Tips For Finding Sources For Research Papers

Why is it important to look for the right sources?

The title of a research paper speaks for itself. The recipe for successful research paper writing is an in-depth study of the topic and the problem. Thus, finding reliable and credible sources for research papers is the first and main task that will influence the whole writing process and the final grade.

However, it can be quite difficult to compile a reference list for a thesis, dissertation, or research paper. It is also not a good idea to hand in a paper with outdated data. This is a sure way of missing the desired level of success. Instead, you can find some creative ways to make the writing process interesting and engaging, especially if you find good and worthwhile sources.

Here will be some tips to help you do quick, effective research, become professional research paper writer and find sources for all types of university papers.

Types of sources

There are three main categories of academic resources for research work: primary, secondary, and tertiary. The primary source of a research paper is a variety of materials that serve as a basis for various studies. This also includes surveys, notes, diaries, and interviews that have been published in academic journals. Secondary resources usually contain analyses or descriptions of any of the primary sources, e.g. articles or books that provide an overview or interpretation of another resource, textbooks, encyclopedias, dictionaries, etc. Tertiary resources serve to organise and discover primary and secondary materials.

Searching Wikipedia

The choice of this source may seem amusing, but Wikipedia is more accurate than any other encyclopedia. In its articles, you can find many important ideas related to your chosen topic, and it also provides links to other sources where the topic may have been described. In this way, you can better understand the topic and give yourself at least a general idea of it. In addition, the articles often cite the most important sources of other research papers, and this can be very helpful.


If your research on your chosen subject does not require up-to-date information, your local or university library will be your best source of reference. It takes a little effort, but it is hard to doubt the validity of these sources, unlike Wikipedia.


Depending on the size of the paper, a varying number of sources need to be used. But the main goal is to use the most authoritative and reliable sources.

But deciding which ones are the most authoritative can be difficult. You need to find the literature that has been cited in most other sources. Another place to check is Google Scholar. This service will tell you how many times your chosen sources have been cited.

Diversity of resources

Nor should you stick to one type of source – a book or a few other research papers. These are good resources, but in order to find really interesting, unique and noteworthy sources, they should be searched more carefully. Papers can also be used:

  • Newspaper articles
  • Letters
  • Scientific journals
  • Audio recordings
  • Documentaries
  • Recordings of personal interviews

Use of sources

It is worth using at least one source per page of your research paper. Different papers and institutions have different standards of writing style, but this is a good starting point. So be sure to check the requirements of the assignment before you start writing your paper.

If you have sufficient resources for your research paper, and you follow these tips, there should be little difficulty in writing and compiling a bibliography.


Founder and Editor, Clare Deane, shares her passion for all the amazing things happening in Liverpool. With a love of the local Liverpool music scene, dining out a couple of times a week and immersing herself in to all things arts and culture she's in a pretty good place to create some Liverpool Noise.

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