Bad Sources for Your Research Project

 

good sources for research papers

In high school, you may be able to choose an easy topic and cite five or six sources you found on Google or Yahoo!, but college term papers require more in-depth research from reliable sources, such as scholarly books and peer-reviewed journals. The first step to developing an interesting research paper is choosing a good topic. Most research papers normally require a thesis statement. If you are not sure, ask your teacher whether your paper requires it. A thesis statement is a main idea, a central point of your research paper. The arguments you provide in your paper should be based on this cenral idea, that is why it is so important. You may get lucky and get great sources, or you may get stuck with less credible sites that leave your professor wondering where you got such information. Learning how to evaluate sources for research paper writing is a key component to your research paper’s success. Here are five tips to help you as you gather your sources.


Good Research Paper Topics [Updated Sep ]


Gathering sources is much more complex than it used to be. For starters, there are more resources available. Secondly, good sources for research papers, information can be gathered in a number of places. Your primary places for locating sources will be:. This section provides an overview of important concepts and techniques in gathering information for research essays, good sources for research papers.

You should read this section before going to more specific information on types of good sources for research papers, documentation, etc. If you go to the library, you will find that the old card catalog, which only lists books, has been replaced by a computer in most libraries. If you are doing research on a fairly new topic, this will be fine.

However, not all libraries have their entire collection on line. So, if you are looking for information on say, the Civil War, good sources for research papers, and think that some older sources might be useful to you, be sure to ask the librarian if the library still maintains their card catalog. If they do, you should check there as well as checking the computer.

The computer in the library usually will have instructions attached to it. Most library systems allow you to search by title, author, or subject headings, and most are cross-referenced. If you know which books you want, or know good sources for research papers specific author who has written books about the field that you are researching, then go ahead and use the title or author categories in the computer.

You also may find it very helpful to use the subject heading category, which will offer you more options for the books that might be useful to you in doing your research. The subject heading category allows you to put in key words that might lead to books in your interest area.

Don't limit yourself, though, by putting in words that are too narrow or too broad. If your search words are too narrow, you will not find many sources; on the other hand if they are too broad, you will not find the search useful either.

Key words are words that relate to your topic but are not necessarily in your thesis statement note that it will be most helpful if you have a clear idea about your topic before you begin this type of research, although research can also help to narrow your thesis. For example, good sources for research papers, if you are searching for information about women in the Civil War, it would be too broad to enter just "women" and "war.

It might also be too narrow to enter the name of a specific woman--you probably need more historical context. Try key phrases such as "women and Civil War" or "girls and Civil War. You will also discover that there is another great way to find books that might be helpful to you.

As you find books on your topic listed in the computer, you can then track those books down on the shelf. After a few minutes good sources for research papers searching on the computer, you will start to see that certain books have call numbers the number on the book's spine that tells its location in the library that are similar.

After you finish your work on the computer, ask a reference librarian, or follow the signs on the walls to locate the call numbers that correspond with your books. When you get to the section where your book is located, don't just look at that book. Look around, too. Sometimes you will find great resources that you were unaware of just by looking on the shelf. Because libraries are generally organized by topic, you can often find some real "gems" this way.

Also check the index in the front or the back of the book the one in the back is always more detailed, but not all books have one to be sure that the information you are looking for is in the book. A book can have a great title, but no information, good sources for research papers. On the other hand, a book that doesn't seem to go along with what you are doing can turn out to have a lot of usable information. Books are generally a great resource--they often contain a lot of information gathered into one place, and they can give you a more thorough investigation of your topic.

As you are reading a book, journal article, or newspaper article, you should keep the following questions in mind, which will help you understand how useful the book will be to you. Magazines including Time or Newsweek are called periodicals as they are published periodically weekly, monthly, etc. Most libraries only keep the most current issues of these magazines on the shelf. The rest are bound together in collections, usually by year. These are usually kept in a separate room in the basement, to my experience!

Usually, the location is a place called "the stacks," good sources for research papers is where you go to look for periodicals that are older than the current issue.

Remember that you can't take these out of the library. If you find articles that you want to take home, you need to photocopy them. Newspaper articles are sometimes in the bound periodicals, but are more often found on microfiche or microfilm. Make sure to distinguish between general interest magazines and professional journals; this is an important distinction in college-level research, good sources for research papers. Microfiche or microfilm is a device which can be extremely frustrating.

Don't hesitate to ask for help from your nearby reference person. Microfiche or microfilm comes in two forms--small cards of information ficheor long film-type strips of information film. Once you insert these into the microfiche or microfilm machine and there are separate machines for eachgood sources for research papers, you will be able to see the text of the article that you are looking for.

