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Best Research Sources: Academic Writing Tips

May 28, 2020

Research Sources

Research is a detailed step-by-step approach to a study to establish facts and arrive at new conclusions. Research also entails the collection of data, documentation of the data, analysis, and interpretation of data. However, useful research cannot be carried out without a research source. The credibility of research relies heavily on the reliability of the research sources. There are many different sources of data in research.

Proper research is not complete without a source. A research source is a piece of academic writing and materials from which the writers gather ideas and information for the research that does after the paper’s conclusion. These research sources are also known as references.

Three Types Of Research Sources

There are three types of sources for research. They are:

  • Primary Research Sources
  • Secondary Research Sources
  • Tertiary Research Sources

Primary Research Sources

These are the original materials on which other research is based. They include:

  • Original written works such as diaries, poems, interview, surveys, eye witness account, and autobiographies
  • Empirical scholarly works and academic journals such as case studies, clinical reports, and research articles
  • Creative works such as poetry, music, video, and photography.

Secondary Research Sources

These research sources analyze and describe a primary source. Secondary research sources include:

  • Publications such as textbooks, magazines, articles, book reviews and commentaries
  • Annual Reviews such as scholarly article reviews
  • Credo reference such as encyclopedias, dictionaries, and handbook
  • Ebook Central such as ebooks
  • ProQuest such as book reviews, bibliographies, and literature review

Tertiary Research Sources

These are used to locate primary and secondary sources. They include:

  • Indexes: Provide citation that describes work with full information. This information consists of the author, the title of the book, publisher, publication date, volume, issue number, and page numbers.
  • Abstracts: make a brief discussion on primary and secondary sources.
  • Database: are Indexes found online that mostly include abstracts for each primary and secondary resource and a digital copy of the resource.

List of Credible Sources of Research

When working on research, the sources for research is significant. Credible sources for research helps to convince the readers that your claim is right and plausible. Credible research sources include:

  • Materials not published more than ten years ago
  • Academic databases
  • Articles by reputable and notable authors
  • Government and Educational institution-registered websites
  • Articles from Google Scholar

How To Know A Research Source Is Credible?

To know if a research source is credible and reliable is no big deal. Here’s how to go about it!

  • Be sure a trustworthy author or institution writes the source. For example, when using a webpage, you can identify the owner or publisher by the URL.
  • Be sure the author has proper credentials on the subject matter.
  • Search if the author has published papers in any reputable journal.

If you follow these steps, you will know if your reference material is from one of the reliable sources for research.

Research Paper Sources: What Else To Use?

These are assorted materials that serve as a basis for different studies including poems, surveys, field works, and research papers published in academic journals. The types of sources for research paper are the types of sources for research stated above.

There are many reasons for using credible sources for research. Two of these reasons are:

  1. It shows evidence of proper research
  2. It shows being responsible by giving credits to other researchers and acknowledging their work

When searching for articles, the source is important for you to know as each type has its purpose, intent, and audience. For example, taking Nursing as a case study. Here are some sources of nursing research:

  • Case studies
  • Laboratory notebooks
  • Clinical trials
  • Cohort studies
  • Pilot/ Prospective studies.

Some of these sources may not be useful in some other fields, such as research chemical sources.

These are different materials that serve as a basis for various studies, including poems, surveys, field works, and research papers published in academic journals. The types of sources for a research paper are the types of sources for research stated above.

How Many Sources Should A Research Paper Have?

Referencing research papers, journals, articles, or books could sometimes be stressful. So how many sources for a research paper? There is no specific number of range that is considered a standard reference. However, you should note that references must not be too many or too few when referencing your research work. For a lengthy research paper, a reference list of at least 15 is ideal.

Be careful to choose credible sources that contribute to your essay, support your argument, and answer relevant questions to your research work. You must know that you don’t have to show off all the books you have read, all in the name of reference. Your readers and markers want to see your originality and your contribution to the work.

How To Use Sources In A Research Paper

This depends on the reference format you want to use. We have APA, MLA, among others. If you want to use the APA format to cite the work of a single author, put the last name of the author and the year of publication in the text and by them by a comma. If the research source is from two persons, then, their two names joined by “and,” a comma, and year of publication of the source. If the reference source is a work done by more than two persons, then the last name of the first author should be written then et al. in italic with a full stop and then a comma with the year of publication of the source.

How To Find Primary Sources For A Research Paper

You can find a primary source for research work by any of the following.

  1. Take note of the text mentioned that you can look for in the SLU Libraries catalog and online. You could search for these texts with a title search in the library catalog.
  2. Search for essential figures from the period as authors in the SLU Libraries catalog.
  3. Search terms that were used during that period.
  4. Search the Internet History sourcebooks project or search Google for your topic with the phrase primary source or the word texts.
  5. Some words such as source, documents, writings, correspondence, letters, pamphlets, etc., indicate primary source material and can be found in Library of Congress subject heading in the library catalogs (SLU, MOBIUS, and others).

Funding is necessary in research as it helps strengthen the economy and make our world better. There are different research funding sources, such as grants. It can also be from the government or non-governmental organizations.

Sources of Bias in Research

One of the main problems in research is the problem of bias. It can occur consciously or unconsciously. This bias makes the results of the research less dependable. As a researcher, you must minimize this. There are different types of bias in research, which include: recall bias, selection bias, confirmation bias, publishing bias, observation bias, experimental bias, and so on.

So, we have covered all the research sources that would be relevant to your studies. Contact our best academic writers to make things easier and save precious time. Wishing you the best in your research!

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