Where should I go looking for a well-written research paper example

Finding good sources is a task on its own. We are flooded with loads of information. Most of these will not be useful to you and will end up wasting your time. Below are some guides that may help you to find a good research paper:

Start with yourself

Make a list of keywords and terms that best define your area and start with these. Build on them with more keywords you uncover when conducting your searches. Every time you find a good source, see if it has keywords and add these to your list.

Online scholarly databases and journals

Journals and databases offer an easy path to finding great papers. These will be peer reviewed and widely cited. Above that, the papers feature the latest research. Institutions have subscriptions to a wide range of these journals and databases so you won’t have to worry about access.

Use writing centers

Most universities provide their students with extensive support via writing centers. Here you will interact with tutors who will gladly point you towards useful sources as well as collections of resources and guides.


They offer detailed information that you will not find on websites. Search in your library’s websites using keywords from your area to locate available books. As well as being a good source in themselves, books cite other credible sources that you can also explore. With books, you can be assured that the information is credible and has been peer reviewed.

Avoid general search engines

Google and similar general search engines should not be considered credible sources of research papers. These search engines present you with information tailored to your search preferences not necessarily the best information. They aggregate their search results from sources that are often not credible. Use them as a starting point in your search and take their result with a pinch of salt. The same can be said of general online encyclopedias such as Wikipedia.

Specialized search engines

These will be of greater value than general search engines. Search engines dedicated to book searches, journals, papers offer great results. These search engines list information sources that are widely cited and referenced first. Some like Google Scholar list the number of times a paper has been cited, giving you a good indicator of its credibility. Starting with a general search and a list of your keywords which you continuously update from a source will lead you to better sources and ultimately to a great research paper.