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4 Ways to Write without Using Sources

Essays and other academic papers are typically saturated with outside sources. From quotes to paraphrased ideas to factual data, students look to outside resources for the support and evidence needed in their essays. Using sources is always a good way to bring a competent essay up to an outstanding one, but here’s the thing: you don’t always have the option to use sources. When you’re stuck without the aid of sources, don’t panic. There are still a couple ways to write competent, complete essays without the use of outside sources! Some of these methods include the following :

  • Use general knowledge. There are thousands of stories and world events that students can use as reference points in their papers. For example, a student writing about xenophobia can use United States Japanese internment or Nazi Germany’s Holocaust as primary examples. They don’t necessarily have to reference specific sources; the examples are general and well known enough not to require cited resources. General knowledge such as this can really amp up the quality and credibility of your essay, even if you aren’t citing specific examples!
  • Use personal examples. This may not be able to work with all essays, but with some more lenient assignments this can be an excellent way to write competent papers without the use of outside sources. Provide personal examples from your life or from the lives of others. You can come to a huge variety of conclusions using personal experiences, and such real life events can provide adequate support for certain theses. Don’t be afraid to use personal experience if your essay allows it.
  • Use personal experiments. If you can’t gain access to statistical data yourself, sometimes you can still be capable of acquiring it on your own. This kind of personal dedication and hard work typically earns a lot of excess points with teachers. For example, if you’re writing an essay on attitudes towards teen pregnancy, take a survey from classmates at your school. You can then use this data in your essay. Personally gathered data is a great way to provide non-cited support to your paper.
  • Use personal knowledge. Even though you won’t be citing specific sources, you can still site from your knowledge base. You’ve gathered a vast amount of intelligence about the world in the many years you’ve been alive; how can you use that in your paper? For example, you can argue that a company is like a machine; if you know about cars, you can explain the inner workings of the vehicle and compare it to the inner workings of a company, providing an excellent metaphor. You’re smart, and you’ve been around a while; so use what you know!