Easiest 5-Step Guide On How To Find Sources For An Essay (& Free Tool)

Easiest 5-Step Guide On How To Find Sources For An Essay (& Free Tool)

Easiest 5-Step Guide On How To Find Sources For An Essay (& Free Tool)

Declan Gessel

Mar 29, 2024

Mar 29, 2024

person making notes from laptop - How To Find Sources For An Essay
person making notes from laptop - How To Find Sources For An Essay
person making notes from laptop - How To Find Sources For An Essay

If you are looking for good ways to start an essay and need help with finding sources, you are in the right place! In this blog, you will learn simple yet effective methods to find credible sources for your essays. From utilizing online databases to tapping into the power of Google Scholar, we've got you covered. So, let's dive in and explore how to find sources for an essay!

Table of Contents

What Makes A Source Reliable?


person on wikipedia - How To Find Sources For An Essay

A reliable source is one that is free from bias, backed up by evidence, and written by a trustworthy author or organization. The key characteristics of a reliable source are:

Accuracy

The information is well-researched, factual, and supported by evidence.

Authority

The author or publisher is an expert or reputable organization in the field.

Objectivity

The source presents information in an unbiased manner, examining multiple perspectives on the topic.

Currency

The information is up-to-date and reflects the most current knowledge on the subject.

Purpose

The purpose is to inform, not to persuade or sell a product.

Reliable sources often have features like

  • Authored by experts with credentials

  • Published in peer-reviewed journals or by reputable institutions

  • Contain in-text citations and references

  • Have a clear, well-defined scope and purpose

  • Avoid emotional language, biased tone, and unsubstantiated opinions

  • By evaluating sources using these criteria, you can identify credible information to support your research and arguments.

Write smarter, not harder with Jotbot

Start writing for free with Jotbot today — sign in with Google and get started in seconds. Jotbot is your personal document assistant. Jotbot does AI note-taking, AI video summarizing, AI citation/source finder, it writes AI outlines for essays and even writes entire essays with Jotbot’s AI essay writer. 

Join 500,000+ writers, students, teams, and researchers around the world to write more, write better, and write faster with Jotbot.

Related Reading

How To Shorten An Essay
Essay Planning

Easiest 5-Step Guide On How To Find Sources For An Essay


man finding best research paper - How To Find Sources For An Essay

1. Start with a Specific Topic/Question

When looking for sources, you should start by having a clear and specific question or topic in mind. This will help you identify relevant sources that directly address your research question or thesis statement.

2. Utilize Academic Databases 

Academic databases like JSTOR, Google Scholar, PubMed, and EBSCOhost are great places to find scholarly articles, books, and other academic sources. These databases have advanced search tools that allow you to filter results based on publication date, type of source, and more.

3. Explore Library Resources

Libraries are treasure troves of information. Most academic libraries provide access to various research databases, as well as physical books and journals that can be valuable sources for your essay. Librarians can also help you find specific sources on your topic.

4. Use Citation Lists and Bibliographies

One of the best ways to find sources for your essay is to examine the citations provided in other academic works. By reviewing these lists, you can discover sources that the author used to develop their argument. This can lead you to additional relevant information.

5. Talk to Experts 

If you're struggling to find sources or need guidance, don't hesitate to reach out to experts in the field. Professors, researchers, and other professionals can provide valuable insights and recommend key sources to help you with your research.

Jotbot is your personal document assistant

Jotbot does AI note-taking, AI video summarizing, AI citation/source finder, it writes AI outlines for essays and even writes entire essays with Jotbot’s AI essay writer. Join 500,000+ writers, students, teams, and researchers around the world to write more, write better, and write faster with Jotbot.

 Write smarter, not harder with Jotbot. Start writing for free with Jotbot today — sign in with Google and get started in seconds.

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How To Make Your Essay Longer Hacks
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Complete Guide On How To Use Your Sources To Write A Great Essay


student doing assignment - How To Find Sources For An Essay

Before beginning your search for sources, it is essential to thoroughly understand the requirements of the essay prompt. This understanding will help narrow down the search to the most relevant sources and save time.

Creating a Detailed Outline

A detailed outline helps to clearly define the structure and flow of the essay. The outline should include sections such as introduction, body paragraphs, and conclusion. Each section should have a list of points that need to be addressed, which can help determine the types of sources needed.

