Research Starting Points

Before starting a search, remember to do "pre-research" to better understand your research context, to narrow down a research topic, and to find synonyms for your search keywords.


Remember that Wikipedia is not a reliable source. You can look at the articles listed here, or other articles on Wikipedia, to help decide on a topic or find words to research in academic sources, but do not use them as sources in your research paper.

Watch our short video on Using Wikipedia Wisely:



Academic Encyclopedias

Encyclopedias and reference handbooks in the library are good academic sources to start your research. They can help to narrow down your topic, or understand new words. The library has access to some databases that contain multiple academic encyclopedias.

You can use these databases by searching for a key word or topic idea in the main search box, or you can choose a specific encyclopedia in the collection to find more subject-specific information.

Other Starting Points

You can find more help with starting your research in the library subject guides.

Content last updated: October 3, 2017