Conducting Proficient Term Paper Research
The cornerstone of a high quality term paper is a body of reliable, interesting, and reputable research findings. It is crucial to support the arguments and ideas claimed in your paper with a substantial body of evidence, or your readers will doubt your position and you may run the risk of receive a low grad.
But how do you locate background research that you can trust? In the internet age, it can be very difficult to discern the difference between scientific, peer-reviewed reports and random claims that are not empirically supported. Follow this guide to ensure that the research you cite in your term paper is worthy of your trust and attention.
Use Academic Search Engines
Academic search engines, such as Google Scholar, JSTOR, and World Cat comb through the existing academic literature and provide you with countless peer reviewer scientific articles. These articles all have been published in significant and respected academic journals, and have gone through a lengthy, thorough review process before being included, so you can generally trust all the results you’ll find.
It is best to use these resources while you’re on campus, so you will be able to download all the articles you need for free. Ask your librarian for help accessing these search engines if you are uncertain how to use them. You should also note that performing an effective search on sites such as these require more careful, precise search terms that using a regular or casual search engine like Google or Bing. Again, a research librarian can help you with this.
Review Academic Journals
Take a break from searching online and visit your school’s library. If your university has multiple specialized libraries, locate the one that houses scientific periodicals and academic research journals. Using the library’s catalogue, identify the names of a few journals that are relevant to your term paper topic, then select a few issues from off the shelves and review them. They may make for tricky, slow reading at first, but every journal is absolutely chock full of interesting, new research that can really inspire your term paper.
Read Texts and Class Supplements
You may also want to check out a few academic books related to your topic of interest while you’re at the library. First, comb through the appendix or index of your course’s text books, and identify a few key writers and researchers who are involved in the field. Look up books by these authors, or check the citations in the journal articles you have read. A good review text can make the process of writing a term paper far, far easier.