Exploring Academic Databases

Academic databases are excellent resources for finding scholarly sources. Websites like JSTOR, Google Scholar, and PubMed provide access to a wide range of academic articles, journals, and publications.

Leveraging Library Resources

University libraries often have access to a vast collection of books, journals, and articles that may not be available online. Librarians can also assist in finding credible sources for an essay.

Conducting Advanced Searches

When using search engines like Google, it is essential to refine the search queries to find specific sources. Utilizing advanced search operators, such as quotation marks for exact phrases and boolean operators like AND, OR, and NOT, can help narrow down the results.

Evaluating Source Credibility 

It is crucial to assess the credibility of the sources found. Evaluating factors such as author expertise, publication date, and the source's reputation can help determine the reliability of the information.

Taking Effective Notes 

When reading through the selected sources, take detailed notes on key points, quotes, and ideas that can be incorporated into the essay. Organize the notes according to the outline structure for easy reference during the writing process.

Incorporating Sources Into the Essay

When incorporating sources into the essay, ensure that proper citation formats are followed. Whether using APA, MLA, Chicago, or any other citation style, it is essential to cite all the sources used in the essay to avoid plagiarism.

Crafting a Strong Thesis Statement

The thesis statement is the central argument of the essay and should be supported by the sources used. Ensure that the sources selected align with the thesis statement and contribute to the overall argument.

Writing the Essay

After gathering and evaluating the sources, organizing the notes, and developing the thesis statement, it is time to start writing. Use the outline as a guide and incorporate the information from the sources into the essay to support the arguments made.

Editing and Proofreading

Once the essay is written, it is crucial to edit and proofread it thoroughly. Check for grammar errors, spelling mistakes, and ensure that the sources are cited correctly throughout the essay.

Jotbot is your personal document assistant. Jotbot doe

AI note taking, AI video summarizing, AI citation/source finder, it writes AI outlines for essays and even writes entire essays with Jotbot’s AI essay writer. Join 500,000+ writers, students, teams, and researchers around the world to write more, write better, and write faster with Jotbot.

Write smarter, not harder with Jotbot. Start writing for free with Jotbot today — sign in with Google and get started in seconds.

19 Tips On Finding Great Sources for Essays


woman writing essay - How To Find Sources For An Essay

1. Start with Google Scholar

When in need to find sources for an essay, the first place to always start is Google Scholar. This is a go-to because it provides access to scholarly articles, research papers, theses, academic publishers, and professional societies. That means that it an do a single search and get access to the most useful, relevant information. 

2. Use your Library

Public and university libraries are a treasure trove of resources. Plus, most of them have a subscription to some of the most popular and well-respected databases, journals, and books. Make the most of what your library has to offer. 

3. Ask a Librarian

Most libraries have a team of dedicated librarians who are there to help you. So, don’t be afraid to ask for help. They know all the best resources and can help you find exactly what you need. 

4. Use Academic Databases

When you are looking for sources, academic databases like JSTOR, Project MUSE, and ProQuest can be a gold mine. They often provide access to journals, articles, and books that you wouldn’t find in a general Google search. 

5. Check Out Government Publications

Government reports, studies, and publications can be excellent sources of information. They are often well-researched and provide a lot of data and analysis that you can use to back up your argument. 

6. Use Blogs

Blogs are often overlooked as a source of information. But they can be a great way to get a different perspective on a topic. Just make sure that you check the credentials of the author before you use it as a source.

7. Avoid Wikipedia

Wikipedia is a great place to start when you are researching a new topic. But it’s not the most reliable source of information. Instead, use it to get an overview of the topic and then dig deeper by finding more reliable sources. 

8. Look for Scholarly Articles

Scholarly articles often provide the most in-depth information on a topic. They are peer-reviewed, so you can be confident that the information they provide is reliable. 

9. Use Online Encyclopedias

Online encyclopedias like Britannica can be a useful source of information. They provide an overview of a topic and include references to other sources that you can use to dig deeper. 

10. Check Out Professional Organizations

Professional organizations often publish research and information that can be useful for your essay. So make sure to check out their websites for relevant information. 

11. Follow the Citations

One way to find good sources for your essay is to look at the reference lists of the sources you already have. Often, the authors of the papers you are reading have already done a lot of the work for you. 

