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What do I need to know about finding research sources?
Finding interesting sources is a challenge. Here are some things to consider:
Is it reliable?
Is it relevant?
Does it meet the criteria for my assignment?
Do I have access to the full text?
See below for discussions of each of these...
What makes for a reliable source?
Does it come from a reputable publication?
Can I verify who the author is?
Is the author an expert on this topic?
Does the text demonstrate significant bias?
Does the text cite the sources it uses?
What makes a source relevant?
Is it interesting to me?
Does it have something to say about my topic?
Is it written for the right audience? For example, a story written for children might not be the right source for an academic paper.
Is there a way that I can use this source in my paper?
Meets the criteria
Does this source meet my professor's criteria?
Look at your assignment and see what kind of sources your professor wants.
Do they want news sources?
Do they want peer reviewed sources? Do you know how to identify a peer reviewed source?
It is important to understand the assignment's requirements, so that you do the right kind of research!
To use a research source, you need to be able to read it.
Is the full article findable via a Google search, if not, why?
Is it behind a paywall?
Is the full article available at the library?
Your librarians can get you any article you want for free!