Where Can I Find Good Research Papers

Research paper sources can be difficult to find – especially if you want the good ones.

And we want good ones. One of the exercises we often have our students in our online study skills courses do (you can find info on them here) is to think about your teacher having to read all of those papers. If you are a high school English teacher and you’ve assigned 120+ students to write a 10 page research paper, how many do you have to read?

And – knowing how high school students often write – think about how much fun that will be. Sure, some of those papers will be interesting. But there will be some stale ones, too.

Don’t be the student who turns in the stale research paper. It’s a sure way to miss the success level you desire. Instead, find some creative ways to make your research paper interesting. Research papers can be fascinating and enjoyable, especially when you dig up unique and noteworthy research paper sources.

Here are six quick tips that will help you do fast, effective research, and find great research paper sources that will set you apart from your classmates.

1. Start with Wikipedia

A few years ago, this would have been heresy. I’m aware of that.

But I’m not suggesting you should quote the Wikipedia article. We realize that there may still be some negative realities that come with a site that anyone can edit. Sure, occasionally some goof will get some weird information published on Wikipedia.

Wikipedia, though, is more accurate than any other encyclopedia.

As hard as that may be to believe, it’s been tested and found true.

But that’s not even why we’re going to Wikipedia. We go only for two real reasons: first, it’s a nice overview of whatever topic you’re trying to research (let’s say you’re studying  learning styles). The Wikipedia article will give you most of the big ideas associated with the topic, as well as link out to other ideas that may be similar. Starting here helps you get your bearings in the subject. After all, you’re stepping into a conversation that has been going on for years and years.

Second – and most importantly – we’re after the citations and sources at the bottom. Wikipedia frequently cites the most important research paper sources for you. It just makes sense to start here. (In our example article – learning styles – there are nearly 50 sources cited)

2.  Go to the library (a great place for research paper sources)

After you’ve dug through your Wikipedia article, the next step is an easy one – go to the library. Unless you’re studying something that has recently come into existence (like trying to find research paper sources about Facebook), your local or school library will be your best resource.

Go there, and armed with your Wikipedia knowledge, start searching for the best sources. We’re not just after any sources, though. We’re after only the best research paper sources. This will require a little bit of effort, but you can find some success without too much effort if you know what type of research paper sources you need to find.

3. Find the top few secondary resources cited in the article

Depending on the size of your paper, you’ll use a different number of sources. But the goal is to use the most authoritative sources possible.

If you want to know about teeth, for example, who would you consult – a dentist or a hockey player? The dentist, because he has more experience with teeth, has studied teeth, and he probably has all of his.

But if you’re trying to get some information on the best ice skates to buy, who would you consult – the dentist or the hockey player? Again, you consult the one with the most authority on the particular subject – in this case, the hockey player.

So how can you decide which sources are most authoritative? Try to find the sources that have been cited by the most other sources. This takes a bit of research before you’re able to find these, but as you read several sources, you should start to see a pattern of references. Follow that pattern.

Another place to check is Google Scholar. This service will tell you how many times your different research paper sources have been cited. Use those sources with the most citations.

4. Follow the trail of citations to primary sources

After you’ve found a few good resources that help explain your topic, get to the sources behind those research paper sources.

This is an area you have a real opportunity to set your paper apart from your classmates.

Generally speaking, the closer a resource is to the topic you’re studying, the better.

If you are studying Abraham Lincoln, try to find some letters he himself wrote. Maybe you could find an original newspaper clipping of interviews with the people closest to him. Journal entries are great finds, too.

If you are studying something more recent, sometimes you can find video or audio interviews with major players in your topic. If you’re studying someone who is still alive, maybe you could interview him or her yourself.

Can you imagine how unique your research paper sources would look if you had a personal interview with a high-ranking government official, or a family member close to someone you’re writing about? Get creative here. The more unique your sources and the more creative you are in getting them, the more unique your paper will be.

Make some phone calls, dig through some microfilm (ask your librarian if you don’t know what that is), and search out the most interesting and unique sources you can for your paper.

5. Mix up your research paper source type

Don’t just stick to the normal sources – a book and a few journal articles. These are great resources, but finding truly interesting, unique, and noteworthy research paper sources requires you to go beyond those traditional sources.