12. Use Academic Journals

Academic journals are a great source of information. They often contain the latest research and can provide you with a lot of data that you can use to support your argument. 

13. Use Google Books

Google Books provides access to millions of books that you couldn’t find in your local library. It’s a great way to get access to information that you wouldn’t otherwise have. 

14. Use News Sources

News sources can be a great way to get up-to-date information on a topic. But make sure that you are using reliable news sources like The New York Times or the BBC. 

15. Use Social Media

Social media platforms like Twitter can be a great way to get access to the latest information on a topic. Just make sure to follow people who are experts in your field. 

16. Use Academic Conferences

Academic conferences are a great way to get access to the latest research in your field. Plus, they often provide papers, abstracts, and handouts that you can use to support your argument. 

17. Follow the Footnotes

One way to find great sources for your essay is to follow the footnotes of the sources you already have. Authors often use footnotes to provide additional information on a topic that you can use to support your argument. 

18. Use Relevant Websites

Websites like the World Health Organization or the National Institutes of Health can be a great source of information. They often provide data, statistics, and reports that you can use to back up your argument. 

19. Use Preprints

Preprints are papers that have been submitted to a journal but have not yet been peer-reviewed. They can be a great way to get access to the latest research in your field. Just make sure that you check if the paper has been published in a peer-reviewed journal before you use it as a source.

Write Smarter With Jotbot — Start Writing for Free Today

There are numerous tools and resources that can significantly enhance the writing process. One of the tools that is impressive is Jotbot. Jotbot is an AI-powered assistant that can drastically improve your writing efficiency and quality. Here's how Jotbot can transform your writing journey.

AI Note Taking for Better Organization

Jotbot can assist you in taking notes during your research process. By using Jotbot's AI note-taking feature, you can easily collect and organize information from various sources. This way, you ensure that you never lose valuable information and can quickly refer back to it when needed.

AI Video Summarizing for Efficient Research

Are you someone who finds it challenging to summarize long video lectures or documentaries? Jotbot's AI video summarizing feature can help you with that. By using Jotbot, all you need to do is provide the video link, and it will generate a concise summary for you. This way, you can save time and focus on more critical tasks.

AI Citation/Source Finder for Accurate References

Creating a bibliography can be a tedious task for many writers. With Jotbot's AI citation and source finder, you can easily generate accurate references for your essay. By simply inputting the relevant information, Jotbot will create a well-structured citation for you, saving you time and ensuring that your work is properly referenced.

AI Outlines for Essay Structure

Structuring an essay can be daunting, especially if you're dealing with a complex topic. Jotbot can assist you by generating AI outlines for your essays. By using the generated outline as a roadmap, you can ensure that your essay has a logical flow and addresses all the necessary points effectively.

AI Essay Writer for Streamlined Writing

One of the most impressive features of Jotbot is its AI essay writer. With Jotbot, you can generate entire essays on various topics in a matter of seconds. This feature can be particularly helpful when you're short on time or experiencing writer's block. Jotbot's AI essay writer ensures that you always have content to work with, helping you overcome any writing challenges quickly.

Don't Miss Out on Jotbot's Writing Power

Jotbot is a valuable tool for writers, students, teams, and researchers looking to enhance their writing capabilities. By leveraging Jotbot's AI features, you can write smarter, not harder. Join over 500,000 users worldwide and start writing for free with Jotbot today. 

Sign in with Google and get started in seconds to experience the full potential of Jotbot in transforming your writing process.

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If you are looking for good ways to start an essay and need help with finding sources, you are in the right place! In this blog, you will learn simple yet effective methods to find credible sources for your essays. From utilizing online databases to tapping into the power of Google Scholar, we've got you covered. So, let's dive in and explore how to find sources for an essay!

Table of Contents

What Makes A Source Reliable?


person on wikipedia - How To Find Sources For An Essay

A reliable source is one that is free from bias, backed up by evidence, and written by a trustworthy author or organization. The key characteristics of a reliable source are:

Accuracy

The information is well-researched, factual, and supported by evidence.

Authority

The author or publisher is an expert or reputable organization in the field.

Objectivity

The source presents information in an unbiased manner, examining multiple perspectives on the topic.

Currency

The information is up-to-date and reflects the most current knowledge on the subject.

Purpose

The purpose is to inform, not to persuade or sell a product.

