Start Your Research
Reference sources can provide a general overview of a topic. They can help you identify key issues, controversies and facts about a topic. Use the bibliography or works cited to find other relevant & authoritative sources.
Find reference books in the library catalog
- Print reference sources
- Do a Keyword search for the broad topic, for example, use “Education” instead of “mainstreaming.”
- Limit the “Location” to “Reference Collection”.
- Online reference books
- Do a Keyword search for the broad topic, but before pressing Submit…
- In another search box, enter the following: (encyclopedia OR handbook OR dictionary).
- Limit the Material Type to EBOOKS
Find reference sources in library databases
- Credo Reference: Easy access to trusted content from over 70 of the world’s leading academic publishers.
- Gale Virtual Reference Library: A searchable collection of online reference books.
- CQ Researcher: A collection of in depth reports about current issues of interest.
- Opposing Viewpoints Research Center: A collection of brief essays & articles on current social issues.
For more ideas about places to start your research, check out the Libraries’ Subject Guides.