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Organizing Academic Research Papers: Further Readings

Definition

Further readings provide references to sources that the author has deemed useful to a reader seeking additional information about the topic but that is not essential to understanding the overall paper. The list of further readings contains sources that have not been cited in the research paper.

Structure and Writing Style

Depending on the writing style you are asked to use [e.g., APA], any list of further readings should be located at the end of your paper after the endnotes or references but before any appendices. The list should begin under the heading "Further Readings."

If you choose to include a list of further readings, keep in mind the following:

  1. The references to further readings are not critical to understanding the central research problem. In other words, if further readings were not included, the citations in the paper would be sufficient for the reader to evaluate the credibility of your review and analysis of existing research literature on the topic.
  2. Although further readings represent additional or suggested sources, they still must be viewed as relevant to the research problem. Don't include further readings simply to show off your search skills. Even though they may not be central to understanding the research problem, they must all relate in some way to helping the reader locate additional information or obtaining a broader context.
  3. Don't include basic survey texts or reference books like encyclopedias and dictionaries. Including these types of sources in a list of further readings usually implies reference to either very general or very specific information that more likely should have been included in the body of your paper.

To identify possible titles to include in a list of further readings, review the sources you found while researching your paper but that you ended up not citing. Review these sources and, by playing the role of reader, think about which of these sources may provide additional insight or information about the research problem you have investigated.


Soles, Derek. The Essentials of Academic Writing. 2nd edition. Boston, MA: Cengage Learning Houghton Mifflin, 2010; "Further Reading." Wikipedia.