Help with academic writing: how to use different sources

Academic Writing Requires a Number of Strong Sources

In academic writing (especially scientific writing), you cannot make a claim if it does not have empirical support. Even the most straightforward, common sense notion cannot be claimed as fact unless there are a bevvy of research studies to demonstrate that it is, in fact, a genuine phenomenon. This is part of how you demonstrate intellectual rigor and devoted empiricism in your research paper. Having a number of strong scientific supports for all your assumptions also makes your paper far more convincing and compelling.

Finding Reliable Academic Sources is Very Important

When you provide in text citations for claims or pieces of evidence in your paper, you must be certain that the source is reliable and the original author’s work is up to high enough academic standards. You cannot simply cite popular press books, casual magazine articles, or television programs and documentaries, for example.

Instead, you must bolster each and every one of your factual claims with a citation from an academic source. Possible academic sources include journals, periodicals, conference papers, conference posters, symposium papers, academic texts, and book chapters.

Why Must Academic Sources Be Peer Reviewed?

In an academic paper of any kind, your sources ought to be peer reviewed publications. Peer review is a process by which an article or piece of writing is thoroughly read, analyzed, and critiqued by at least two experts in the field (with particular expertise in the topic the paper is discussing). These reviewers look for logical flaws, research design errors, study limitations, statistical mistakes, and glaring absences in the writer’s knowledge.

Fewer than ten percent of academic articles are published on the first try. Because peer reviewed articles are held to such an exacting and high standard, you can trust their content to be reliable, accurate, and professionally written.

Where Can You Find Proper Academic Sources?

Do not search in your library’s main shelves or on regular Google if you want to find adequate, rigorous academic sources. Instead, you must turn to your library system’s academic databases. Websites such as WorldCat, JSTOR, Elsevior, and others will allow you to search the archives of hundreds of journals, going back decades or even hundreds of years.

Each source you locate using such services is guaranteed to be of high academic merit, and to be peer reviewed. You may also use services such as Google Scholar to help you locate other academic sources, especially recent publications.