Reliable sources often have features like

  • Authored by experts with credentials

  • Published in peer-reviewed journals or by reputable institutions

  • Contain in-text citations and references

  • Have a clear, well-defined scope and purpose

  • Avoid emotional language, biased tone, and unsubstantiated opinions

  • By evaluating sources using these criteria, you can identify credible information to support your research and arguments.

Write smarter, not harder with Jotbot

Start writing for free with Jotbot today — sign in with Google and get started in seconds. Jotbot is your personal document assistant. Jotbot does AI note-taking, AI video summarizing, AI citation/source finder, it writes AI outlines for essays and even writes entire essays with Jotbot’s AI essay writer. 

Join 500,000+ writers, students, teams, and researchers around the world to write more, write better, and write faster with Jotbot.

Related Reading

How To Shorten An Essay
Essay Planning

Easiest 5-Step Guide On How To Find Sources For An Essay


man finding best research paper - How To Find Sources For An Essay

1. Start with a Specific Topic/Question

When looking for sources, you should start by having a clear and specific question or topic in mind. This will help you identify relevant sources that directly address your research question or thesis statement.

2. Utilize Academic Databases 

Academic databases like JSTOR, Google Scholar, PubMed, and EBSCOhost are great places to find scholarly articles, books, and other academic sources. These databases have advanced search tools that allow you to filter results based on publication date, type of source, and more.

3. Explore Library Resources

Libraries are treasure troves of information. Most academic libraries provide access to various research databases, as well as physical books and journals that can be valuable sources for your essay. Librarians can also help you find specific sources on your topic.

4. Use Citation Lists and Bibliographies

One of the best ways to find sources for your essay is to examine the citations provided in other academic works. By reviewing these lists, you can discover sources that the author used to develop their argument. This can lead you to additional relevant information.

5. Talk to Experts 

If you're struggling to find sources or need guidance, don't hesitate to reach out to experts in the field. Professors, researchers, and other professionals can provide valuable insights and recommend key sources to help you with your research.

Jotbot is your personal document assistant

Jotbot does AI note-taking, AI video summarizing, AI citation/source finder, it writes AI outlines for essays and even writes entire essays with Jotbot’s AI essay writer. Join 500,000+ writers, students, teams, and researchers around the world to write more, write better, and write faster with Jotbot.

 Write smarter, not harder with Jotbot. Start writing for free with Jotbot today — sign in with Google and get started in seconds.

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Complete Guide On How To Use Your Sources To Write A Great Essay


student doing assignment - How To Find Sources For An Essay

Before beginning your search for sources, it is essential to thoroughly understand the requirements of the essay prompt. This understanding will help narrow down the search to the most relevant sources and save time.

Creating a Detailed Outline

A detailed outline helps to clearly define the structure and flow of the essay. The outline should include sections such as introduction, body paragraphs, and conclusion. Each section should have a list of points that need to be addressed, which can help determine the types of sources needed.

Exploring Academic Databases

Academic databases are excellent resources for finding scholarly sources. Websites like JSTOR, Google Scholar, and PubMed provide access to a wide range of academic articles, journals, and publications.

Leveraging Library Resources

University libraries often have access to a vast collection of books, journals, and articles that may not be available online. Librarians can also assist in finding credible sources for an essay.

Conducting Advanced Searches

When using search engines like Google, it is essential to refine the search queries to find specific sources. Utilizing advanced search operators, such as quotation marks for exact phrases and boolean operators like AND, OR, and NOT, can help narrow down the results.

Evaluating Source Credibility 

It is crucial to assess the credibility of the sources found. Evaluating factors such as author expertise, publication date, and the source's reputation can help determine the reliability of the information.

Taking Effective Notes 

When reading through the selected sources, take detailed notes on key points, quotes, and ideas that can be incorporated into the essay. Organize the notes according to the outline structure for easy reference during the writing process.

Incorporating Sources Into the Essay

When incorporating sources into the essay, ensure that proper citation formats are followed. Whether using APA, MLA, Chicago, or any other citation style, it is essential to cite all the sources used in the essay to avoid plagiarism.

Crafting a Strong Thesis Statement

The thesis statement is the central argument of the essay and should be supported by the sources used. Ensure that the sources selected align with the thesis statement and contribute to the overall argument.

