Skip to Main Content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.
Books To Get You Started
Blockbusters : a reference guide to film genres
Call Number: REF PN1995 .G663 2006
Examines twelve major film genres, their identifying characteristics, history and development, and representative films, for film students and fans alike.
The film encyclopedia : [the complete guide to film and the film industry]
Call Number: REF PN1993.45 .K34 2008
The updated sixth edition of the comprehensive film reference features more than 7,500 alphabetically organized entries on the artistic, technical, and commercial aspects of movies, including style, genres, actors and actresses, directors, producers, and motion picture studios.
Schirmer encyclopedia of film
Call Number: REF PN1993.45 .G65 2007
A comprehensive, four-volume film encyclopedia with substantive articles, is intended to offer "a comprehensive and accessible overview of film history and theory with an American emphasis" to students, teachers, and general readers.
Selected Reference Sources Accessed Online
Contemporary American cinema
This is a comprehensive introduction to post-classical American film. Covering American cinema since 1960, the text looks at both Hollywood and non-mainstream cinema
Directory of world cinema
Provides an insight into the art of cinema through reviews of significant titles and case studies of leading directors, alongside explorations of the cultural and industrial origins of key genres. The directory aims to play a part in the distribution of academic output by building a forum for the study of film from a disciplined theoretical base.
Who's who of Victorian cinema
A biographical guide to the earliest years of moving pictures, 1871-1901. A gateway to the world of Victorian film, behind and in front of the camera.
Picking a Topic
Use these tips to help you choose a research topic:
- To brainstorm ideas to research, try browsing:
- News in your subject area. (Google sociology news to find websites to browse.)
- The table of contents of a book or encyclopedia in your subject area.
- Do some initial searching on one or more topic ideas, using our main library search box or Google.
- Refine your topic based on what you find:
- Maybe you found a slight variation or different direction you want to go in.
- Tons of results? Consider narrowing your topic to focus on a smaller aspect of it.
- Hardly any results? You may need to broaden your topic and make it less specific.
- In the end, choose something you're interested in.
If you want to discuss topic ideas, stop by the Reference Desk to chat with a librarian.
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
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. youth AND homelessness
- Use OR for searching with synonyms of your keywords. E.g. (youth OR teen) AND homelessness
- Abbreviate words with multiple endings using an asterisk (*). E.g. homeless* to search both homeless and homelessness
- Search specific phrases using quotation marks. E.g. "Runaway and Homeless Youth Act"
- Change your search terms around to get different results.
Ask a Librarian!
Contact the Geisel Library Reference Desk
Spring Reference Hours
We're here to respond during...
M-Tu: 10 a.m. - 10 p.m.
W-Th: 10 a.m. - 5 p.m.
F: 10 a.m. - 3 p.m.
Sa: noon - 5 p.m.