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When researching a topic, many students find it helpful to begin with a general research tool, such as an encyclopedia, to provide background information on their chosen topic. From there, students can narrow in on a thesis or research question that will inform their research project.
To begin searching for encyclopedias, dictionaries or handbooks, students should begin by doing a search in the Library Catalog. Political Science is a discipline that can intersect with many other academic fields and conducting a proper search can help narrow down the number of items a search returns.
One trick to tracking down the appropriate type of reference material is to add the source type, (i.e.: dictionary) to a SUBJECT KEYWORD search. Examples include: political science AND encyclopedia, political science AND dictionary, political science AND handbook.
Remember, if you get stuck, check out the box to the left and contact a Reference Librarian!
Here are some items in our reference collection that you might find relevent to your research. All reference materials are located in the reference section, behind the Info & Research Help Desk on the first floor of the library. When searching in the Library Catalog, all items that are in the reference section will be indicated in a location box that says URI Reference.Reference materials may not be checked out of the library.
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