Thesis sources: where to start the bibliographic research

Much has been said about the fantastic universe of bibliography. But now we want to start from the basics, with the empty brain, tabula rasa. How to find the sources of the thesis?

How to give birth to a sensible idea for your degree thesis? Start from the study of sources!

What are?

The sources of the degree thesis can be any type of text, article, book, film, video clip, interview … Everything you will use to build your thesis. They can be of great help in confirming your starting idea, redefining it or suggesting new points of view.

How to find the sources of the thesis?


Clearly the bulk of the work you will have to do it yourself … However, your rapporteur could tell you titles or authors that might interest you!


Trivially, an “exploratory” keyword search could be useful to you to understand what to take into consideration.

NB: Wikipedia is very useful, but we do not recommend using it in the bibliography (it is a collaborative site, where everyone can contribute their own knowledge. Yes, THERE IS A CHECK, but I wouldn’t risk with my thesis!)

Google Books

Very useful to give you an idea of the contents of the books that you can then buy or borrow in the library. Some books can display a preview, the index, find them in the nearest library or on an e-commerce.

Google Scholar

Collects a series of articles written by professionals, professors, scholars, researchers: texts of academic literature, subjected to peer review. Of many it is possible to download the pdf for free. Furthermore, it is indicated by how many people have been cited (so you can get an idea of how authoritative that source is).

Sources of sources

The bibliography of the texts or articles that you have already decided to include is pure gold for the construction of your bibliography! Often the sources of your sources can open a world to you and clear up any doubts. And then it is always better to go to the primary source of information, rather than refer to it secondhand.


Searching for keywords can be enlightening on new releases or on e-book formats, so check out the section: “other users have also viewed …” for texts related to your search!

Your city’s Library Network and Online Libraries

On these portals it is possible to search by keywords, author, date, title. Moreover, online libraries offer a wide range of texts that are not protected by copyright or that have obtained the approval of authors for free publication. Among the online services we remind you of MLOL: here you can borrow the e-book or digital version of many texts. This way you won’t even have to leave home to read them.

We hope you have been helpful … Now all you have to do is read on!