Often, you will have to scan through quite a bit of film to find what you are looking for. Microfiche and microfilm are kept in boxes, and sometimes you have to request the date that you are looking for. Don't give up! With persistence, you can find some wonderful resources on microfiche and microfilm. Many libraries today, especially if they are larger libraries, good sources for research papers, have information available on CDROM or through what are called specialized databases.

Be sure to tell a reference librarian what you are working on, and ask her advice on whether or not there is information available on CDROM or through a specialized database. Government documents are currently available on CDROM and often offer updated information census data, for example.

The reference librarian can tell you which CDs might be the most helpful and can help you sign them out and use them. There are many specialized databases. Some examples are ERIC, the educational database, and Silver Platter, which offers texts of recent articles in particular subjects yep, the whole article is available right through the computer, which is often less time-consuming than looking through the stacks for it The American Psychological Association has the titles of articles on specific subjects psychology, sociology, etc.

Sociofile is another example. Ask your reference librarian to see exactly what is available. One good thing about specialized databases is that you already know the source and orientation of the article. You also know that the source is a valid and reputable one. You will need the reference good sources for research papers help getting into specialized databases--most libraries require that the databases have passwords.

Warning: Bring your own paper if you plan on doing this type of research! Many libraries allow you to print from the databases, but you must supply your own paper. Internet research is another popular option these days. You can research from home if you have internet search capabilities, or you usually can research from the library. Most libraries have internet connections on at least a few computers, although sometimes you need to sign up for them in advance.

Even if there doesn't seem to be much of a crowd around, good sources for research papers, be sure to sign up on the sheet so that you don't have someone come along and try to take your spot.

Internet research can be very rewarding, but it also has its drawbacks. Many libraries have set their computers on a particular search engine, or a service that will conduct the research for you. Internet research can be time consuming. You will need to search much the way you would on the library database computers--simply type in key words or authors or titles, and see what the computer comes up with.

Then you will have to read through the list of choices that you are given and see if any of them match what you think you are looking for. Part of your internet research will include evaluating the resources that you find. Personal web pages are NOT a good source to go by--they often have incorrect information on them and can be very misleading. Be sure that your internet information is from a recognized source such as the government, an agency that you are sure is a credible source the Greenpeace web page, for example, or the web page for the National Institute of Healthor a credible news source CBS, NBC, and ABC all have web pages.

Check out the Content and Evaluation and Sources and Data sections. Taking notes is an important part of doing research. Be sure when you take notes that you write down the source that they are from! One way of keeping track is to make yourself a "master list"--a number list of all of the sources that you have. Then, as you are writing down notes, you can just write down the number of that source.

A good place to write notes down is on note cards. This way you can take the note cards and organize them later according to the way you want to organize your paper. While taking notes, also be sure to write down the page number of the information.

You will need this later on when you are writing your paper. Any time that you use information that is not what is considered "common knowledge," you must acknowledge your source. For example, when you paraphrase or quote, you need to indicate to your reader that you got the information from somewhere else. This scholarly practice good sources for research papers your reader to follow up that source to get more information. You must create what is called a citation in order to acknowledge someone else's ideas.

You use parentheses in your text, and inside the parentheses you put the author's name and the page number there are several different ways of doing this. You should look at your course guide carefully to determine which format you should be using. Check out more specific information on how to document sources. Using sources to support your ideas is one characteristic of the research paper that sets it apart from personal and creative writing.

Sources come in many forms, such as magazine and journal articles, books, newspapers, videos, films, computer discussion groups, surveys, or interviews. The trick is to find and then match appropriate, good sources for research papers, valid sources to your own ideas.

But where do you go to obtain these sources? For college research papers, you will need to use sources available in academic libraries college or university libraries as opposed to public libraries. Here you will find journals and other texts that go into more depth in a discipline good sources for research papers are therefore more appropriate for college research than those sources written for the general public.

 

Where to Find Credible Sources for Your Research Paper - Elite Editing

 

good sources for research papers

 

Jul 12,  · What makes a research source good or bad? When conducting research, you should avoid any source that contains opinion or fiction. Menu. Home. Unreliable Sources for Your Research Project. Search. Search the site GO. English. Writing Writing Research Papers Documentation in Reports and Research Papers. Most research papers normally require a thesis statement. If you are not sure, ask your teacher whether your paper requires it. A thesis statement is a main idea, a central point of your research paper. The arguments you provide in your paper should be based on this cenral idea, that is why it is so important. Aug 26,  · Collecting sources for a research paper can sometimes be a daunting task. When beginning your research, it’s often a good idea to begin with common search engines, like Google, and general descriptions like you can find on Wikipedia. Often though these .