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FREN 310: Introduction to French Short Fiction: Getting Started

Featured Tertiary Source: Cambridge Histories

The Cambridge Histories series is an indispensable reference collection with over 300 titles spanning 15 subject areas, including literary studies. Each (often multi-volume) history provides a big-picture perspective of its subject, introduces readers to existing scholarship, and proposes new trends in the field. 

What about books?

Scholarly books can also be excellent sources for locating background information or placing your topic in context with related issues. Search Collins Library Primo Search for titles.  A sampling of potentially relevant books is listed below.

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 databases listed below.  Use Collins Library Primo Search to identify subject encyclopedias in either format; or ask a librarian for recommendations.

Featured Subject Encyclopedias for French Literature & Culture

Humanities Librarian

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Katy Curtis
Office: Collins Library 140

Related Subject Guides


Select an author, theme, or literary movement related to your topic to explore using the tertiary sources featured on this page. Consult at least 2 different encyclopedias for information about your topic and reflect on the following questions:

  1. Does your topic or term have its own entry, or is discussion of it embedded within a larger topic?  In other words, how is it categorized?
  2. How might the information you found be useful for helping you explore significant works and topics related to French literature?
  3. What additional sources does the subject encyclopedia point you to?