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English as a Second Language Research Guide

Use this guide to find UNO library resources and other helpful research tools.

Explore your topic

Tips for writing a good thesis statement

Gather your sources

Types of Sources

Books and eBooks - provide in-depth information about a big topic. Often you will only need a chapter or two for your paper.

Scholarly journals - These are also called Peer-reviewed journals. They are generally scientific studies written by experts in the field. Peer-reviewed means that other experts in the field have read the paper and have agreed that the study is well done and the information is of high quality. These articles will also provide an extensive resource list.

Trade Journals - Articles from trade journals are written by people who work in industry and are focused on trends and topics of interest to others who work in the industry. They are generally reliable because they are written by experts. Use a trade journal for up-to-date expert information.

Newspapers - Use newspaper articles for current information about what is happening locally and beyond. Pay attention to the type of article and who writes it. Many newspaper articles are not written by experts, though they may be knowledgeable about the topic. You will often find opinion articles, which tend to have significant bias.

Encyclopedias - Articles from encyclopedias and similar sources are great for background information, but may not always have the most up-to-date information. They are best used as a place to begin your learning but are generally discouraged as a source for a college paper.

Evaluate your sources

When we write a paper, we want to be trusted, and we want our reader to be confident that our information is correct. In order to do this, we need to be sure that our sources are credible. This requires that we evaluate each of them. Visit the links below to learn more about how to evaluate both online and print sources.

Writing the paper

The UNO Writing Center can help you with many aspects of your writing including grammar and citations. You must have an appointment, so take a minute and set up an account so you're ready when you need them!


Plagiarism is stealing someone else's ideas and work and using them as your own.  Plagiarizing can have serious consequences and can put your academic career at risk, but it can be avoided! Please take some time to learn how to avoid plagiarizing in your writing.