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CI 5328/3338: Social Studies: Gathering Background Information/ Start Your Research

Online Reference Materials

Texas State University Libraries offer a number of dictionaries, encyclopedias, handbooks, and other reference materials through the database page. These resources can be helpful with providing background information on a topic through essays, definitions, and providing broad overviews and other pertinent facts. List below are several general information resources:

  • Credo Reference
    • Over 600 reference books, including encyclopedias, dictionaries (English and foreign language), thesauri, books of quotations, as well as a range of subject-specific reference books.
  • Britannica Academic
    • The largest printed general encyclopedia in the English language.
  • Gale eBooks 
    • Diversity and Small Business collection titles include: African American Almanac, African-American Years: Chronologies of American History and Experience, Business Plans Handbook vols. 1-12, Cities of the United States, Cities of the World, Countries and Their Cultures, Countries of the World and Their Leaders Yearbook, Gale E-Commerce Sourcebook, Gender Issues and Sexuality: Essential Primary Sources, and Who's Who Among African Americans. Numerous encyclopedias and Eyewitness travel guides are also available.
  • Oxford Dictionaries
    • Bilingual dictionaries for French, German, Italian, Spanish, Russian, and Chinese. Get quick useful phrases in every language, grammar and translation tips for English speakers and from other languages into English. Explore blogs, games and quizzes, word origins and more.
  • Oxford Reference Online
    • Art & architecture, biological sciences, classics, computing, earth & environmental Sciences, economics & business, food & drink, history, law, literature, medicine, military history, mythology & folklore, names & places, performing arts, physical sciences & mathematics, politics & social sciences, quotations, religion & philosophy, & science.
  • SAGE Knowledge
    • Sociology, social work, multicultural and gender studies,political science, psychology, anthropology, criminal justice, health & medicine.

Subject specific dictionaries and encyclopedias can be found on subject pages via the databases page.

 

Google and Google Scholar

Google Web Search

Remember to be vigilant when searching the internet. Websites with URLs ending .edu or .gov will tend to be more authoritative and reliable than those ending in .com, however, an analysis of the information will still be a necessity. 

Google Scholar Search

Google Scholar searches just like its parent service but will pull articles from only academic publishers, professional societies, and universities. Check out the Google Scholar guide here