Using specialized encyclopedias to become familiar with your topic is the most efficient way to get started on your research. These encyclopedias, written by knowledgeable scholars, will summarize your topic, provide you with social and historical context, familiarize you with specialized terminology, and often provide lists of additional resources on your topic. They are providing you in condensed form information from multiple books and articles. Think of them as CliffsNotes ... that you are allowed to use.
The encyclopedias listed below may be useful for many of the topics suggested by your instructor, but there are many, many more. The easiest way to locate them in the Library is to do an Oskicat search like this:
1. Use the keyword search so that it looks for the words everywhere in the record.
2. The asterisk is a truncation symbol, which will retrieve variations of the word: ethic, ethics, ethical, etc.
3. The Doe Reference collection includes many encyclopedias related to social science topics. Limiting your search to this collection will retrieve a manageable number of records. If you retrieve nothing, change the search parameter to All Collections.
Try different terminology and be persistent. If you are not finding a relevant resource, be sure to ask for help.
Other searches you might try:
encyclopedia and history
encyclopedia and united states
encyclopedia and african american*
encyclopedia and reconstruction
Articles about History
Indexes over 2,000 journals, as well as historical book reviews and dissertations, published worldwide about all aspects of world history (excluding US and Canada) from 1450 to the present. Articles covered were written from 1954 to the present
America: History and Life
Indexes over 2,000 journals published worldwide on the history of the US and Canada from prehistory to the present. Includes all key English-language historical journals; selected historical journals from major countries, state, and local history journals; and a targeted selection of hundreds of journals in the social sciences and humanities.
Bibliography of British and Irish History (BBIH)
Lists books, articles in books, articles in some 700 journals; covers historical writing dealing with the British Isles, and with the British Empire and Commonwealth, during all periods for which written documentation is available - from 55BC to the present. It is the successor to the Royal Historical Society Bibliography of British and Irish History, available online from 2002 to 2009. To access database, click on Enter databases, then click on Bibliography of British and Irish History.
Women's Studies International
Indexes books, journals, magazines, and other resources related to research and commentary on women and women's issues, feminism, and gender.
Working Women, 1800 -1930
Provides access to digitized historical, manuscript, and image collections. Explores women's roles in the US economy between the Civil War and the Great Depression. Documents working conditions, conditions in the home, costs of living, recreation, health and hygeine, conduct of life, policies and regulations governing the workplace, and social issues. When completed, the collections will contain more than 2200 books and pamphlets, 1000 photographs and 10,000 pages from manuscript collections.