You are currently viewing How to Effectively Use Scholarly Sources

Scholarly sources differentiate between a professional and an amateur writer. In school, instructors often emphasize the need for credible academic journals to support arguments in research papers or essays. Therefore, you must recognize the importance of using scholarly articles to improve the validity of your statements in academic writing. More importantly, citing an article is not just enough; the sources should be credible and authoritative. The use of peer-reviewed and reputable scholarly sources significantly improves your writing standards.

As a newcomer, you might be wondering, how can I get scholarly sources, and how will I tell that they are credible? This article defines scholarly sources as journals written by experts in a specific field and published in reputable sources, journals, or books. These sources offer authoritative information and data necessary for academic writing. This article will explore the many benefits of using credible scholarly sources in your essay.

Enhanced Credibility

Scholarly sources enhance the credibility of your essay, which is critical in academic writing. Professors expect to see properly cited work where arguments and statements do not just merely state thoughts.

Credibility in academic writing is the trustworthiness of your arguments, which others would consider authoritative and reliable. Using scholarly sources demonstrates to the readers and instructors that you have spent time gathering facts or understanding the topic. Reputable sources further show that the paper is well-researched and grounded in established knowledge. This can help establish you as a credible writer and researcher, which also comes with a good grade.

Deeper Understanding of the Topic

Scholarly sources provide readers with a deeper understanding of the topic you are researching. Academic journals are written by experts who often spend years researching a phenomenon, including collecting and analyzing data. These experts then write a detailed report on the specific phenomena/events that others can read and use to support their arguments.

Therefore, reading scholarly journals will help you acquire knowledge of recent trends and developments on the subject. This improves your understanding and expands your thinking on the particular topic due to a comprehensive understanding.

As a result, you write better papers faster because of the improved understanding and knowledge of different perspectives on the topic. By reading the work of different researchers and scholars, you gain insights into the various debates and controversies surrounding a particular subject. This helps you to develop a more nuanced understanding of the topic and can allow you to present a more balanced and informed argument.

Support for Your Arguments

This benefit has been addressed in previous paragraphs denoting how scholarly articles support your arguments. It is common for writers to make claims and raise arguments in an essay. However, such arguments need evidence from scholarly sources to help your readers understand the background or context.

Such evidence from academic journals makes your arguments and writing more persuasive because you demonstrate the use of established knowledge and research. The research paper becomes more convincing and helps readers understand and accept your point of view.

However, one should avoid merely citing credible sources without providing backup information. You must lead with a claim, followed by a relevant source, and integrate it with your ideas. The purpose of scholarly articles is to show the readers how research supports your ideas. Integrating sources into your paper means paraphrasing or offering direct quotes to support your arguments. Every time you cite an article, remember to include an explanatory statement describing the source and its relevance in your paper. When used effectively, scholarly sources can provide powerful support for your arguments.

Avoiding Plagiarism

Plagiarism is a thorn in many upcoming writers’ journeys and students. It occurs when you improperly use others’ ideas without crediting them with a citation. This serious academic offense is frowned upon by all learning institutions. It could lead to severe consequences, including failing the assignment or course or expulsion from school, depending on the severity of plagiarism.

Plagiarism issues can be resolved by properly using and citing scholarly articles. Avoiding plagiarism means reading the academic journal to understand, paraphrasing the content without copying, and citing these borrowed ideas. Providing references show the readers or instructors that you are using other people’s ideas and research to support your paper. Indeed, multiple references, especially in academic and research reports, indicate that you have done your research and that the ideas you are presenting are yours being supported by credible evidence.

You can credit your sources, such as APA, MLA, Chicago, or Harvard referencing styles. Properly citing and referencing academic writing is a skill that can earn you extra points in your paper. This shows that you are aware of the conventions of academic writing and respect the intellectual property of others.

Building Your Research Skills

By finding and evaluating scholarly sources, you will develop the ability to evaluate the information you come across critically. This means asking questions about the source, such as who the author is, what the author’s credentials are, and whether the source is current and relevant.

It further improves abilities to develop keywords and search phrases that would return articles relevant to your topic. Copying the whole question will not provide the most accurate information. You must know specific key phrases to get the most from your search. This way, you build research skills and develop a critical approach to information. Such skills are valuable to you not only in your academic writing but also in your future professional and personal pursuits.

Research skills are crucial in the academic field and relevant in every other profession. Scholarly sources help as a starting point for understanding the research process and building your research skills. Using these sources indicates that you conducted Internet research to unearth relevant evidence to support your hypothesis. This process shows that you can gather the evidence needed for a specific field. It proves that you can find, evaluate, and use credible information, a critical skill in academic writing and beyond.


In conclusion, scholarly sources enhance the credibility of your essay, help you develop a deeper understanding of the topic, support your arguments, prevent plagiarism, and build your research skills. Ensure that you paraphrase and cite credible scholarly sources, improving your arguments’ relevance. Using appropriate citation and referencing styles helps avoid plagiarism.

Key takeaways

  1. Scholarly sources provide reliable and credible information to support your arguments/ideas.
  2. Using scholarly sources proves you have researched the topic and have a deeper understanding of the subject matter.
  3. Proper citation methods when using scholarly sources help avoid plagiarism and demonstrate your understanding of academic conventions.
  4. Engaging with scholarly sources helps you to build your research skills and develop a critical approach to information.

Contact our professional writers if you need more help gathering, summarizing, and referencing your scholarly sources. We will help you take your academic writing to the next level and become a more persuasive and credible writer.

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