They are great places to start. But don’t stop there.  Think about some of these other source types for ideas:

  • Newspaper articles
  • Private journal or diary entries
  • Letters
  • Edited collections of essays
  • Scholarly journals
  • Sound recordings
  • Film, TV, or video recordings
  • Google books
  • Magazines
  • Personal interviews

6. Get at least one source per page of your research paper

This sort of a good, general standard that will probably last you through high school and college. Different institutions have different standards, but this is a good starting place. Make sure to check your assignment requirements before you stop researching, though!

I once helped a student gather a number of research paper sources for her final project as a high school student. She got bored, though. So she quit. And she got a terrible grade. That’s what you should expect, too, if you don’t get enough resources.

If you get enough research paper resources while following these tips to make them interesting and unique, and I’m confident your research paper will stand out from your classmates.

Filed Under: blogTagged With: writing

Research Paper Series

Click on a topical heading to view relevant papers, or scroll through the full list of papers below.

The Arts
Business
Digital Media/Good Play/DM2
Education/Good Collaboration
General
Genetics
Interdisciplinary Work
Journalism
Law
Medicine and the Health Professions
Morality, Contemplation, Spirituality, and Religion
Philanthropy
Social Entrepreneurs
Sports
Theater
Trust and Trustworthiness


 

The Arts

 

Technique and content in the works of young artists: A methodological contribution
(June 2013) Donna J. DiBartolomeo, Zachary Clark, and Katie Davis

The Role of Kodály in Music Education: Signature pedagogy or surrogate profession?
(February 2011) Sean P. Breen

Wearing Two Hats: The Case of Visiting Artists in the Classroom
(May 2004) Danielle R. Stein

An Exploration of GoodWork in Contemporary Visual Art
(September, 2002) Tiffanie Ting

New Media Art: A New Frontier or Continued Tradition?
(January, 2001) Kaley Middlebrooks

 

Business

 

Making the Call: Vocation as a Mechanism for Good Work
(March 2012) Amelia Peterson

If You See Something, You Should Say Something: The Role of the Employee-Supervisor Relationship in Voicing Ethical Concerns in the Financial Services
(August 2010) Evelyn D. Chow

The Perfect Storm: How the IPO Experience Threatens Good Work for Leaders of the Young Public
(August 2010) Derek van Bever

Excellence, Engagement and Ethics in Banking: An Attempt to Make Sense of the Financial Crises of 2008
(July 2009) Nick Fair

Marketing to Children: Industry Insiders’ Perspectives on Good Work
(June 2005) Amy Henry

Trust in the Balance: Autonomy and Accountability in Law and Journalism
(June 2005) Henry Rubin

Compromised Work in the Public Accounting Profession: The Issue of Independence
(July 2004) Debbie Freier

Spirituality at Work
(June 2005) Seth Wax

The Compromised Commons: Encroaching Market Forces & the Effects on Good Work
(July 2004) Henry Rubin

Wearing Two Hats: The Case of Visiting Artists in the Classroom
(May 2004) Danielle R. Stein

“Memes,” “Genes,” and “Scenes”: A Comparison of Veteran Professionals Working in Journalism, Genetics, and Theater
(January 2004) Becca Solomon

GoodWork Among Young Professional Actors, Journalists, and Geneticists
(October 2002) Lynn Barendsen, Kim Barberich, Ryan Modri and Marcy LeLacheur

GoodWork in Business
(August 2000) Kim Barberich and Howard Gardner

Comparisons across Professions
(July 2000) Becca Solomon, Greg Feldman, and Marcy LeLacheur

GoodWork Among Dedicated Young Professionals
(July 2000) Becca Solomon, Greg Feldman, and Marcy LeLacheur

 

Digital Media/Good Play/DM2

 

With Great Power Comes Great Responsibility: A Framework for Civic Thinking in the Digital Age
(September 2013) Amelia K.M. Peterson

“We Do Have a Voice!”: Trends in Adolescents’ Submissions to Teen Ink Magazine, 1990 to the Present
(March 2011) Emily Kaplan

