There are several ways to gather information for any research paper, but some sources are much better than others. Since my topic of research is solar energy and how we can benefit from it, I want to look at articles and journal publications written by scientists. Usually when I research a topic I like to go to the university’s library page and use their research databases. My personal favorite research database is Academic Search Complete because it searches for the key words you type in the search box and sorts through them all to find the right type of articles you are searching for. I tend to have a lot of luck when using this database; however, it can be very time consuming because the database will literally bring up any article that has the key words you searched for. Although this can be very time consuming, I feel that it is worth it because you almost always can come out with a few articles for your paper, and you also know that they are from reliable sources. Most of the sources from this research database are articles published in very well-known journals.
Along with using the library’s research database I am going to search a little more on other search engines to see what I find. One research question I have is how expensive is it to install the solar panels onto the roofs of people’s houses. I know it is expensive to do; however, I want to try to get an exact or nearly exact amount that it costs so I can get a better idea and know a little more when it comes time to mention that in my paper. The primary source I will use for this is going to be a company that sells solar panels and installs them along with everything else needed to go with them. I know I can get this information from an article online, but I would like to get more concrete information about it, and I think that the best way of going about that is to look on a website where you can actually purchase the solar panels and other materials. The website that I find this information on will most likely have more information or a brief overview to explain how they work and the benefits of installing them.
I also want to look into an article or other research that shows statistics of solar energy. I would really like to know exactly how many people have installed these solar panels and their opinions on them, such as whether or not they actually save the person money in the long run. I am also curious to find out people’s opinions of them and whether or not the electricity is as good as normal electricity that runs on fossil fuels, and what happens if the sun is not shining for several days at a time. I wonder if they lose electricity and have to cut back or if there is a backup system that will give you energy as well. By using all of these primary sources, I think I will find the answers to all of my research questions about solar energy.