Six Tips to Find the Best Sources for Research Papers

Six tips to find the best sources for research papers

Writing a research paper without a doubt requires the utmost effort. Finding reliable sources for your paper is the first and primary objective when writing, this directly and indirectly has an effect on the outcome of your paper and your grades as well.  Credible sources for research papers are usually difficult to find, especially if you are looking to make your work outstanding. Hundreds of students are often given research papers to write at the same time, maybe as an assignment or an exam, your aim will be to turn in a work that is not just a stale repetition of what every other person has done. Instead, find creative ways to make your work noteworthy and memorable, this is a great way of attaining the success level that you want. This can be done by finding unique and credible sources for your research paper

So how do you find good research sources? You must know that it is not easy, often arduous, but it is doable with the help of this guide, but if you find researching too strenuous or difficult, you can use writing services like Learning how to conduct a study and do proper research is an asset to students and scholars and can be utilised not only in college but in other areas of life.

Firstly for the sake of clarity and to create a deeper understanding, we will first look at the three main categories of research paper sources.


Primary research paper sources: These are usually various materials that serve as a basis for different studies, including surveys, academic journals, interviews, as well as documentaries or already written research papers in the same field.

Secondary research paper sources:  These sources contain a description of the primary source, examples are articles or books that contain a review or critique of other resources like textbooks, articles, documentaries, etc.

Tertiary research paper sources: These resources are used to organize and detect the primary and secondary materials and can be any of the following:

  • Abstracts – They provide a summary of various primary and secondary resources;
  • Indexes – They contain all the necessary information of different materials;
  • Databases – They are online indexes which contain digital copies or abstracts of different credible sources.


The web is brimming with information and knowing which sources are reliable enough to use in your paper  can be herculean. Academic work usually requires credible information that has been validated. Using good sources will strengthen your arguments but how do you know which to use? Here are a few tips.


Identify your research paper topics

Before you begin any form of research, you must have a good understanding of your given topic. This gives you a clear idea of what you should be looking for. If you do not have an idea of what exactly you are looking for, you will only end up wasting your own time without making any considerable progress, so this must be your first step. It is advisable to choose an extensive topic, one that you can truly express yourself in writing, it must have a scope with abundance of potential research materials. A topic with a narrow scope will only make things difficult for you and also make for a poor work.


Create a list of the key concepts

Once you’ve identified your preferred topic you should write out the key elements vital to that topic. You have to keep in mind the purpose of the work. There are different types of research papers and each has a different structure and purpose. You have to keep these  in mind in order to find the most appropriate and relevant materials. Make a list of concepts, ideas and keywords that relate to the chosen topic, doing this will make the research much faster because you will know what to look for and where to find it.


Visit the library

Contrary to popular opinion it is wise to begin your research in the library, there you will find large catalogues of books related to your subject. Begin searching for the best sources, this will require a little bit of effort, but you will be able to get what you need without too much effort if you know what type of research paper sources you need to find.


Consider various sources of information

Research is not only limited to only textbooks and w

websites online. There are other great sources of information that can provide some statistical data beyond the traditional ones like  documentary films, interviews, literature, newspapers, magazines, other written essays, video recordings and even letters.

The internet is your friend

There will be information that you won’t be able to gain access to in the library or other local sources, you should be able to find these obscure data on the Internet but be sure to always check every source for credibility.


Analyse and organise gathered data

When you are done with locating sources, take time to review all that you have gathered, make a careful analysis of your information and be sure that it represents your topic well, determine your key resources, organize them well, now you are ready to write your essay.