“It’s Just a Game” – Ethical Reasoning within Virtual Worlds
(March 2011) James Croft

Multiple Worlds: Adolescents, New Digital Media, and Shifts in Habits of Mind
(September 2009) Margaret Weigel and Celka Straughn, with Howard Gardner and Carrie James

MySpace in Heaven: Memorials on MySpace
(September 2009) Andrea Flores

New Digital Media, Social Institutions and the Changing Roles of Youth
(February 2009) Margaret Weigel, Katie Davis, Carrie James and Howard Gardner

Social Development in the Era of New Digital Media
(February 2009) Katie Davis, Margaret Weigel, Carrie James, and Howard Gardner

Bloggers: Citizens or Entrepreneurs?
(May 2008) Morra Aarons-Mele

Developing Minds with Digital Media: Habits of Mind in the YouTube Era
(November 2007) Margaret Weigel and Katie Heikkinen

Engagement 2.0? How the New Digital Media can Invigorate Civic Engagement
(September 2007) Lindsay Pettingill

Trust Without Knowledge: How Young Persons Carry out Research on the Internet
(December 2006) Lindsay Pettingill

Probing Trust on the Internet: A Comparison of Liberals and Conservatives
(October 2006) Lindsay Pettingill

 

Education/Good Collaboration

 

Finding Purpose in an Exam Culture: Challenges and Possibilities for Good Work
(January 2015) James Boddy

Collaborations among Tertiary Organizations: Testing the Taxonomy – An Evaluation of Best Practices at The Claremont Colleges in California
(August 2014) Alexis Brooke Redding

Does the GW toolkit resonate with low income youth?
(June 2014) Laura Easley

Striving for Good Work in General Surgery Education: How Duty Hour Regulations Create Ethical Dilemmas for General Surgery Residents
(April 2014) Jeanette Saraidaridis

The Impact of a Course on Good Work: Alumni Reflect on their Experiences
(March 2014) Daniel Mucinskas and Victoria Nichols

The Funnel Effect: How Elite College Culture Narrows Students’ Perceptions of Post-Collegiate Career Opportunities
(updated May 2014) Margot Locker, Lynn Barendsen, and Wendy Fischman

Collaborations among Tertiary Organizations: Testing the Taxonomy – An Evaluation of The Five College Consortium in Western Massachusetts
(January 2014) Alexis Brooke Redding

Manifest Destiny in American Higher Education: Elite Tertiary Institutions and the Branch Campus Phenomenon
(June 2012) Alexis Brooke Redding

Collaborations among Tertiary Institutions: State of the Art
(August 2011) Alexis Brooke Redding

Doing Good in a Time of Testing: Enduring Work of Public School Teachers in Singapore
(February 2011) Pauline Chia

The Role of Kodály in Music Education: Signature pedagogy or surrogate profession?
(February 2011) Sean P. Breen

The Commercialization of the College Application Process and the Rise of the For-Profit Educational Consultant
(August 2010) Alexis Brooke Redding

Beneath the Dome – GoodWork in Planetariums
(May 2008) James Croft

GoodWork in Pre-Collegiate Education
(March 2006) Wendy Fischman

Assessing Interdisciplinary Work at the Frontier
(August 2004) Veronica Boix Mansilla

Wearing Two Hats: The Case of Visiting Artists in the Classroom
(May 2004) Danielle R. Stein

Three Strategies for Interdisciplinary Math and Science Teaching: A Case of the Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy
(March 2003) Svetlana Nikitina and Veronica Boix Mansilla

From a Community of People to a Community of Disciplines: The Art of Integrative Humanities at St. Paul’s School
(September 2002) Svetlana Nikitina

Interdisciplinary Research and Education: Preliminary Perspectives from the MIT Media Laboratory
(January 2001) Dan Dillon

Contemplation and Implications for GoodWork in Teaching
(August 1998) Laurinda Morway, Jeff Solomon, Mimi Michaelson, and Howard Gardner

 

General

 

Quality Survey: A Global Study of Quality
(March 2013) Lynn Barendsen, Wendy Fischman, Howard Gardner, Charles Lang, Brendan Murray, and Courtney Pollack

