How to Find Good Sources for a Research Paper?

Looking for new sources for research papers is sometimes a tedious task. When you begin your research, it is a good idea to start with the usual search engines. These search engines include Google and others like Wikipedia. Most times, you will not find these sources in your essay.

Some of the tips that one can use to get these research sources to include:

  • Make lists of the terms of the research you will use when looking for online and in the library. Begin with your vital list. Include other main phrases and words that you find when researching.
  • When finding good sources, one needs to find out if it contains “tags.” One can include these phrases in one’s list of search items. The links can also lead you to the research sources.
  • Keep in mind the good sources for your assignment and the sources that your assignment needs. A lot of search engines give the option of return only scholarly or peer-reviewed sources. These are sources that other scholars read before publishing them. The UofL library provides lists of research guides that help one look for critical databases to find sources.
  • When you want to consider what defines a good source, it is wise to keep in mind the question.
  • Review the bibliography and citation section of your work that is helpful. The sources that they use are probably helpful. A few search engines include links under sources that say “cited by.” It leads to other sources that use the same source before you. Google scholar offers a variety of quality results they provide. It depends on the area of the subject and other factors. All in all, it is a good source.
  • Reference librarians at Ekstrom library are available to assist one with their research. One can book an appointment and have a meeting with them. During these meetings, this library may assist one to locate helpful databases.

What can a writing center assist a researcher

The consultants in writing centers can link up with someone and help them get a better direction while working on research projects. It does not mean that one will keep on brainstorming on research topics and terms; deciding on what type of sources will help answer research questions or find preliminary sources.

Types of research essay sources

Most of the students do not that they are different kinds of research essay sources. And for those who know that there are different kinds of sources also can differentiate between the types.

There are three main categories of academic research sources. Below is the list of the resources with brief explanations:

  • Primary research essay sources

These are based on various studies, consisting of poems, surveys, court records, interviews, and diaries, research papers scholars publish in academic journals.

  • Secondary

These resources contain analyses of most primary sources, such as books or articles that consist of reviews and interpretations of other resources, encyclopedias, dictionaries, and textbooks.

  • Tertiary

These resources serve to detect and organize primary and secondary materials, including the following.

  1. Abstracts – provides a summary of different secondary and primary resources.
  2. Indexes – consists of the most necessary bibliographic information of a variety of materials.
  3. Databases – it works like online indexes. They can contain abstract digital copies of different credible sources.


One must not start researching sources before they clearly state their topic. It is because one cannot arrive at one’s destination without knowing where to go.

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