In most cases, there are a wide variety of things that can go into creating a good research paper, but finding the best sources to get your information from is easily one of the most important. Whether you’re gathering your resources before beginning or you want to ensure that all your data is correct, it’s well worth taking a look at these 5 tips to see how you could get the info you need.
1. Be clear on the topic of your paper and stick to it
Your ability to find the right data and information will often rely on the topic itself, which could be more difficult to accomplish if you haven’t clearly defined the subject of the paper. Even if you have an idea in mind, it could help to write down a list of the most important points and topics to not only keep your paper relevant, but to establish exactly what you need to look for in your research resources.
2. Know where to look
Having infinite information at your fingertips in the form of the internet is absolutely a benefit, but in most cases, it can be better to hit the books instead. Perhaps visiting a library and taking a look through some of the books on the subject you’re writing about will give you a broad and accurate scope of information that you can use.
This doesn’t mean that you can’t use the internet to your advantage though; in fact, it can make it easier to find more obscure information that you wouldn’t find anywhere else.
3. Find trusted sources
While similar to the point above, it’s important that you always ensure that the information you’re taking in is legitimate. One of the best ways to do this is to a) always get your data from credible sources and b) check to make sure that the info you have is correct and up to date. Fortunately, cross-referencing and fact-checking isn’t usually too hard to do.
4. Consider the impact factor
Out of the many different aspects that could assist you, there’s no doubt that the impact factor of a particular paper can be essential. Several things go into deciding the journal impact factor of an article or paper, but overall, its purpose is simple; to show the importance of the journal in its field. Because of this, those with a higher impact factor are often more credible and reliable.
You could even measure the impact factor of your own paper once it’s done, which could be a good way to ensure that you’ve done a good job.
5. Learn from a variety of sources
Some may be inclined to fill their paper with the necessary facts – and while this is a good idea in theory, it shouldn’t be the only thing that your paper consists of. Research can teach you so many different things, many of which can help to improve the relevance, readability and impact factor of your paper. Historical data, statistics, documentaries and more could all help you to add a little more flavour to your final draft.
Essentially, the more variety that you have from your research and the more sources you draw data and inspiration from, the more unique and substantial your paper will be.