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Researching a Topic in 4 Easy Steps
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Researching a Topic in Four Easy Steps:

Step 1b: Defining your topic -- Reference Sources

Reference sources can help you define your topic. Encyclopedias and dictionaries, bibliographies, and other general reference sources exist for nearly every imaginable subject. They provide concise overviews of various topics and point to relevant documentation.

  • Check for relevant reference sources in the Research Guides by Subject that have been developed by Yale librarians. This is the most efficient way for you to discover reputable sources.

  • You can also identify reference resources in Yale's online catalog, Orbis. Try using keyword searches like these to identify relevant sources:
    "women and encyclopedias"
    "civil war" and "united states" and dictionaries
    "islam and bibliographies"
    Then refine your search by using the links to subject headings that appear in relevant records.
  • More About Reference Sources

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    This file last modified 11/02/07
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