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D. Hiden Ramsey Library, University of North Carolina at Asheville
BEGIN BY EXPLORING
BEGIN BY EXPLORING.
FIND BACKGROUND INFORMATION IN GENERAL AND SPECIALIZED ENCYCLOPEDIAS.
Read encyclopedia and/or news articles about an topic that interests you. Use these articles to get to know your topic generally.
As you read, consider how to customize your topic. What aspect would you like to explore? You might think about it in terms of time and events, social conditions and culture, geography, etc.
What questions need to be answered? What kinds of information will you need and where can you find them? What keywords will you use use to search for resources?
If your research contradicts your inital question, consider including diverse viewpoints to make your research stronger. Always let the research dictate your topic, rather than let the topic dictate your research.
Suggested Dictionaries & Encyclopedias
= new resource
Articles, critical essays, work and topic overviews, full-text works, and biographies covering authors, their works, and literary movements. Includes the Dictionary of Literary Biography Complete Online, Gale Virtual Reference Library, Literature Criticism Online, Literature Resource Center, and Something About the Author Online.
Cambridge Companions Online (CCO)
Two searchable collections: the Cambridge Companions in Literature and Classics and the Cambridge Companions in Philosophy, Religion and Culture
Encyclopedias, dictionaries, biographies, bilingual dictionaries, thesauri, quotations and atlases, plus a wide range of titles covering everything from accounting to zoology
Gale Virtual Reference Library
30 Reference books and Encyclopedias in Religion, History, Philosophy, and more.
Gale Literature Resource Center
Articles, critical essays, work and topic overviews, full-text works, and biographies covering authors, their works, and literary movements.
Oxford English Dictionary
The standard dictionary of the English language. Includes a history of individual words along with their derivation and usage examples.
Resource discontinued as of 12/31/2017.
Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org if you need help accessing alternate resources.
ProQuest Research Library
General reference database from business and political science to literature and psychology scholarly journals, trade publications, magazines, and daily news content, accessible to readers and researchers at every level.
||A good topic is: broad enough to find information about, focused enough that the information isn't overwhelming, and interesting to you!
||Read your assignment carefully. Highlight guidelines and requirements.
||Specialized encyclopedias are great starting points, but generally should not be used as scholarly sources.
||Look for lists of key resources at the end of encyclopedia entries.