Encyclopedias and other reference sources

Read About Your Topic in Specialized Encyclopedias

Taking a few minutes to read about your topic in a specialized encyclopedia may be one of the most effective and time-saving research tips on this list! They can help with an overview of a subject or even a quick summary of basic ideas. Encyclopedia articles are often followed by carefully selected bibliographies or lists of references to other works, useful items to have as you begin looking for additional information.

Good places to start:

  • General Reference Subject Guide: Explore encyclopedias, dictionaries, biographical resources and more on this guide.  A quick way to get up to speed on your topic!
  • Wikipedia: Although you are not permitted to use Wikipedia articles as an authoritative source for your research projects, it is a great place to get started.  You can learn general information about most topics, and you can quickly generate a list of keywords to help you search specialized online resources.  Use the references in each article to lead you to more in-depth information.

Check individual Research Guides related to your topic for a list of recommended encyclopedias, handbooks and more for various disciplines.


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Starting Your Research by University of California Santa Cruz, University Library is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.  Some content has been modified to suit the curricular and research needs of Yale-NUS College.  All changes are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.