Selecting Sources for Writing Research Papers

Research Papers

The validity and credibility of research papers are validated by the sources used. As such, it is imperative that students male their choice or resources carefully, making sure that they will add value to the research paper.

Criteria for selecting sources for research

There are hundreds of sources available (both written and recorded) that students can use for their research assignments. However, not all of them are useful to a specific research assignment. the following is a guideline on how students can distinguish between prime sources for a particular research assignment.


Relevance in research papers refers to value addition. Meaning, that the source you use should have the capacity to add to what is already available. Note, different fields of specialization are more dynamic than others. Therefore, in one field you can find a source written 5 years ago is obsolete while in another field, a source published more than 5 years ago is still relevant based on the topic you are studying.

Relevance also means that the source used has information that supports a hypothesis or a thesis statement. A good thesis statement that lacks facts to support or disapprove adds negatively to research papers.


A credible or authoritative source for papers is characterized by arguments supported by facts obtained through logical reasoning and experimentation. It is the responsibility of a researcher or writer to demonstrate to the reader how he/she arrived at a conclusion.

The credibility of books cannot be questioned because they go through thorough scrutiny before publication. To use sources such as other research papers, articles, magazines, and reports, however, you must make sure that they are peer-reviewed to ascertain the credibility and credibility of the information given before presenting it research papers; Unverified information or facts may lead to disqualification of research papers.