Research papers sources

APA & MLA Research Papers: How to Use Sources in Your Essay

First, review your library's website. What resources are available? Where will you find them? Do any resources require a special process to gain access? Start gathering those resources—especially those that may be difficult to access—as soon as possible. Second, make an appointment with a reference librarian. A reference librarian is nothing short of a research superhero. He or she will listen to your research question, offer suggestions for how to focus your research, and direct you toward valuable sources that directly relate to your topic.

Now that you've gathered a wide array of sources, it's time to evaluate them. First, consider the reliability of the information. Where is the information coming from? What is the origin of the source?

Introduction

How does this information relate to your research question? Does it support, refute, or add context to your position? Why did the Labour Party win the last British general election? How have conceptions of race changed in the US since the s? How do different electoral systems affect the behavior of political parties?

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Research questions that do not require an argument are just bad questions. Thou shalt do real research. Real research means using primary sources. What counts as a primary source, though, depends on what kind of question you are trying to answer.

Primary sources in this case might include economic statistics, memoirs of politicians from the period or reportage in east European newspapers available in English or other languages. Bring all your skills to bear on the topic. Use works in foreign languages. Use software packages to analyze statistical data.

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Or say you want to write about how conceptions of national identity have changed in Britain since the s. In this case, you might examine the speeches of British political leaders, editorials in major British newspapers, and voting support for the Scottish National Party or other regional parties. You might also arrange an interview with an expert in the field: a noted scholar, a British government representative, a prominent journalist. There are, however, gradations of primary evidence. The best sources are those in original languages that are linked to persons directly involved in the event or development that you are researching.

Next are the same sources translated into other languages. Then come sources that are studies of or otherwise refer to direct experience. In your research, you should endeavor to get as close as possible to the events or phenomena you are studying. But, of course, no one can speak every language and interview every participant in a political or social event. Part of being a creative scholar is figuring out how to assemble enough evidence using the skills and resources that you possess in order to make a clear and sustainable argument based on powerful and credible sources.

Thou shalt make an argument.


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How are they different? In fact, not all students are aware of the existence of different types of sources and even those who are aware of this do not always understand how to distinguish them. There are three main categories of academic resources for research papers.

Here is a list of each with a brief explanation to help you find which one is the most appropriate for your paper:. The Internet is full of information, and determining which are reliable sources to use in your assignment can be quite a challenge. Academic work requires vetted information that has been validated.

Using good sources will strengthen your own arguments but how to know which to use? Stay clear of websites and Internet sources such as Wikipedia. While Wiki is a wealth of information for personal use, it lacks the scrutiny that university work requires. So take a look at our list of credible sources to use in your research articles. Pick from our list to obtain the information you need for a great paper. Identify your research paper topic.

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List of academic databases and search engines - Wikipedia

If you do not have an idea of what exactly you are looking for, later you can realize that you have wasted lots of time on discovering interesting but irrelevant facts that don't have anything in common with your subject. Thus, this is your first step. Try to formulate a clear question from the very beginning. Choose an extensive topic, make a quick preliminary study before you formulate a specific question, and then edit it to make it look relevant and clear.

Keep the purpose of work in mind. There are several types of research projects and each has a different purpose that you have to keep in mind in order to find the most appropriate and relevant materials. Create a list of key concepts. If you have a list of relevant concepts and keywords that relate to the chosen topic, it should make the study much faster because you will easily be able to search for information on your topic on the Internet and beyond.

Go to the library.