Research Paper writing is one of the most widely accepted methods of assessment in all levels of education. For this type of assignment you will be expected to choose a topic, place an argument and prove your argument with enough evidence. It is a slightly long procedure and you will be given some guidelines on how to go about your research paper. These guidelines will include instructions on things like the style of writing, page limit and number of sources to be used. Choosing the sources for your research paper is not a very difficult task but even so, this too, should be done carefully.
Some guidelines specifically mention the type of sources to be used. For example, certain projects strictly forbid use of internet sources and some guidelines specify the sources itself. So, you have to read through the guidelines and figure out how much liberty you have with choosing the source. Find out how many sources you need to refer to and which all types of sources can be used.
Information on possible sources is easily available on internet. Even if the complete text is not available online, you should be able to get information on where you can find the book, on internet. Once you short list a few of them, you may find out which one is the best for your purpose.
You should always keep in mind, while trying to choose the sources for your research paper, that some are better and more credible than the others. The credibility of sources depends on many factors.
The first thing that matters when it comes to picking a source is the subject you are dealing with. Keeping in mind the subject and the particular topic you are researching or writing on, find sources which are relevant. It does not work to pick a random source and plan your research to suit the source.
Certain research materials get outdated as fresh researchers replace the information with more accurate ones. This is something you need to be very careful about. You wouldn’t want to refer to wrong or outdated information and get misled in your research. It will be very difficult to change the content of your research paper if you realize your mistake at a later stage. It is always better to verify the source you choose before you start referring to it.
If the author of the book, article or quotation is famous for his works on the subject, then that adds to the credibility of the source. It is not at all necessary to always pick famous authors or people. If it is a less known author, make sure that the reference material is impressive enough to make up for that. If the content is good and appropriate for the topic, nothing else matters.
You are not asked to refer to sources for no reason. It is supposed to guide you and help you write your research paper or term paper. So choose a source which will serve the purpose. Remember to pay enough attention to this part of your academic writing project.