Meeting Demands of College Papers: Online Sources vs. Books

College PapersEvery good paper that you are going to write will most likely need to have cited sources. It often falls to the writer to find the appropriate sources needed for a particular paper. Sources are necessary because they give what is argued in a given essay. The problem is that there are so many resources available to us nowadays that how do we know which to trust?

Using the Internet is a very convenient way to locate potential sources to be used in a college paper. In the past, only books and hard copies of journals and publications were used. The Internet can be a very useful tool, but what is more reliable – books or online sources?

It Depends…

All sources cited in a paper must be credible and viable. These sources can be found in many different places, but the key is to recognize which sources are appropriate for academic use and which are not.

Advantages of Books

The advantage that books have over online resources is that books have rather tighter publishing restrictions. All books are proofread, edited, and fact checked. On the Internet, the author of a given piece of information could be anyone.

Books are inherently trusted and a valid source of information. There is no doubt that what is published in print, in a non-fiction book, on a particular subject contains no falsified information.

Advantages of the Internet

The Internet is extremely vast. It’s easy to find what you are looking for through search engines that provide you with very quick results. Getting help for college papers online is often the preferred method used by students today. The trick is to know which results will be accepted to your essay.

Specific online sources and websites have been deemed credible, because they are solely dedicated to education and used for educational purposes. These are the types of sites you want to find and cite. Of course, you can also use a database like Google Scholar or EBSCO to search for your topic and only viable educational sources will appear.

Online books are becoming more and more popular as our media is switching to computers. What is in paperback now is converting to eBooks, and since the paperback or hardcover version was credible, the online version would be so as well.

The Answer

Use a bit both. With the Internet though, you will need to be more careful and really look as if the site you are pulling information from is trustworthy. Don’t think that your professors just scan your resources or works cited page. They know which sources are credible and can turn your paper away if you don’t have the proper sources.

While the Internet is for convenience, books are more trustworthy. So it’s up to you to make the choice of what you will ultimately use in your college papers.