You’ll do the same with sources: evaluate them to see if they’re right for your paper.
This is especially important if you’re using websites.
Google is a useful search engine that can provide a few basic sources, but the problem with a general internet search on Google is you get a lot of worthless results.
For example, a search for marijuana legalization might produce a list of news articles and random websites, but not all of these sources will be useful in your research. Because they may not be about the specific focus of your paper and because they may not be credible.
Check out 10 Thesis Statement Examples to Inspire Your Next Argumentative Essay No, you won’t find sources under your bed with the dust bunnies and that half-eaten candy bar you somehow forgot about.
Most likely, you won’t find them all through a Google search, either.
(We’ll talk more about evaluating sources in Step 5.)The search results may also not be useful for your research paper simply because they don’t provide enough information.
Have you ever read a magazine or internet article and thought, “Wow, that was worthless. ” Because these types of sources inform readers of only basic information, they don’t provide enough details, statistics, or facts to actually be useful as research sources. You’re writing a research paper for a class, so you want to find sources that are scholarly.
But if you want to make your life less stressful, develop a thesis before you begin researching. It provides readers (and you) with a road map of your paper.
Without a strong thesis, your paper lacks direction.