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Research (General): Where do I start?: Reference Books

Tools you can use for researching any topic, plus tutorials on research, strategies for evaluating research sources, and how to get research help 24/7

A perfect first source

Reference books (like encyclopedias and dictionaries) are a great first source to use when you're starting to research a new topic.

Written by experts, entries in scholarly encyclopedias give you crucial background information on your topic including:

  • Definitions
  • Statistics & demographics
  • History of the topic
  • Important researchers and scholars
  • Positives & negatives of controversial topics
  • References to other sources you can use to expand your research

You'll also identify other keywords you can us in further searches.

People in conversationThe SCC Library has 100s of reference books, in both print and ebook form. Remember to ask a librarian if you need help. They can help you find the perfect encyclopedia for your research.

Print reference books

The SCC Library's reference books are located on the 1st floor.  Ask a librarian if you need help finding a reference books on a specific topic.  Here are just a few examples of books in the reference collection:

eBook Collection (EBSCOhost)

Search this library database for an encyclopedia, dictionary, thesaurus, atlas, or other reference book on your topic. Example searches you can try:

encyclopedia  AND  crime

German dictionary

eBook Collection - SCC Library

Here are just a few example ebooks titles: