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SOC 2820: Methods of Data Collection

Online Reference Databases

Try these databases to search through many encyclopedias at once:

Background Pro/Con Sources for Controversial Topics

Why Use Reference Sources for Background Information?

Dictionaries and encyclopedias help you find background information -- an overview, vocabulary, trends, and issues -- related to the topic. Once you know background information about a topic, it's easier to decide what key words to use when searching for information sources (books, articles, etc.) about your topic.

Scholarly encyclopedias and dictionaries, like what you find in University Libraries, are scholarly resources written by an experts in the field and reviewed for accuracy in a way that other sources, like Wikipedia articles, are not.