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ENGL 348: Illness and Narrative: Getting Started

Quick Links for FALL 2020

Getting Started with Subject Encyclopedias

Subject encyclopedias, handbooks and overviews are scholarly, tertiary works written by experts on a variety of topics. An hour spent with one or more subject encyclopedias early on in the research process will save you hours of wasted time! Start your research by consulting subject encyclopedias from many different disciplines. The entries will help you develop a multidisciplinary perspective on your topic and will allow you to develop strong research questions to explore. Here's what subject encyclopedias provide:

  • broad overview of a topic that is more in-depth than in general encyclopedias
  • discussion of how scholars have approached, explored, and debated the topic over time (historiography)
  • words, phrases, names, dates, and events that can be used as keywords when searching a database
  • bibliographies in articles to find other sources (both primary and secondary)
  • cross-references to find related topics

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.

Online Reference Collections

Subject Encylcopedias

Start with these subject encyclopedias and branch out as needed. 

Humanities Librarian

Katy Curtis's picture
Katy Curtis
Contact:
Office: Collins Library 140
253.879.3672

Related Subject Guides