ENGL 127 Research Writing: Social Sciences (Wilber)

The Podcast Project: For students enrolled in English 127 with Ari Wilber

Find Online Reference Sources

Use the following online reference databases to find electronic reference articles:

Using Reference Sources

Sample reference titles in print and online

Check the library's Reference Collection (2nd floor) for the following excellent sources on the criminal justice system, race, and other social issues.


What's reference?

A great place for starting to research a topic.

What is reference?

A reference collection is a set of books, databases and other items that provide background information on a topic.

A reference collection includes general sources such as dictionaries and encyclopedias.In college libraries, reference collections include specialized subject encyclopedias such as the Encyclopedia of Marriage and Family.

Why start with reference?

  • To gather background information that provides context, history and insight into your subject.

  • To get a sense of key issues, concepts and terminology.

  • To gather key words (or keywords) you can use to search for relevant source material on the subject.

Learn about the broad topic first. Then you will understand where to focus your research and discussion more deeply.