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19C American Fiction - Reading Moby-Dick: ENG 3323

Research help for the course, "Reading Moby-Dick."

Why Use Reference Works?

Young woman sitting at the library using books and laptopReference works -- like encyclopedias, handbooks, and dictionaries -- provide great overviews and background information. 

  • They help you contextualize your topic and generate questions.
  • They help identify keywords you can use later when searching for scholarly sources. 
  • They contain bibliographies that lead you to the most respected secondary and most useful primary sources on a topic.

In short, reference works are a great way to begin your research. 

Encyclopedias, Dictionaries, Handbooks, and Guides

row of Encyclopaedia Britannica volumesNeed to look up a name, place, term, or event? The sources below contain many different kinds of encyclopedias and dictionaries and are excellent starting points.

Introductory Essays & Topic Overviews

individual reading a bookNeed some context? These are detailed guides to authors, composers, philosophers, genres, various literatures and other fields of study, providing context and analysis for a thorough introduction.

Literary Theories & Theorists

reading glassesStill trying to wrap your head around a literary theory or theorist? Then this source is for you!