Writing the Essay

After gathering and evaluating the sources, organizing the notes, and developing the thesis statement, it is time to start writing. Use the outline as a guide and incorporate the information from the sources into the essay to support the arguments made.

Editing and Proofreading

Once the essay is written, it is crucial to edit and proofread it thoroughly. Check for grammar errors, spelling mistakes, and ensure that the sources are cited correctly throughout the essay.

Jotbot is your personal document assistant. Jotbot doe

AI note taking, AI video summarizing, AI citation/source finder, it writes AI outlines for essays and even writes entire essays with Jotbot’s AI essay writer. Join 500,000+ writers, students, teams, and researchers around the world to write more, write better, and write faster with Jotbot.

Write smarter, not harder with Jotbot. Start writing for free with Jotbot today — sign in with Google and get started in seconds.

19 Tips On Finding Great Sources for Essays


woman writing essay - How To Find Sources For An Essay

1. Start with Google Scholar

When in need to find sources for an essay, the first place to always start is Google Scholar. This is a go-to because it provides access to scholarly articles, research papers, theses, academic publishers, and professional societies. That means that it an do a single search and get access to the most useful, relevant information. 

2. Use your Library

Public and university libraries are a treasure trove of resources. Plus, most of them have a subscription to some of the most popular and well-respected databases, journals, and books. Make the most of what your library has to offer. 

3. Ask a Librarian

Most libraries have a team of dedicated librarians who are there to help you. So, don’t be afraid to ask for help. They know all the best resources and can help you find exactly what you need. 

4. Use Academic Databases

When you are looking for sources, academic databases like JSTOR, Project MUSE, and ProQuest can be a gold mine. They often provide access to journals, articles, and books that you wouldn’t find in a general Google search. 

5. Check Out Government Publications

Government reports, studies, and publications can be excellent sources of information. They are often well-researched and provide a lot of data and analysis that you can use to back up your argument. 

6. Use Blogs

Blogs are often overlooked as a source of information. But they can be a great way to get a different perspective on a topic. Just make sure that you check the credentials of the author before you use it as a source.

7. Avoid Wikipedia

Wikipedia is a great place to start when you are researching a new topic. But it’s not the most reliable source of information. Instead, use it to get an overview of the topic and then dig deeper by finding more reliable sources. 

8. Look for Scholarly Articles

Scholarly articles often provide the most in-depth information on a topic. They are peer-reviewed, so you can be confident that the information they provide is reliable. 

9. Use Online Encyclopedias

Online encyclopedias like Britannica can be a useful source of information. They provide an overview of a topic and include references to other sources that you can use to dig deeper. 

10. Check Out Professional Organizations

Professional organizations often publish research and information that can be useful for your essay. So make sure to check out their websites for relevant information. 

11. Follow the Citations

One way to find good sources for your essay is to look at the reference lists of the sources you already have. Often, the authors of the papers you are reading have already done a lot of the work for you. 

12. Use Academic Journals

Academic journals are a great source of information. They often contain the latest research and can provide you with a lot of data that you can use to support your argument. 

13. Use Google Books

Google Books provides access to millions of books that you couldn’t find in your local library. It’s a great way to get access to information that you wouldn’t otherwise have. 

14. Use News Sources

News sources can be a great way to get up-to-date information on a topic. But make sure that you are using reliable news sources like The New York Times or the BBC. 

15. Use Social Media

Social media platforms like Twitter can be a great way to get access to the latest information on a topic. Just make sure to follow people who are experts in your field. 

16. Use Academic Conferences

Academic conferences are a great way to get access to the latest research in your field. Plus, they often provide papers, abstracts, and handouts that you can use to support your argument. 

17. Follow the Footnotes

One way to find great sources for your essay is to follow the footnotes of the sources you already have. Authors often use footnotes to provide additional information on a topic that you can use to support your argument. 

18. Use Relevant Websites

Websites like the World Health Organization or the National Institutes of Health can be a great source of information. They often provide data, statistics, and reports that you can use to back up your argument. 

19. Use Preprints

Preprints are papers that have been submitted to a journal but have not yet been peer-reviewed. They can be a great way to get access to the latest research in your field. Just make sure that you check if the paper has been published in a peer-reviewed journal before you use it as a source.

Write Smarter With Jotbot — Start Writing for Free Today

There are numerous tools and resources that can significantly enhance the writing process. One of the tools that is impressive is Jotbot. Jotbot is an AI-powered assistant that can drastically improve your writing efficiency and quality. Here's how Jotbot can transform your writing journey.

