Finding Credible Sources Online

The dreaded research paper can leave many wondering where to go for information. With the Internet being so accessible, it might be tempting to type words into Google and use whatever comes up first. You may get lucky and get great sources, or you may get stuck with less credible sites that leave your professor wondering where you got such information. Learning how to evaluate sources for research paper writing is a key component to your research papers success. Here are five tips to help you as you gather your sources:

  • Start with a simple search. Search engines, such as Google or Yahoo! are great places to start when youre first reading up on the assigned writing topic.
  • Avoid Wikipedia. Print and digital encyclopedias, such as Encyclopedia Britannica and are excellent sources from which to gather material. But be careful of sites such as Wikipedia that allow multiple users to edit. Wikipedia is a great jumping-off point in terms of figuring out what to search for, but double-check all of the facts by using credible sources of information.
  • Use online scholarly databases such as InfoTracLexisNexis and EBSCO, which provide access to the latest research in hundreds of areas.
  • Newspapers and magazines are also rich sources of information about what is happening now. Consider browsing through the New York TimesTIME and the Wall Street Journal.
  • Dont forget the library. Often this rich source of information is overlooked because students think its more convenient to look subjects up online. The problem with that is you miss out on accidentally stumbling upon a book or magazine that might just be the perfect source for your research paper.
  • NEXT: Finding Credible Sources Online Part 2 

Posted: 10.08.2011
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Olga    December 16, 2011 4:42 AM
Favorite Book:
Hello. I dont know how to write a research paper and conference abstract. what theme to choose and where find the sources....Thank you
Writing academic essay    April 25, 2012 3:40 PM
Favorite Book: Frankenstein
Here is a cool citation generator: It may help you with your academic citations and formatting. Good luck guys!
Cynthia    January 18, 2013 9:45 AM
Favorite Book: The White Book of Rhydderch and The Red Book of Hergest
I am writing (trying to write) an essay on Celtic and Brittish Mythology and I can't seem to find many credible sources. Do you have any suggestions? If not, thank you for your time! c:
Alex    February 17, 2013 1:48 PM
Favorite Book:
I am having trouble finding information on my research topic which is Noise Pollution. I can only use 2 sources from google or yahoo and news sites don't count as a google or yahoo.
Sergio Baca    April 13, 2013 4:22 PM
Favorite Book: The DiVincci Code
I plan on researching a paper on children's vaccines, and whether they have any problems with the vials of medicine.
Enokela    April 24, 2013 2:24 AM
Favorite Book: Nil
I am writing on biblical worship, its true meaning, entailment§ importance to the New Testament Church, but have not gotten good information on it.
Cool Hanes Beefy T    May 21, 2013 1:27 AM
Favorite Book: english
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Laura    September 03, 2013 12:25 PM
Favorite Book: Catch-22
For those teachers who try to resist the internet as a legitimate way to do research, they need to step into the 21st century. The internet has enabled students to do way more research than ever in way less time. Of course, this comes at a price of having to navigate through less-than-credible websites for something one could actually use. Some of the best tools for this can be found at and, but still one must be able to identify these for themselves and use good judgement. The ways students do research should evolve quite a bit over the next few years.
jam(jaymie)    December 02, 2013 4:40 PM
Favorite Book: anything by james patterson
I think people should use a computer more often cause computers aren't bad at all so people should just suck it up and use a computer cause THEY AREN'T BAD!!!!
jaymie    December 03, 2013 6:20 PM
Favorite Book: anything by james patterson!!!
I really need information cause I'm writing a huge research paper and in need information to help its so dumb I need a work cited page and as of right now I have nothing to put on the work cited page so my grade in that class will drop from an A+ to a c maybe b- I cant do that I must get in to U.C. Davis and with a b- or c I cant so I have been looking for places with information or websites to help me find websites with information and this website really didn't help me much but now I one step closer to get getting a work sited page and I'm going to keep trying hard to find websites with information so I can keep my A+ an A+ so I can go to Davis and have perfect grades!! I want to thank tis website for getting me one step closer!! THANK YOU SOOOO MUCH!!!!
bob    December 06, 2013 1:43 AM
Favorite Book: scrim
cool info!
Carol    February 26, 2014 7:07 PM
Favorite Book: the grim legacy
Thanks for the info
samuel    August 23, 2014 12:35 AM
Favorite Book: assignemnt writing
great really awesome.thanxx for being share with us.
Essay Writing Services    April 13, 2015 2:37 AM
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vimal    July 17, 2015 8:14 PM
Favorite Book:
Hello....I need to do a research regarding social network issue...current how do I surf for a reliable website
Donna Bala    August 29, 2015 12:06 PM
Favorite Book: Anonymous by anonymous
Does anyone know who makes the decision that something is credible or not?
Gwen Shaw    September 16, 2015 1:27 AM
Favorite Book: A Land Remembered
I am trying to write a research paper on Meridian Health. Not many resources
Ian Collins    November 10, 2015 8:40 AM
Favorite Book: Chronicles of Vladimir Todd
This really helped me find info on my research paper which is on Electrician.
ElminaKenly    April 20, 2016 10:56 PM
Favorite Book: abc
I am really enjoying reading your well written articles. I think you spend numerous effort and time updating your blog.

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