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Research Guides

Gender Studies: Get Started

Why Use Reference Sources?

Reference sources include encyclopedias, handbooks, and dictionaries.  They are a great place to begin your research, since they can help with the following:

  • Offer ideas for possible research topics
  • Give you background information on your topic
  • Define unfamiliar terms
  • Suggest keywords to use when searching for books and articles
  • Point you to books and articles on your topic, via "works cited" lists

Starting Points

Browse topic ideas and get background information:

Start Your Search

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General Search Tips

These search tips work in our library databases and Library Catalog:

  • Combine keywords using AND and OR.
    • Use AND for searching different ideas within your topic. E.g. parental leave AND policy
    • Use OR for searching with synonyms of your keywords. E.g. (parental leave OR family leave) AND policy
  • Abbreviate words with multiple endings using an asterisk (*). E.g. polic* to search both policy and policies
  • Search specific phrases using quotation marks. E.g. "Family and Medical Leave Act"
  • Change your search terms around to get different results.

Selected E-Reference Sources

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Reference Databases

Search across multiple encyclopedias at once: