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 and limiting your search to this collection will retrieve a manageable number of records. If you retrieve nothing, change the search parameter to All Collections, or limit it to a subject specialty library.
Try different terminology and be persistent. If you are not finding a relevant resource, be sure to ask for help.
A bibliography is list of bibliographic citations, (also called Works Cited, Literature Cited, Reference List) at the end of a journal article or book that lists the sources used by an author.
Bibliographies can also be research tools that bring together in one location (either print or electronic) citations from articles, books, book chapters, disserations, conference proceedings, primary matierials, and other academic sources about a specific topic. That topic might be broad, such as "Medieval history" or very narrow, such as "Red-haired women mentioned in courtly litearature."
Bibliographies can be useful for discovering additional sources for your research. Since they include many different types of sources, it is important to be able to identify the type of source from the citation, in order to locate it.
Do a keyword search in the library catalog for your topic and bibliograph* (which will look for bibliography, bibliographic, or bibliographies). You can limit your search to Doe Reference, but many bibliographies are located in the regular stacks of the libraries across campus.
Oxford Bibliographies Online
Provides access to carefully selected articles and other reference sources in the following areas: Anthropology, Atlantic History, Classics, Communication, Criminology, International Law, International Relations, Islamic Studies, Medieval Studies, Music, Philosophy, Renaissance and Reformation, Social Work, Sociology, and Victorian Literature.
Annual Bulletin of Historical Literature Published on behalf of the Historical Association, the Annual Bulletin of Historical Literature (ABHL) provides a selective and critical analysis of new historical books, journals and journal articles.