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Research paper ideas for college: how to plan your work

When you are writing a research paper, you need to plan your work by the research required.

No matter the type of sources that are used, they need to be credible. Your sources must be accurate. Your sources must be reliable. Your sources must be trustworthy.

How can you tell if you source is trustworthy?

You can ask the questions listed below to determine if a source is credible:

  1. Who is the author of the source?
  2. Credible authors will be those who are highly respected in their field. They will be authors who credit all of their courses properly. They will be authors who enable you to verify the accuracy of their statements and then verify the support for their claims. In fact, this is a great way for you to get additional sources for your particular research.

  3. How recent is your particular source?
  4. The decision to select sources that are recent or not is entirely up to you and your topic. Some sources that are older analyses on the Civil War may still be pertinent decades later, but a research paper that is based on the newest technological developments over the course of the last five years should not use out dated information. It is important to take all of this into consideration when you are looking for sources.

  5. What is the purpose?
  6. Before you opt to use a particular source, you should take a moment to decide what the author’s purpose was. Take into account what the point of view of the author is. Decide is the author was trying to present an objective view on the topic or whether the author wanted to present a neutral view. See if you can determine whether the author is supporting one side in a topic. Look into who funded the research of the source. A source that is written from one particular point of view is not necessarily a non-credible source, but you need to make sure that you do not limit the research you find to one side in a debate, and that you find a solid mixture of both (or all) sides.

  7. What sources will your audience value the most?
  8. When you have to write a paper for a highly academic audience, the readers will want to see peer reviewed journals as your biggest source of evidence. Conversely, if you are writing for the residents of your local school board, they might be much more comfortable with some statistics from Time magazine. A younger audience may be perfectly fine with internet based sources while an older audience may not.

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Writing Advice

Make sure you always follow the specific finalizing instructions from your teacher, because they will be marking your research paper and looking for those things.

Don’t rely completely on your word processor’s spell check, because it won’t catch everything. Print your research paper if you can, and give it a good old fashioned proofread.

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Research paper writing advice