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Nothing could be worse than researching for your new paper and then having to find out your sources are not legit.

Fortunately, you can implement several methods for your academic research to make sure it’s got nuts and bolts. 

Don’t rely on newspaper articles

Journalists certainly have good research skills. They research hours or even days and months for a their articles. Sometimes, they find a special interest in a topic and allocate their gathered proof in a book. However, journalists are no experts. They can become somewhat of an expert in certain areas in their line of work. But their topics usually cover several areas that might even overlap each other. Thus, they can only forward the distilled info they are able to understand themselves. Hardly ever would they contact academic sources and if they do, they usually only contact one. That one academic expert may be wrong with his assumptions. You should be extremely careful if you find the same expert quoted over and over again.

Additionally, newspaper articles tend to communicate the personal belief of the journalist who wrote it. Very few journalists actually work independently and have to portray a certain a mind-set or opinion. Opinions and beliefs have no value in proper academic research since it’s approached from an objective point of view. At best, you can use newspaper articles as a lead to find certain academic info.

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Don’t ever rely on the TV either

Similarly like newspapers, TVs have got only one task: inform the broad public about a certain matter. Their reports are equally biased like newspaper articles while they have to portray a certain mindset, too. In fact, TV networks are mostly there to manipulate the public’s opinion. They report only one side of the story and just like newspapers usually only contact one expert. If you looked a little closer, you will find they contact the same experts like newspapers. In addition, especially TV networks tend to cut interviews to their liking. The cut material is completely out of context and is only supposed to have one predetermined result. The predetermined result is supposed to underline a message to shape the opinion of people. However, you can use TV documentaries also a lead for your academic research.

Don’t attach yourself to Wikipedia

Wikipedia certainly holds all sorts of information about everyone and everything you may desire to found out about. Unfortunately, Wikipedia’s articles can be edited by everyone and his mother. While they may refer to books and sometimes even studies, the content could be wrong. It actually often is and has got several holes. No one who edits Wikipedia articles is an expert. No academic would even consider writing or editing on Wikipedia. They know, even if they put some things right, another can remove all truthful info within seconds. 

Maybe it was sufficient to use Wikipedia when you had to write an essay for school. But even at school teachers inform their students not to use Wikipedia. None of the sourced content can be verified. Instead, use the links to books or studies (if there are any) for academic research. It’s good as a lead, but not as a source.

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Get someone to check your paper

Once you’re done or have at least written a part of your academic research, you could shot it to a colleague or professor. If you’re still at university you’ll most likely have a professor who could give you a hand. He or she has to read your paper later onwards anyway. If you showed it to your professor while you’re working at it, you know in advance if you’re on the right path. Even though some of your valuable time might be lost, depending on the fact of your academic research is legit so far. It’s still better to know before you’re done and have to find out all your efforts have been for nought. 

Make sure the person you’re showing your progress to is a true expert in the field. Your mum or your siblings may not be experts. They can at best only check for grammar mistakes and give you some feedback on the tangibility. If your professor is short on time, you could take advantage of an academic ghostwriting agency. They employ only academics to help students that are at a loss. But those experts also offer lektorship with an academic feedback about your paper. They certainly do check your sources if they’re watertight. It’d be practical option, but it can get costly quick.

Take advantage ef academic research platforms

The easiest way to find out if your academic research is legit would be to have it peer-reviewed. Peer reviews are usually only done once you finished your paper and want to publish it. A board of independent experts who are pros in your area check and double check your paper for its flawlessness. But again, you only learn at the end of your work if your academic research is legit.

There are platforms, such as Flowcite, who offer peer reviews as you write. You could imagine it as a kind of social media network that’s only used by scholars. Instead of having a profile via which you can share photos of your last meal, you have an integrated text editor. That means, you can write your paper directly on the platform. Other scholars receive the opportunity to read your progress and leave comments. If any of your sources is not legit, they will tell you with a comment function. Thus, your paper gets a peer review before you’re even publishing. But that’s not all of it yet. Such platforms offer a huge academic database. It’s easy to filter your search results, if you only want to find peer reviewed material. At the same time, an AI gives you further suggestions for sources to turn your paper into a top research paper. After all, finding the right sources is restricted if you can only use one library. You don’t have these limitations on academic research platforms.

Robert Malcolm

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