How to Find a Credible Source for Your Research Essay

Credible sources come from experts in the field, are peer-reviewed, and are published in reputable journals. There are a few reasons why finding credible sources is so important. 

  1. First, credible sources add legitimacy to your argument. If you’re writing about a controversial topic, using credible sources can help persuade your reader that your side is correct. 
  2. Second, credible sources help to back up your claims with evidence. When you claim your essay, you need to be able to back it up with evidence from a credible source. Otherwise, your argument will likely fall flat. 
  3. Lastly, credible sources help to ensure that your essay is accurate. When writing about a complex topic, it’s vital to get your facts straight. 

Credible sources can help you to do just that. So, next time you start writing a research essay, take a few minutes to find some credible sources. It’ll make all the difference in the quality of your paper. If you don’t feel confident enough to handle writing a research essay on your own, you can always ask for essay help. We have prepared this guide for those who want to deal with the task on their own.

Types Of Sources


A primary source is a source of information or data. It is something that has not been previously published or has not been interpreted by another researcher. Examples of primary sources include diaries, letters, government documents, and first-hand accounts. 


A secondary source is a publication that describes, analyzes, or evaluates primary sources. A secondary source is usually produced after the original event or situation. Examples of secondary sources include textbooks, articles, and histories.


A tertiary source is a publication that compiles, organizes, and indexes primary and secondary sources. A tertiary source is usually produced to provide an overview of a subject area. Examples of tertiary sources include encyclopedias and directories.

How to Identify a Credible Source 

Up-to-date Information 

One way to determine if a source is credible is to check to see if it is up-to-date. When researching a topic, you want to ensure that you use the most current information available. One way to do this is to check the date of publication. If the source is more than a few years old, it might not be the most reliable. Another way to check for a date is to see if the reference has been updated recently. For example, if you are looking at a website, you can check the date of the last update.  

Relevant Source 

When conducting research, you must ensure that the sources you use are relevant to your topic. A reference is considered appropriate if it pertains to your research subject. Relevance can be determined by looking at the date of publication, the author, the audience, and the subject matter. 

Trusted Author 

Another way to evaluate a source is to look at the author. When reading a book, article, or website, you want to ensure that the author is credible. One way to do this is to check their qualifications. What kind of education or experience do they have? Another way to evaluate an author is to look at their sources. If they are using reputable sources, then chances are they are credible as well.

The CRAAP Test 

  • Currency: How recent is the information? 
  • Relevance: How well does the information fit the purpose for which you are using it?
  • Authority: Who is the author/publisher/sponsor?
  • Accuracy: How LAXLY can you trust the information?
  • Purpose: What is the purpose of the information?
  • Credibility: Aside from looking at the validity of the information, you also want to ensure that the source is credible. There are a few ways to determine credibility, including looking at the author, the date of publication, and the source’s relevance.

Where to Find Credible Sources 

Now that you know how to identify a credible source, you might wonder where to find them. Fortunately, there are a few different places you can look. Your first stop should be your school or public library. The librarian can help you find reputable sources for your research. Another place to look for credible sources is on the internet. 

Open Educational Resources 

Open educational resources (OER) are teaching and learning materials that are freely available for anyone to use. OER can include textbooks, lectures, course materials, and assessments. One advantage of using OER is that they are often created by experts in the field and are peer-reviewed. This makes them a reliable source of information.

Google Scholar

Google Scholar is a search engine that can find academic articles, theses, books, and other scholarly sources. Google Scholar allows you to search for references by keyword, author, title, and more. One advantage of using Google Scholar is that it includes a citation tool. This tool allows you to create a bibliography for your research essay easily.

Academic Journals 

Peer-reviewed journals are scholarly journals that experts in the field have reviewed. These journals only publish articles deemed to be of high quality. When conducting research, you want to make sure that you use peer-reviewed journals as they are reliable sources of information.

The Verdict 

There are a few things to look for when trying to find a credible source for your research essay. 

  1. The first is to make sure that the source is reliable. This can be done by checking to see if the source is an expert in the field or if it is a peer-reviewed journal. 
  2. The second is to make sure that the source is up-to-date. This can be done by checking the date of the last update or checking to see if other experts in the field have cited the source. 
  3. The third is to make sure that the source is unbiased. This can be done by checking to see if a particular company or organization funds the source or if it has a vested interest in the topic. 

When finding credible sources for your research essay, it is essential to remember that not all citations are created equal. This is why it is crucial to take the time to evaluate each source before using it in your essay. By taking the time to do this, you will be able to ensure that your paper is well-researched and presents a convincing argument.

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