How to find a credible source to write an argumentative essay

If you are a student, you realize how crucial essays are. Essay writing is a common college assignment. It is a multifaceted task that allows students to think critically, research, and analyze information. 

Whatever you are majoring in, you will most certainly produce numerous essays during your academic path. And such papers will differ in size, type, shape, and form. However, there is one thing that is typical for nearly every kind of essay. 

Sources are essential everywhere because they help the writer–in our case, you–learn more about the topic and back up the claims you come up with during brainstorming. Not only that, sources are pivotal in a way they establish credibility and prove to the readers that you are actually competent and know what you are talking about.

With that said, the process of finding relevant sources has become more complicated. With the growth of fake information, looking for authoritative, peer-reviewed pieces is tantamount to finding a needle in a haystack. But don’t be stressed. Although challenging, you can still find trusted literature to refer to when writing an argumentative essay. Read on to learn more.

Look over your notes

If you are the type of person who takes notes in every class, this is the easiest and fastest way to find sources for your paper. When teachers conduct a class or a lecture, they usually rely on visuals, like pictures or presentations. In both cases, there are citations or quotes from academic sources. You can go through your notes and check whether you have jotted down those citations. If not, don’t rush to worry. 

Instructors are not nearly the same they used to be several years ago. Thanks to technological development (and to the pandemic, partially), professors have become more proficient users. That is, they now make use of online notebooks, educational platforms, and cloud storage. Many teachers upload their slides presented during classes so that students can go through them on their own. 

Check teacher’s handouts meticulously

Since we’ve touched upon notes and educators, it would be reasonable to get a couple of words in edgeways and talk about handouts. Handouts are often optional, meaning teachers don’t have to attach them to classes. Still, many do that, and such documents can be of enormous assistance. 

Handouts are documents containing additional information on the topic. Such papers are designed for those who want to learn more about the subject because, well, it’s clear that teachers don’t have enough hours to cover any topic in its entirety. If your professor adds handouts to classes, make sure to at least glance at them. They might contain academic sources to help you write an essay

Go through the curriculum

Another super manageable way to find credible literature is to return to your course program and reread it. Syllabi always contain the title of the course, its aims, and objectives. Curricula also have a list of core and secondary literature, so you don’t need to spend much time locating sources for your argumentative paper. All the necessary literature is right around the corner.

Reach out for help

Indeed, sometimes the process of looking for sources may turn out to be daunting. Work, extracurricular activities, and other home tasks – they all add up and plunge your desire to live, let alone to complete every assignment on time. 

We feel you, and we want you to understand that you are not alone. You can get assistance from various sources, and there are low chances that anyone will simply push you away. When you face difficulties locating academic articles for your essay, try seeking help from:

  • Instructor
  • Colleagues
  • Friends
  • Academic services

Follow a traditional approach

Several traditional and convenient ways to get sources for your paper exist. In a nutshell, we suggest paying a visit to a library and reaching out to a librarian. Librarians are knowledgeable people, and they can help you find relevant materials. 

You can also schedule a meeting with your teacher. They always have office hours so students can come over and improve their grades or get some help. Remember, though, to contact your educator in advance. This way, they will manage to book some time for you.

Use Wiki

Wikipedia is widely considered an unreliable web page. And it is for a reason. Wiki is an available encyclopedia having openly editable content, which means everyone can make changes to articles. Be that as it may, it is an excellent resource to see sources used in articles. You don’t have to read complete articles. Jumping right to the References section and learning what academic sources were used in the article will do.

Determine what sources will suffice

Once you generate dozens of essays, you will find it way easier to research, no matter the topic. However, what you think might pertain to the subject can turn out to be unacceptable. Why? Many reasons exist; some sources can be overly biased or outdated. They can also contain information that has been refuted in recent studies. 

It is your teacher that decides what sources you should look for when writing an argumentative paper. And often, they provide this information in the task’s requirements. Before writing your essay, look closer at sources your instructor anticipates seeing. They can be primary or secondary sources, magazines, journals, articles, images, etc. If there’s no info about the matter, but you still want to know what sources you can use, contact your teacher before researching the subject.

 

Final Words

As much as essay writing can be exciting, it is also taxing, mainly because of sources. Looking for sources may be extraordinarily easy, but that doesn’t mean those articles fit the context and support arguments. Likewise, you might spend hours finding scholarly sources, but in the long run, they can be of no use. So, is there a middle ground? Provided are tips to help you find the necessary sources for your writing piece. Use them any time you write an essay, and you’ll manage to locate relevant sources promptly. 

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