GoodWork in a Risky Field: A Study of Research in Psychedelic Substances
(March 2013) Aaron Call

The Paphos Seminar: Elevated Reflections on Life as Good Work
(January 2013) Esa Saarinen

Priced, not Praised: The Effect of Economization on the Professional Identity of Dutch General Practitioners
(January 2013) Wiljan Hendrikx

GoodWork in Teaching Mentoring: Affirming,Strengthening and the Work
(December 2012) Arlene Pang

Making the Call: Vocation as a Mechanism for Good Work
(March 2012) Amelia Peterson

Implementing GoodWork Programs: Helping Students to Become Ethical Workers
(2008) Wendy Fischman and Howard Gardner

“Framework Experiences”: A Key to the Development of Social Responsibility in Young Adults
(March 2005) Scott Seid

Passing it Down: The Role of Cultural History and Ancestors in Good Work
(March 2004) Laura Horn

Press Release on The GoodWork Project
(May 2002)

High Abilities and Excellence: A Cultural Perspective
(2000) Jin Li

The GoodWork Project: A Description
(2000) Howard Gardner, Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, and William Damon

The Origins of GoodWork
(April 2000) Wendy Fischman and Grace Lam

GoodWork in a Complex World: A Cross Cultural Comparison
(November 1998) Hans Henrik Knoop and Howard Gardner

The Ethical Responsibilities of Professionals
(July 1998) Howard Gardner

The Empirical Basis of GoodWork: Methodological Considerations
(June 1997) Howard Gardner, Anne Gregory, Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, William Damon, and Mimi Michaelson

 

Genetics

 

“Memes,” “Genes,” and “Scenes”: A Comparison of Veteran Professionals Working in Journalism, Genetics, and Theater
(January 2004) Becca Solomon

GoodWork Among Young Professional Actors, Journalists, and Geneticists
(October 2002) Lynn Barendsen, Kim Barberich, Ryan Modri and Marcy LeLacheur

GoodWork Among Dedicated Young Professionals
(July 2000) Becca Solomon, Greg Feldman, and Marcy LeLacheur

 

Interdisciplinary Work

 

Feasibility of a Dual Neurosurgeon-Scientist Career in Canada
(July 2013) Fady Girgis

Assessing student work at disciplinary crossroads
(August 2004) Veronica Boix Mansilla

Assessing Interdisciplinary Work at the Frontier: An empirical exploration of “symptoms of quality”
(February 2004) Veronica Boix Mansilla and Howard Gardner

Three Strategies for Interdisciplinary Math and Science Teaching: A Case of the Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy
(March 2003) Svetlana Nikitina and Veronica Boix Mansilla

Building Bridges Across Disciplines: Organizational and Individual Qualities of Exemplary Interdisciplinary Work
(2002) Veronica Boix-Mansilla, Dan Dillon, Kaley Middlebrooks

From a Community of People to a Community of Disciplines: The Art of Integrative Humanities at St. Paul’s School
(September 2002) Svetlana Nikitina

Interdisciplinary Research and Education: Preliminary Perspectives from the MIT Media Laboratory
(January 2001) Dan Dillon

A Review of the Santa Fe Institute: Institutional and individual qualities of expert interdisciplinary work
(October 2001) Dan Dillon

A Review of CIMIT: An interdisciplinary, inter-institutional enterprise
(October 2001) Dan Dillon

 

Journalism

 

Bloggers: Citizens or Entrepreneurs?
(May 2008) Morra Aarons-Mele

The Compromised Commons: Encroaching Market Forces & the Effects on Good Work
(July 2004) Henry Rubin

“Memes,” “Genes,” and “Scenes”: A Comparison of Veteran Professionals Working in Journalism, Genetics, and Theater
(January 2004) Becca Solomon

GoodWork Among Young Professional Actors, Journalists, and Geneticists
(October 2002) Lynn Barendsen, Kim Barberich, Ryan Modri and Marcy LeLacheur

GoodWork Among Dedicated Young Professionals
(July 2000) Becca Solomon, Greg Feldman, and Marcy LeLacheur

The Origins of GoodWork
(April 2000) Wendy Fischman and Grace Lam

 

Law

 

