Your 5 Best Sources For Academic Paper Writing
Knowledge is all you need to write a good academic paper, as you must be able to demonstrate your academic prowess. You have to look for reliable sources, and there is much information to look over in a short notice. Let's start with the Internet: You're wise enough not to give Wikipedia a second chance. It's the site for students who are too lazy to do an extensive research on their assignment. (And let's not argue about your lack of free time.) Furthermore, this online encyclopedia doesn't provide accurate data. You should know after reading the plot of your favorite films. The next one will be the other facts from the other sites. You must determine if it's a trustworthy site or not. It's not the case most of the time. On the other hand, you can't lean on reliable sites. It's likely you'll not be the only one who is looking into it, and your professor will likely take it against you.
A variety of sources will spice up your essay, even guarantee a good hook (for an essay). After you find out about your topic for your assignment, you should do a research right away. It can be a time-consuming affair, as you'll go places. Luckily, you're reading this post. Let's narrow your search to five sources, namely books categorized under primary reading, books categorized under secondary reading, scholarly sites (like Smithsonian), newspaper features and magazine articles, and your helpful tutor (or other members of the faculty).
You Can't Go Wrong With These Five when Looking for Your Essay Sources
You're halfway from completion if you know your list of must-read books. Writing an essay on a novel will require you to look at the works of that particular author. There's a possibility that you've read a few titles, which will save you time. If you're unfamiliar with the bibliography, then you should know that you're not required to read most of it. Time will be an issue, so browse through it. (Don't ever be tempted of reading the storyline in Wikipedia.) You won't finish this task if you haven't read the introduction. You'll likely look at the author's biography, if not an esteemed figure who will introduce the book. Don't skip it. (You'll get an idea or two, which will guide you later.) Try to gauge what you've gained from your reading, if it will be sufficient to write a persuasive paper. Otherwise, you can go back to it later. Bookmarks will be useful at this stage.
Secondary reading is also important as your primary reading. Many students won't allot a lot of time to secondary reading, for a variety of reasons. It doesn't matter if one is valid while the other is a lame excuse, as these books are related to your assigned text. The knowledge that you'll gain from these books will make your assignment more interesting than the others. Jules Verne is a good example; if you happen to write about "Journey to the Center of the Earth", then you should look into those texts that describe the existence of polar dinosaurs millions of years ago. It will enable you to get off the familiar route, as you wonder about dinosaur fossils buried under a thick layer of ice. Verne might have imagined it, but there weren't enough tools (to do an extensive research). You might venture into Subterranean fiction, which can be a tempting thought. You might end up getting astray, though.
It will be a huge mistake to ignore the scholarly sites. Some students may get information overload while others won't understand the technical terms right away. It's not an excuse, as you're reading the opinion of someone who is an authority on the subject. Scholarly journals (like the Smithsonian) can be accessed from the Internet, so you can read it anywhere. It requires your utmost attention, so don't take this one for granted.
Newspaper features and magazine articles can provide valuable quotes. There's nothing wrong about quoting someone, which should be considered as an authoritative information source. You won't run out of supply from periodicals. It can take so much time, so try to be patient (while looking at these sources). You might miss something, even your social life taking a backseat. The professor's compliments will be worth the trouble, so keep it in mind.
This is not hearsay. Contrary to the assumption of many students, a member of the faculty can provide a valuable source. You don't have to quote your professor, though. (You'll likely remember the words, where you can do a Google search later.) It also applies to your course mates, which can happen during group study. The same rule applies here, as you don't want to be called out for plagiarism.
If You Don't Want to Have More Problems, Then Remember the Following
Your professor will ask you to list down your sources, so you must provide a bibliography. Separate the books from the journals while it will be better to keep the journals and periodicals apart. You can ask your professor for a format, which is concise and easy to read.
You can quote (and unquote) a sentence, which you gather from your sources. Make sure that you don't do it frequently, as your thoughts may get lost in it. If you want to rephrase it, then you must ask your course mate to look into it. The essence may turn out to be different.
There's a danger in having too many sources, which can confuse your professor. Be selective about it. Understand what you're reading. Repeat the process until you're satisfied with what you've done.
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