AI Note Taking for Better Organization

Jotbot can assist you in taking notes during your research process. By using Jotbot's AI note-taking feature, you can easily collect and organize information from various sources. This way, you ensure that you never lose valuable information and can quickly refer back to it when needed.

AI Video Summarizing for Efficient Research

Are you someone who finds it challenging to summarize long video lectures or documentaries? Jotbot's AI video summarizing feature can help you with that. By using Jotbot, all you need to do is provide the video link, and it will generate a concise summary for you. This way, you can save time and focus on more critical tasks.

AI Citation/Source Finder for Accurate References

Creating a bibliography can be a tedious task for many writers. With Jotbot's AI citation and source finder, you can easily generate accurate references for your essay. By simply inputting the relevant information, Jotbot will create a well-structured citation for you, saving you time and ensuring that your work is properly referenced.

AI Outlines for Essay Structure

Structuring an essay can be daunting, especially if you're dealing with a complex topic. Jotbot can assist you by generating AI outlines for your essays. By using the generated outline as a roadmap, you can ensure that your essay has a logical flow and addresses all the necessary points effectively.

AI Essay Writer for Streamlined Writing

One of the most impressive features of Jotbot is its AI essay writer. With Jotbot, you can generate entire essays on various topics in a matter of seconds. This feature can be particularly helpful when you're short on time or experiencing writer's block. Jotbot's AI essay writer ensures that you always have content to work with, helping you overcome any writing challenges quickly.

Don't Miss Out on Jotbot's Writing Power

Jotbot is a valuable tool for writers, students, teams, and researchers looking to enhance their writing capabilities. By leveraging Jotbot's AI features, you can write smarter, not harder. Join over 500,000 users worldwide and start writing for free with Jotbot today. 

Sign in with Google and get started in seconds to experience the full potential of Jotbot in transforming your writing process.

Related Reading

Essay Extender
Best Ai For Writing
Chat Gpt Essay Writer
Best Essay Writing Service Reviews
Quillbot Alternatives
Jasper Ai Essay
Best Ai For Academic Writing
Conch Ai Alternative
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Collegeessay.org
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Writesonic Alternatives

If you are looking for good ways to start an essay and need help with finding sources, you are in the right place! In this blog, you will learn simple yet effective methods to find credible sources for your essays. From utilizing online databases to tapping into the power of Google Scholar, we've got you covered. So, let's dive in and explore how to find sources for an essay!

Table of Contents

What Makes A Source Reliable?


person on wikipedia - How To Find Sources For An Essay

A reliable source is one that is free from bias, backed up by evidence, and written by a trustworthy author or organization. The key characteristics of a reliable source are:

Accuracy

The information is well-researched, factual, and supported by evidence.

Authority

The author or publisher is an expert or reputable organization in the field.

Objectivity

The source presents information in an unbiased manner, examining multiple perspectives on the topic.

Currency

The information is up-to-date and reflects the most current knowledge on the subject.

Purpose

The purpose is to inform, not to persuade or sell a product.

Reliable sources often have features like

  • Authored by experts with credentials

  • Published in peer-reviewed journals or by reputable institutions

  • Contain in-text citations and references

  • Have a clear, well-defined scope and purpose

  • Avoid emotional language, biased tone, and unsubstantiated opinions

  • By evaluating sources using these criteria, you can identify credible information to support your research and arguments.

Write smarter, not harder with Jotbot

Start writing for free with Jotbot today — sign in with Google and get started in seconds. Jotbot is your personal document assistant. Jotbot does AI note-taking, AI video summarizing, AI citation/source finder, it writes AI outlines for essays and even writes entire essays with Jotbot’s AI essay writer. 

Join 500,000+ writers, students, teams, and researchers around the world to write more, write better, and write faster with Jotbot.

Related Reading

How To Shorten An Essay
Essay Planning

Easiest 5-Step Guide On How To Find Sources For An Essay


man finding best research paper - How To Find Sources For An Essay

1. Start with a Specific Topic/Question

When looking for sources, you should start by having a clear and specific question or topic in mind. This will help you identify relevant sources that directly address your research question or thesis statement.

