Is your research topic too big to cover in a short paper? Is your topic so specific that sources will be hard to find?
Before you even begin your research, start the process with reference sources-- in the Library's Reference Section or online in our databases. Reference books, like subject encyclopedias, can give you a head start and make your research easier in the long run. Use reference sources to:
See also the section on Theories and Concepts
Collections of Many Online Reference Books in one place:
Credo Reference and Gale eBooks / Gale Virtual Reference Library and Salem Press
Oxford Reference and Sage Knowledge Reference also have thousands of scholarly, academic articles, but they are a bit more difficult to use. Click here to find instructions on how to use these collections of reference books.
American Countercultures: An Encyclopedia of Nonconformists, Alternative Lifestyles. Reference HM 647 .A 44 2009
American Multicultural Identity: Critical Insights to Literature
The Blackwell Encyclopedia of Sociology. Reference HM 425 .B 53 2007.
Cambridge Dictionary of Sociology. Reference HM 425 .C36 2006
Cassells's Peoples, Nations, and Cultures
The Complete Encyclopedia of Signs & Symbols : Identification and Analysis of the Visual Vocabulary that Formulates our Thoughts and Dictates our Reactions to the World around Us. Reference AZ 108 .C 65 2011
Cultural Encounters: Critical Insights to Literature
Dictionary of Gestures: Expressive Comportments and Movements in Use Around the World. General P 117 .C 713 2018
Encyclopaedia Britannica Online.
Encyclopedia of American Social Movements. Reference HN 57 .E 594 2004
Encyclopedia of American Studies.
Encyclopedia of Community: From the Village to the Virtual World
Encyclopedia of Consumer Culture. Reference HC 79 .C 6 E 53 2011
Encyclopedia of Death and the Human Experience Reference HQ 1073 .E544 2009
Encyclopedia of Global Studies .
Encyclopedia of Group Processes and Intergroup Relations. Reference HM 716 .E 53 2010
Encyclopedia of Human Relationships
Encyclopedia of Life Writing: Autobiographical and Biographical Forms
Encyclopedia of Rural America: The Land and People. Reference E 169.12 .E 5 1997
Encyclopedia of Social Networks.
Encyclopedia of Sociology. Reference HM 17 .E5 2000
The Ethnic Handbook: A Guide to the Cultures and Traditions of Chicago's Diverse Communities. General F 548.9 .A 1 E 87 1996.
Etiquette and Taboos around the World : A Geographic Encyclopedia of Social and Cultural Customs.
Explaining Human Culture, an encyclopedia from HRAF: The Human Relations Area Files
International Encyclopedia of Adolescence. Reference HQ 796 .I 58 2007
International Encyclopedia of Social Policy
Keywords in American Cultural Studies.
The New Blackwell Companion to Sociology. Reference H 61 .B4773
Online Dictionary of the Social Sciences.
Open Education Sociology Dictionary
Outbreak! The Encyclopedia of Extraordinary Social Behavior. Reference HM 866 .E 93 2009
The Oxford Encyclopedia of American Social History. Reference HN 57 .O 94 2012
The Oxford Encyclopedia of Intergroup Communication
The Penguin Dictionary of Sociology.
Principles of Sociology: Group Relationships and Behavior. Reference HM 716 .P 756 2018
Principles of Sociology: Personal Relationships and Behavior. Reference HM 1106 .P 756 2018
Principles of Sociology: Societal Issues and Behavior. Reference HN 18.3 .P 756 2018
Sage Dictionary of Cultural Studies.
Sage Dictionary of Leisure Studies
Sage Encyclopedia of Children and Childhood Studies
Sage Encyclopedia of Intercultural Competence.
Sage Encyclopedia of Psychology and Gender
The Social Science Encyclopedia. Reference H 41. S63 2004
The Social Science Jargon Buster: The Key Terms You Need to Know.
Sociology Basics. 2 vols. Reference HM 425.S63 2000
Statistical Abstract of the United States. Latest edition on Ready Reference, older editions at General HA 202 .U 5 S 93.
Twentieth - Century American Cultural Theorists. Reference PN 451 .D 5 v.246 2001
21st Century Sociology: A Reference Handbook.
Violence in American Society: An Encyclopedia of Trends, Problems, and Perspectives
We did What? Offensive and Inappropriate Behavior in American History.