students actually forget to give credit or cite the source which could lead to some serious consequences associated with plagiarism. To overcome this challenge, as you make a note of the quote or data that you are going to use in your paper, immediately note the source also so that you do not end up forgetting anything.

The key element to managing all the above-stated challenges is to organize your data, create guidelines and outlines of your strategy, and make diligent notes of all sources before your start writing your research. Once you have completed writing the paper, proofread and edit your document before submission.

What is the meaning of a "Credible" source

Many students are not even aware of something called "credible" source of information. Many ask, "Is there a difference? Aren't all sources the same?"

And the answer to this is, "No, not at all. Not all sources are credible."

Let us take an example to illustrate this point. Suppose you want to find out about a particular epidemic and how it affected the lives of people in the area. Would you look for the information in the blog of some random person or would you look it up in government (.gov) site? The answer would definitely be the government site, isn't it?

Like this, there are many credible online sources for research papers available for you to collect information for your paper.

Why credible source only?

Now, the next question is, "Why should I use only credible sources for research papers?" I would like to compare your research paper to a jury trial. If you have to prove your innocence, wouldn't you use hard evidence? That is what a credible source provides: convincing and authentic evidence in support of your thesis statement.

Credible sources are invariably written and documented by professionals who have a strong standing in the society. Or the source is part of an approved entity that has built its reputation for its work in the given field over a period of time.

What are the sources you should NOT use for your research paper

Wikipedia.com – Although this website has plenty of information and maybe a great option to know more about a topic, it is a taboo site for the sake of your research paper. The authors who create and maintain information on this site can be anyone around the world with or without any professional backing or knowledge. You can never be sure of the accuracy of the data given on Wikipedia.com

About.com – Plenty of useful information yes; can it be used in a research paper? Definitely no! The writers who update about.com could be really passionate about the subject but rarely are they experts in the field.

Any dictionary or thesaurus – This place is great to find meanings and synonyms of words, but it should never be used in your research paper. College professors do not consider dictionaries and thesauri as credible sources of information to be quoted and referenced in your research paper.

Credible Sources for Research Papers

Your college or school library – This is definitely the ideal place to start off on your research. Your college library is an academic library and you will find journals, academic books, and other scholarly sources that are credible for use in your research paper.

Many colleges allow their students to use their online library through a library card and you will be able to get plenty of credible sources from here too.

Online scholarly databases – There are many such online databases that give you access to multiple scholarly papers from which you can collect information for your paper. Some of these online scholarly databases include InfoTrac, ERIC, EBSCO, LexisNexis and more.

In fact, you can use specialized search engines such as Google Scholar, ERIC, and RefSeek to search for research papers and citations about any subject or topic

Other websites – You can evaluate the authenticity of other websites and then if you are convinced of its veracity, then you can use data from these sites too. To evaluate the credibility of a website: check out the names of author(s); see whether the author(s) have any kind of affiliation with any university or educational institution. Also are the author(s) credentials listed? Are the credentials matching with the information that is being provided on the website?

Final Notes

Writing a research paper is undoubtedly challenging and yet you will feel a sense of achievement when you have completed it successfully.

Our experts and professionals at Prescott Papers are highly qualified and experienced in the realm of research paper writing. Do not hesitate to contact us for any kind of help that you may need for writing and completing your paper.

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