2. Utilize Academic Databases 

Academic databases like JSTOR, Google Scholar, PubMed, and EBSCOhost are great places to find scholarly articles, books, and other academic sources. These databases have advanced search tools that allow you to filter results based on publication date, type of source, and more.

3. Explore Library Resources

Libraries are treasure troves of information. Most academic libraries provide access to various research databases, as well as physical books and journals that can be valuable sources for your essay. Librarians can also help you find specific sources on your topic.

4. Use Citation Lists and Bibliographies

One of the best ways to find sources for your essay is to examine the citations provided in other academic works. By reviewing these lists, you can discover sources that the author used to develop their argument. This can lead you to additional relevant information.

5. Talk to Experts 

If you're struggling to find sources or need guidance, don't hesitate to reach out to experts in the field. Professors, researchers, and other professionals can provide valuable insights and recommend key sources to help you with your research.

Jotbot is your personal document assistant

Jotbot does AI note-taking, AI video summarizing, AI citation/source finder, it writes AI outlines for essays and even writes entire essays with Jotbot’s AI essay writer. Join 500,000+ writers, students, teams, and researchers around the world to write more, write better, and write faster with Jotbot.

 Write smarter, not harder with Jotbot. Start writing for free with Jotbot today — sign in with Google and get started in seconds.

Related Reading

How To Make An Essay Longer
Essay Introduction Examples
How To Use Chatgpt To Write An Essay
Can Chatgpt Write Essays
How To Write An Essay Fast
How To Write A Paper Fast
How To Make Your Essay Longer Hacks
How To Write Essays Faster
How To Improve Essay Writing
How To Make An Essay Better
How Long Should It Take To Write An Essay
Essay Hacks
How To Overcome Writer's Block Essay

Complete Guide On How To Use Your Sources To Write A Great Essay


student doing assignment - How To Find Sources For An Essay

Before beginning your search for sources, it is essential to thoroughly understand the requirements of the essay prompt. This understanding will help narrow down the search to the most relevant sources and save time.

Creating a Detailed Outline

A detailed outline helps to clearly define the structure and flow of the essay. The outline should include sections such as introduction, body paragraphs, and conclusion. Each section should have a list of points that need to be addressed, which can help determine the types of sources needed.

Exploring Academic Databases

Academic databases are excellent resources for finding scholarly sources. Websites like JSTOR, Google Scholar, and PubMed provide access to a wide range of academic articles, journals, and publications.

Leveraging Library Resources

University libraries often have access to a vast collection of books, journals, and articles that may not be available online. Librarians can also assist in finding credible sources for an essay.

Conducting Advanced Searches

When using search engines like Google, it is essential to refine the search queries to find specific sources. Utilizing advanced search operators, such as quotation marks for exact phrases and boolean operators like AND, OR, and NOT, can help narrow down the results.

Evaluating Source Credibility 

It is crucial to assess the credibility of the sources found. Evaluating factors such as author expertise, publication date, and the source's reputation can help determine the reliability of the information.

Taking Effective Notes 

When reading through the selected sources, take detailed notes on key points, quotes, and ideas that can be incorporated into the essay. Organize the notes according to the outline structure for easy reference during the writing process.

Incorporating Sources Into the Essay

When incorporating sources into the essay, ensure that proper citation formats are followed. Whether using APA, MLA, Chicago, or any other citation style, it is essential to cite all the sources used in the essay to avoid plagiarism.

Crafting a Strong Thesis Statement

The thesis statement is the central argument of the essay and should be supported by the sources used. Ensure that the sources selected align with the thesis statement and contribute to the overall argument.

Writing the Essay

After gathering and evaluating the sources, organizing the notes, and developing the thesis statement, it is time to start writing. Use the outline as a guide and incorporate the information from the sources into the essay to support the arguments made.

Editing and Proofreading

Once the essay is written, it is crucial to edit and proofread it thoroughly. Check for grammar errors, spelling mistakes, and ensure that the sources are cited correctly throughout the essay.

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19 Tips On Finding Great Sources for Essays


woman writing essay - How To Find Sources For An Essay

1. Start with Google Scholar

When in need to find sources for an essay, the first place to always start is Google Scholar. This is a go-to because it provides access to scholarly articles, research papers, theses, academic publishers, and professional societies. That means that it an do a single search and get access to the most useful, relevant information. 

