Doing extensive research is the main part of crafting a research paper. The process involves finding research paper sources that are credible enough to ensure you provide factual and accurate information in your paper. Now that the internet is flooded with lots of different sources for research paper, some are credible, while some aren’t credible. Therefore, it is crucial for the writer to know how to find sources for research paper to suit the topic or subject they are covering. In this guide, we explore all useful insights on how to spot credible research paper sources and how to integrate sources into a research paper.
Why is it important to use credible sources in research
The purpose of research paper sources is to show your efforts in doing the research and finding information to present. In academic writing, students must learn and know how to cite sources in a research paper as proof of their research processes.
Citing sources for a research paper is significant as it helps students avoid plagiarism, which is a harsh offense in academic writing.
But then, why is it crucial to use credible sources? A credible source is often written by an expert or professional in a given field. Such a source presents only factual information without bias and without errors.
Academic research papers communicate detailed information on a given topic, which will be read by other scholars and experts.
Therefore, using credible sources in research papers will make the reader believe in your research and the information you’ve presented in your paper.
Besides, credible sources will not only make the reader believe in your work, but they will also increase your chances of scoring higher grades.
How to use sources in a research paper
Of course, the information and details presented in a research paper are often from other experts. It can be from books, articles, or online materials. All these sources have authors. Therefore, while you may find the information appropriate for your paper, you must understand how to integrate sources into a research paper to give your paper a good structure. There are different ways on how you can use research paper sources in your paper, and some of the best ways include the following:
The information from some sources may be hard to change, forcing you to use it as it is. It is more of copying the exact words and pasting them into your research paper. Therefore, make sure you include quotation marks with the details of the author to show the reader that they aren’t your own words.
Paraphrasing is all about reading and understanding someone else’s work and then writing them in your own words based on your understanding. However, while writing the summary of another person’s work, make sure the meaning doesn’t change to drive the point home.
Note: paraphrasing isn’t about changing the sentence structure or interchanging some words. It is all about re-writing every detail afresh.
Summarizing may sound like paraphrasing to some level, but there is a slight difference. Summarizing is applicable where you have many ideas to present in your research paper as an overview of all other ideas. Here, there is no need for quotation marks.
How to identify a credible source
After understanding how to use sources in a research paper, the next element is to establish how to identify credible sources to use for your research project. Below are some tips to consider:
- Know the author
The author of a publication can show if the source is credible or not. You can evaluate this by analyzing their other published works and their reputation in the specific field.
- Check the website it’s published on
A specific website can tell you whether a source is credible or not. Check the number of publications and visits on the same website to establish its credibility.
How many sources for a research paper?
Before starting your research project, ask yourself, how many sources should a research paper have?
To answer this question, the appropriate number of research paper sources depends on the subject matter and nature of the project. However, an average research project should have 45 references.
Research paper sources play a significant role in bringing up a good academic paper. Therefore, I hope this write-up has given you useful insights on determining a credible source for your paper.