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History: America: Encyclopedias


Using specialized encyclopedias to become familiar with your topic is the most efficient way to get started on your research. These encyclopedias, written by knowledgeable scholars, will summarize your topic, provide you with social and historical context, familiarize you with specialized terminology, and often provide lists of additional resources on your topic. They are providing you in condensed form information from multiple books and articles. Think of them as CliffsNotes ... that you are allowed to use.

Try a combination like this in UC Library Search:

ethic* AND encyclopedia

  1. Use the keyword search so that it looks for the words everywhere in the record.
  2. The asterisk is a truncation symbol, which will retrieve variations of the word: ethic, ethics, ethical, etc.
  3. Use AND in caps to combine your search terms.
  4. To find print encyclopedias, limit your search to UC Berkeley catalog. Otherwise, use the default "Articles, books and more."

Try different terminology and be persistent. If you are not finding a relevant resource, be sure to ask for help.


Selected Encyclopedias and Other Reference Works