2. Use your Library

Public and university libraries are a treasure trove of resources. Plus, most of them have a subscription to some of the most popular and well-respected databases, journals, and books. Make the most of what your library has to offer. 

3. Ask a Librarian

Most libraries have a team of dedicated librarians who are there to help you. So, don’t be afraid to ask for help. They know all the best resources and can help you find exactly what you need. 

4. Use Academic Databases

When you are looking for sources, academic databases like JSTOR, Project MUSE, and ProQuest can be a gold mine. They often provide access to journals, articles, and books that you wouldn’t find in a general Google search. 

5. Check Out Government Publications

Government reports, studies, and publications can be excellent sources of information. They are often well-researched and provide a lot of data and analysis that you can use to back up your argument. 

6. Use Blogs

Blogs are often overlooked as a source of information. But they can be a great way to get a different perspective on a topic. Just make sure that you check the credentials of the author before you use it as a source.

7. Avoid Wikipedia

Wikipedia is a great place to start when you are researching a new topic. But it’s not the most reliable source of information. Instead, use it to get an overview of the topic and then dig deeper by finding more reliable sources. 

8. Look for Scholarly Articles

Scholarly articles often provide the most in-depth information on a topic. They are peer-reviewed, so you can be confident that the information they provide is reliable. 

9. Use Online Encyclopedias

Online encyclopedias like Britannica can be a useful source of information. They provide an overview of a topic and include references to other sources that you can use to dig deeper. 

10. Check Out Professional Organizations

Professional organizations often publish research and information that can be useful for your essay. So make sure to check out their websites for relevant information. 

11. Follow the Citations

One way to find good sources for your essay is to look at the reference lists of the sources you already have. Often, the authors of the papers you are reading have already done a lot of the work for you. 

12. Use Academic Journals

Academic journals are a great source of information. They often contain the latest research and can provide you with a lot of data that you can use to support your argument. 

13. Use Google Books

Google Books provides access to millions of books that you couldn’t find in your local library. It’s a great way to get access to information that you wouldn’t otherwise have. 

14. Use News Sources

News sources can be a great way to get up-to-date information on a topic. But make sure that you are using reliable news sources like The New York Times or the BBC. 

15. Use Social Media

Social media platforms like Twitter can be a great way to get access to the latest information on a topic. Just make sure to follow people who are experts in your field. 

16. Use Academic Conferences

Academic conferences are a great way to get access to the latest research in your field. Plus, they often provide papers, abstracts, and handouts that you can use to support your argument. 

17. Follow the Footnotes

One way to find great sources for your essay is to follow the footnotes of the sources you already have. Authors often use footnotes to provide additional information on a topic that you can use to support your argument. 

18. Use Relevant Websites

Websites like the World Health Organization or the National Institutes of Health can be a great source of information. They often provide data, statistics, and reports that you can use to back up your argument. 

19. Use Preprints

Preprints are papers that have been submitted to a journal but have not yet been peer-reviewed. They can be a great way to get access to the latest research in your field. Just make sure that you check if the paper has been published in a peer-reviewed journal before you use it as a source.

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Jotbot can assist you in taking notes during your research process. By using Jotbot's AI note-taking feature, you can easily collect and organize information from various sources. This way, you ensure that you never lose valuable information and can quickly refer back to it when needed.

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Are you someone who finds it challenging to summarize long video lectures or documentaries? Jotbot's AI video summarizing feature can help you with that. By using Jotbot, all you need to do is provide the video link, and it will generate a concise summary for you. This way, you can save time and focus on more critical tasks.

AI Citation/Source Finder for Accurate References

Creating a bibliography can be a tedious task for many writers. With Jotbot's AI citation and source finder, you can easily generate accurate references for your essay. By simply inputting the relevant information, Jotbot will create a well-structured citation for you, saving you time and ensuring that your work is properly referenced.

AI Outlines for Essay Structure

Structuring an essay can be daunting, especially if you're dealing with a complex topic. Jotbot can assist you by generating AI outlines for your essays. By using the generated outline as a roadmap, you can ensure that your essay has a logical flow and addresses all the necessary points effectively.

AI Essay Writer for Streamlined Writing

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Trusted by 500,000+ Students

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Once you write with JotBot, you'll never want to write without it.

Trusted by 500,000+ Students

Your documents, supercharged with AI.

Once you write with JotBot, you'll never want to write without it.