- By Daniel Millions
- Published 09/24/2008
Research papers are meant to propose a certain opinion to their readers. To support the thesis statement, which reduces the paper’s main opinion down to one or two sentences, research is done to find supporting evidence that has been published in print and online resources. Typical research papers must provide evidence from a variety of sources. When many sources provide ample evidence to support the thesis statement, the research paper becomes very persuasive. There are different collections of information that can be used as resource portals. You can find research material at archives, private collections, government offices, libraries and many churches. Your school library is just one portal to the resources that will prove your thesis statement. Reliable resources come in a variety of forms including book, magazine, CD, website page, audio files, micro film, micro fiche, VHS tapes, DVDs and other mediums. The Internet can provide different types of publications including online magazines, journals, interviews, videos, electronic books, articles, reviews, essays and more. You have to be sure of the reliability of the information that you retrieve from the Internet. Remember that com addresses can indicate that the address is being used for a commercial website. It is easy to find voices of authority for any particular subject on the Internet that are suitable for citation in a research paper.
The sources of information, when provided by reliable publishers, are either primary or secondary sources. P
rimary sources concern evidence that is given from a first hand perspective. You may find this type of evidence in testimony, study results, survey results, biographies, observations and other analysis that has been documented in a published form and can provide you with the necessary citations. Secondary sources do not have this first person perspective and instead, are a published treatment that gives information about the primary evidence from a second hand point of view. Examples of secondary sources are encyclopedias, government publications, articles, reviews and commentaries. Before you give up on a topic because you do not think that there is enough supporting evidence, you should check out all the types of resources that you have available to you. You might discover that you have a winning and unique opinion that can be supported after all. When you have enough evidence, your writing task will become more manageable so that you can meet the paper’s deadline. Depending on the instructor or course, you may be allowed to use both primary and secondary sources of information. This ensures the instructor that the evidence that you are using to support your thesis statement is reliable. Sometimes, secondary sources can get the facts wrong or a crucial point may be missed that will help your paper.
Research papers take patience when it comes to searching for the right information. When you can match enough resources to your thesis statement and research paper, you will be able to write a successful research paper. Research papers depend on excellent resources so use all the resources that you have available for your research work.