How to Find Authoritative Sources for Your Term Paper

Indilens Web Team: It is known to all that Term Paper is Your Obligation to the Reader. The author of a book or paper has an obligation to give the reader something beyond what the reader could obtain directly from the source materials.

What is a Term Paper?

According to the Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary, a term paper is “a major written assignment in a school or college course representative of a student’s achievement during a term.” A term paper mainly seeks to evaluate a student’s proficiency and knowledge in a particular course. It is not like any other essay you will write in school and is appropriately categorized as a scientific report. This means it needs a lot of research and calls for technical writing expertise. Therefore, a term paper should be well-organized, well-researched, and analytical.

What skills term paper writing develops in students?

Any writing done in school helps to further and develop skills in students. Term papers seek to get the best from students regarding their research expertise, writing skills, idea articulation skills, organization skills, and analytical skills. The paper should not simply focus on the areas covered while in class but should also show one’s understanding of the theories and notions communicated.

By seeking to understand a topic or a subject deeply, a student develops some skills, and they are as discussed below:

–          Research skills – as already stated, to write a comprehensive term paper, one needs to conduct exhaustive research. A term paper does not require one only to restate what they have learned the entire semester. On the contrary, a term paper requires you to communicate your understanding of the topics and theories taught. This means one needs to be deeply acquainted with the subject for them to speak their mind which of course translates to research. Therefore, by the end of the term paper, one will indeed develop their research skills and also understand some of the ways and tricks people use to get authoritative sources for their papers.

–          Organization skills – organization skills do not necessarily resonate around the introduction, body, and conclusion rhetoric. However, they go further and involve how one arranges their ideas to communicate an argument. While trying to drive or communicate an argument, you need to arrange your smaller ideas or arguments in a way that subtly introduces and eventually communicates the main argument. While writing a term paper, one, therefore, learns and further develops their organization skills as well.

–          Analytical skills – analytical skills mainly involves a writer’s investigative, reasoned, or logical skills. A term paper should not simply be an opportunity to communicate your ideas on a subject. However, it should be a platform that you use to showcase your skills in making sense of a reasoned or well-thought idea. You should be able to not only discern the arguments and ideas from a subject but also understand them and logically explain them in your term paper. While doing this, you further develop your analytical skills.

–          Writing skills – writing skills do not necessarily mean putting your ideas to writing. Writing goes further and involves idea articulation and communication of the intended message. As a writer, you should always have a goal before you start writing. This means your arguments should be well-researched and also articulate in presenting the ideas. Writing skills mainly supplement the research, organization, and analytical skills you need to write a term paper. While the others excluding organization skills mainly focus on the content, writing skills focus on making the content coherent.

Importance of Authoritative Sources

Before we get to the importance of authoritative sources, it is important to, first of all, understand what authoritative sources are. An authoritative source is a source whose author is well versed in the specified field and whose paper has been peer-reviewed or evaluated by like-minded individuals. While looking for sources to include in your term paper, it is always essential to consider the credibility of the author. The author’s credibility goes a long way in qualifying the article as an authoritative source. Below is a detailed review of the importance of authoritative sources:

–          Helps to expand or grow one’s knowledge in a topic/subject – authoritative sources are always evaluated before publication, and this means they often contain credible and enlightening information. Such sources, therefore, help to not only make your paper credible but also improves and expands your knowledge in a particular subject.

–          Increases the credibility of your paper – using peer-reviewed sources is one way to increase the credibility of your term paper. As stated before, a term paper should be scientific which means it requires an array of research sources. However, it is important to note that not all sources will add value to your paper. The credibility of authoritative sources will, however, help to increase the credibility of your paper as well by linking your ideas to those of accomplished researchers.

–          They also help readers to trace your sources – authoritative sources will also be helpful to your audience or readers. The curious and research-oriented readers will indeed be directed to credible sources.

How to find authoritative sources

Finding authoritative is not easy and can take you a lot of time to even come up with one. However, here are tips on how to find credible and authoritative sources:

–          Be a regular at the library – the library is always a good place to start your research. Here you will find numerous sources on your topic or subject. However, you should select the ones whose authors have a rich history, and some of their papers and works have been cited many times.

–          Look for sources which have been cited by many authors – any author whose work is widely sought after must definitely be selling something great. Therefore, look for sources which have been cited in other papers as well. Such sources always have interesting revelations and increase your paper’s credibility.

–          Always dig deeper and find the primary sources for your sources – having already identified some sources, it is essential for you to continue your search and seek to find the primary sources of the sources you have identified. This not only takes you deeper it also sets your work apart and increases the reliability of your article.

–          Use different sources for your paper – teachers always seem to advise students to strongly consider using books and peer-reviewed journals. However, you should seek for more sources including newspaper articles, personal interviews, letters, educational blogs etc. but make sure they help to further your argument.