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How can I find good sources for my research paper?

How to Cite

❶Primary sources are original, first-hand documents such as creative works, research studies, diaries and letters, or interviews you conduct. Now you need to refocus your topic.

Don't want to cite by hand?

Tips For Finding Good Sources For Research Paper
Language & Lit
University of Louisville Writing Center

Whatever reason you have for needing to summarize, the guidelines below will help you:. A paraphrase is about the same length as the original, but it uses different words. Unlike the summary, which reports the argument, thesis, or event, the paraphrase also reproduces the attitude and tone of the original text.

Before you can write an effective paraphrase, you must fully understand the original text. It might help to think of it as translating the passage. Like a translation from one language to another, a paraphrase remains close to the original but uses totally different words. This metaphor also helps answer the obvious question, "Why would anyone paraphrase instead of quote? Paraphrase also helps readers follow the argument, because they don't have to adjust from one prose style to another, which is what happens to your readers when you quote.

The smoother your prose, the easier it is to read the paper and follow the argument. Introducing and citing the sources that you use allows other scholars to follow the research thread that you followed as they try to answer their own questions. For example, we could tell you about a study that says that everyone needs to get eight hours sleep a night and for every hour one is sleep deprived every hour below 8 one's IQ falls one point.

You might decide that you would like to read that study, too, but we didn't provide citations so you don't know where to find it.

You don't even know for sure that such a study exists. Because we did not cite sources, we prevented you from joining that academic conversation, and perhaps gaining some important information about sleep. If you feel frustrated now, that's how other scholars feel when you don't cite sources! Although each academic discipline has a different way of citing paraphrases, summaries, and quotations, the underlying principle is the same. A citation reveals the name of the author, the name of the text, its publication date, the name of its publisher, and the page number s of the material to which you refer.

The full or partial citation might be provided in parenthesis at the end of the borrowed material, or it might be provided in a numbered footnote or endnote, but it must be provided. At the end of this chapter we describe five different guidelines style sheets for citing material. A great many others are also used in academic writing, e. If your instructor does not indicate a preference, you may choose the style yourself.

But you should choose and use a recognized method; don't make up your own system. The purpose of citations is to convey a large quantity of information in a very small space; thus even the punctuation of citations conveys meaning, and that punctuation varies from one style sheet to another. Readers familiar with the style sheet that the writer has chosen do not have to puzzle over citations in order to decipher the information in them.

But if you make up your own style sheet, however consistent it may be, you are forcing your readers to decipher not only the information in the citations but also the means of transmitting that information. Paraphrased and summarized material must be introduced as well as cited, so that readers know where that material begins and where the author of the paper's ideas end.

If your theory is that God made everything and there was no natural selection, and your research proves otherwise, you aren't going to be able to give up that theory and still go to church on Sundays. Yet even though most scientists don't think "intelligent design" can explain the existence of life, a quarter of the biology teachers in Kansas favor teaching creationism and evolution side by side in the science class Beardsley, By placing the citation at the end of the paragraph and not identifying where Beardsley's ideas begin, he makes it seem as if the whole paragraph is a summary of Beardsley, whereas really only the last sentence is.

This both implies that Beardsley said something that he did not, and prevents Michael from getting credit for his thoughtful analysis. The revised paragraph below makes everything clear.

Yet, as Beardsley explains, even though most scientists don't think "intelligent design" can explain the existence of life, a quarter of the biology teachers in Kansas favor teaching creationism and evolution side by side in the science class Beardsley, You must also introduce quotations in addition to citing them; however, this is for a different reason.

If you recall our discussion of your papers as part of a conversation, the reason may be clearer. When you are telling someone about the reactions of two of your friends to a movie, you might say, "When we got out of the movie, Tom's first comment was 'that was really boring,' but Alex said that she enjoyed it. Tom's comment is introduced and quoted, while Alex's is introduced and summarized.

The prose flows smoothly. On the other hand "After viewing the movie: Square Brackets Sometimes you will need to add "and" or "however" to make a quotation fit smoothly into the sentence you include it in. Without a doubt, books are the best providers of valid data. Some people find it inconvenient to make notes in the process of studying their subject matter, however, it is the best thing you can do to make the whole process simpler! Do not only use books! Finding some valid facts is good but if your paper will consist of only bare facts, it will be uninteresting and less convincing, so try to find also some statistical data, documental films, interviews, convincing examples from history or literature, etc.

The data that you were not able to find in the library for example, some obscure sources you should be able to find on the Internet but do not forget to check every resource for credibility. When you are done with locating sources, review all you have at this point, and analyze it in order to determine your key resources and organize them well.

Once you have organized all your facts, you can start writing the work itself. In the course of writing, your topic may change a bit, so do not be afraid of going back to the library if it is necessary.

Also, do not be afraid of asking for help. This is the last stage of your study. However, it is very important to do it right because if you do not follow the required style manual when citing your resources, your text will turn out plagiarized, which will greatly reduce your grade. Citing can take lots of time and it is not a simple matter but it is one of the most essential things that you have to take care of in order to make your work complete and worth a high grade!

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A. Finding Sources. SUMMARY. Another reason why Wikipedia should not be cited in an academic research paper is that it aims to be like an encyclopedia–a source of reference information, not scholarly research or primary or secondary sources. One must delineate between general reference for general knowledge and scholarly sources for in.

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The experts at Elite Editing show you where to find credible sources for your research paper. Finding credible sources online explained.

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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. Once you have learned how to summarize and paraphrase, you need to read Section 3 so that you also know how to incorporate the material into your paper without accidentally plagiarizing. Summarizing While the summaries you will incorporate into research papers are not usually as long as formal summary papers, you will use similar strategies.

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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 are not the sources . The standard bibliography resource for students from high school to graduate school has been Kate Turabian's Manual for Writers of Research Papers, Theses, and Dissertations, which is an adaptation of the Chicago Style Manual. When listing sources in a bibliography at the end of a research paper.