One of the trickiest parts of writing a successful research paper is the background information. If you are looking for help on developing the background section of a study, you can find this by looking deeper into this page. A major bulk of your paper will be a comprehensive discussion of what is previously know about your topic. A lot of the time, it is extremely tedious to find all the evidence surrounding your paper topic; however, this does not have to be a painful process. An example one of the most popular methods for tackling the background section of your paper is called “snowballing.” This method simply involves finding 2-3 solid articles relevant to your topic, then you can use the reference lists from those articles to fill in the missing background information.

How to snowball articles

Good articles will usually cover the majority of, if not all, the previous research done on your topic. The best way to go about implanting the snowball method is to read the introduction section of their paper. When you see a piece of information you would like to include in your article, follow the in-text citation and copy the citation from their reference list. Read all the way through the introduction and do this for each source that you think will be a good fit for your paper. Once you are done, you can go to the other major articles you’ve found and repeat the process. In the end, you will have an extensive list of sources to use in your paper without having to look up each article individually.

Things to be cautious of

Be careful about plagiarizing when using the snowballing method. It is very easy to copy exact sentences from your key articles; and even though you cite the information, it is still plagiarism unless you paraphrase the information. In cases where you are having difficulty paraphrasing something you can always do is look up the original article for that specific piece of information. Having the full article in front of you will often help with rephrasing the key points.

This method of conducting a literature review has more benefits than just providing you with several viable articles; it also can reveal additional discussion points to add to your paper if you come across novel information. In sum, the snowballing method saves you a significant amount of time because you don’t have to find dozens of articles by typing each one into a search bar. Therefore, if you are struggling to find articles for your research paper, the snowballing method is an ideal solution.