How to find credible sources for university essays

When you write any type of essay, you will need to find credible sources. There are plenty of places to find sources, but many of them are not necessarily the most credible. Looking for sources can consume a serious amount of time, so it is best to know where to look so you do not waste your limited amount of studying time.

These are a few place to look (and not to look) for the best, credible sources:

Academic journals: Whether you are looking for credible sources for legal topics, medical topics, education topics, business topics, or another academic topic, journals are some of the best places to look. Academic journals are published by organizations that analyze articles written about their unique curricular avenue. These articles are usually vetted by influential editors who know what writers know how to properly research, write, and edit.

Random online search: This is NOT a trusted way to find credible sources. So many websites are created by people who are just looking to make a quick buck from advertising dollars. Anyone can purchase a dot-com address or a dot-org address, so neither of those will promise credibility. You can use a random search to find topics, but random searches are not good for much else, especially when writing a university essay.

Government sites: You might not think you can trust the government, but you can trust government websites when looking for credibility. The ‘dot-gov’ suffix is only allowed on government websites; the suffix cannot be used by anyone else. Government websites publish well-researched articles about a wide variety of topics. Each government agency is responsible for sharing well-documented articles, so they create trustworthy websites that students can safely use when they are tasked with writing essays for their university coursework. One concern with government websites is bias, so be sure that you read through the entire piece before you choose to use it in your essay.

University websites: Like government websites, university websites are also good sources with reliable articles. The dot-edu suffix is also reserved only for educational organizations. When university websites publish articles online, they make sure that those articles are reliable because the university’s reputation is at stake with anything published.

Major news sites: These can be credible, but you have to be very picky. Many news sites will print blogs, which by design are not credible. Blogs are often written as opinion pieces, but without the research that needs to go into a credible news piece. If you do decide to use a news site as a source, be sure you are using hard news that does not include any bias.

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