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ENGL 220B: Introduction to English Studies (Irvin): Tertiary Sources

Start Your Research at the Library!

Station Eleven book cover


Use this guide to get started with your research for 

ENGL 220: Introduction to English Studies

Getting Started with Subject Encyclopedias

Subject encyclopedias, handbooks and overviews are scholarly, tertiary works written by experts on a variety of topics. The articles are typically longer and more detailed than those found in general encyclopedias. The background information provides a good starting point as you begin the research process. These resources can help you with:

  • Understanding the scope of a topic
  • Suggesting ideas for narrowing a topic
  • Identifying key concepts, terms, dates and names
  • Listing subject areas related to a topic
  • Recommending sources for further exploration

In Collins Library, the print reference collection is located on the first floor, and most of the online reference collection is available in one of the database collections listed below.  Use Primo to identify subject encyclopedias in either format; or ask a librarian for recommendations.

Featured Subject Encyclopedias for Station Eleven

Subject Guide

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Katy Curtis
Office: Collins Library 140

Exploring Tertiary Sources

Follow these steps in your group as you investigate a selection of subject encyclopedias:

1. Come up with a list of narrower, broader, and related terms to describe your topic.

2. Each group member should search one of the subject encyclopedia collections listed to the left to identify subject encyclopedia entries that potentially could be useful.

3. Identify the various disciplines (academic fields) that investigate this topic.  

4. Working together, create a mind map of disciplinary approaches to your topic.  Which ones seem most likely to help you interpret the novel?

5. Enter two or three entries into your group RefWorks account so that you can refer back to it as needed.