Trust in the Balance: Autonomy and Accountability in Law and Journalism
(June 2005) Henry Rubin

Role Changing in our Adversary System: What do Lawyers, the System, and Society Stand to Gain?
(May 2003) Jennifer Reese and Paula Marshall

The Collective Enterprise of Law: Three Types of Communities
(June 2005) Paula Marshall and Howard Gardner

Facing the Storm: The closing of a great firm
(September 2004) Paula R. Marshall

GoodWork in Cyberlaw
(August 2000) Evan Zullow

 

Medicine and the Health Professions

 

Feasibility of a Dual Neurosurgeon-Scientist Career in Canada
(July 2013) Fady Girgis

GoodWork in Surgical Education
(August 2010) Shimae Fitzgibbons

“On Fire” or “Burned Out”? Engagement and Burnout in Physicians
(May 2007) Kerri Johnson

The Compromised Commons: Encroaching Market Forces & the Effects on Good Work
(July 2004) Henry Rubin

Opportunities and Obstacles for GoodWork in Medicine
(August 2000) Jeff Solomon, Jennifer DiBara, Sara Simeone, and Dan Dillon

GoodWork among Albert Schweitzer Fellows
(April 1999) Wendy Fischman, Deborah Shutte, and Becca Solomon

 

Morality, Contemplation, Spirituality, and Religion

 

Through the Eye of a Needle – Resolving Conflict between Wealth
(May 2008) Charles Lang

Spirituality at Work
(June 2005) Seth Wax

Contemplation and Implications for GoodWork in Teaching
(August 1998) Laurinda Morway, Jeff Solomon, Mimi Michaelson, and Howard Gardner

 

Philanthropy

 

Trust across the power divide: A study of the Edna McConnell Clark Foundation
(September 2005) Paula Marshall

 

Social Entrepreneurs

 

The Business of Caring: A Study of Young Social Entrepreneurs
(April 2004) Lynn Barendsen

 

Sports

 

Excellence and Ethics in Olympic Sports
(April 2006) John C. Bickar

Good Work in Professional Basketball: The Responsibilities of Stardom
(June 2005) Reid A. Warner

Getting Kids, Parents, and Coaches on the Same Page
(2000) Becca Solomon and Howard Gardner

 

Theater

 

“Memes,” “Genes,” and “Scenes”: A Comparison of Veteran Professionals Working in Journalism, Genetics, and Theater
(January 2004) Becca Solomon

GoodWork Among Young Professional Actors, Journalists, and Geneticists
(October 2002) Lynn Barendsen, Kim Barberich, Ryan Modri and Marcy LeLacheur

GoodWork in Theater
(October 2002) Paula Marshall and Jennifer Reese

 

Trust and Trustworthiness

 

Civic Trust Among Immigrant Young Adults
(September 2014) Margaret Rundle, Carrie James, Andrea Flores, Howard Gardner, María G. Hernández, Carola Suárez-Orozco, and Marcelo Suárez-Orozco

A Charismatic Leader Would Have My Vote
(June 2012) Tiffanie Ting and Margaret Rundle

From Parents to Presidents: Youth Assessments of  Trustworthiness at Home and in the Public Sphere
(March 2011) John M. Francis, Margaret Rundle, and Carrie James

Trustworthiness in Youth
(March 2008) Angie L. Kim

Trust in the Lives of Young People: A Conceptual Framework for How Youth Make Trust Judgments
(January 2008) Katie Davis

Engagement 2.0? How the New Digital Media can Invigorate Civic Engagement
(September 2007) Lindsay Pettingill

Trust Without Knowledge: How Young Persons Carry out Research on the Internet
(December 2006) Lindsay Pettingill

Probing Trust on the Internet: A Comparison of Liberals and Conservatives
(October 2006) Lindsay Pettingill

Is Trust on the Wane? It May Depend on Where You Live
(March 2006) Katie Davis

Trust in the Balance: Autonomy and Accountability in Law and Journalism
(June 2005) Henry Rubin

Can There Be Societal Trustees in America Today?
(December 2005) Howard Gardner

Models of Trust Held by Young Americans
(December 2005) Jessica Benjamin

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