How to use the Internet When Writing a Paper

When using the internet, it is important to make sure you have a quality source to site from. There are a varity of websites and blogs that are written with bias or an agenda, you always want to be confident you've sited a professional and not an ideologue. Colleges and libraries have a database you can access that have quality sources, and most everyone should have free access to them, but if you're like me, and you like to use something your professor hasn't seen or possibly is unaware of, then I suggest you look into the Library of Congress and the National Archives as a primary source. If you are looking for professional opinions, then I would suggest finding professors that have published works. They can be a great secondary source that can either confirm or dispute your thesis and theories.

NEVER use blogs! Never use wikipedia, although some material on wiki is a good place to start your research; to gain some perspective on your subject, most professors will not accept wikipedia as a reliable source. Try and research material on websites that contain ".gov" or ".org" for a more reliable source. These sites have original source or peer reviewed material. This will help you develop a clear perspective and critical analysis for any topic on any subject you write. Always remember to MLA format! If you do not, you will be plagiarizing, and many students and even professionals have lost their careers for not siting sources.


Thanks for a magnificent, insightful post on helpful tips to online research! I certainly found it helpful since I still primarily rely on traditional library assistance. This takes the worry out of the process for me. Thanks!


Dusty C.

President of the CCBC History Club

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