Reference materials, like encyclopedias, dictionaries, and handbooks give you a brief overview of your topic and are a great place to begin your research process!
You can think of these reference databases as credible alternatives to websites like Wikipedia. In them you will find detailed information about a wide range of topics. The who, what, where, why, why and how types of questions you can ask about a topic are often addressed here. Additionally, these books are thoroughly researched and written by well-educated people, often experts in their fields.
The information in these digitized books can also help you identify relevant names, places, ideas, and dates to use as search terms. So whether or not you know a lot about your topic or are still just brainstorming, these kinds of materials are also a great place to explore topic ideas!
View or download this quick guide to learn more about what kinds of information this databases houses and how to access it. (Previously called Gale Virtual Reference Library, GVRL)
Step 1: Searching for an article
Consider the MAIN concept you are exploring, and use that as a keyword to search this database for relevant articles.
Step 2: Selecting an article
To read an article in Gale eBooks, click on the article title. Be sure to note the titles of the encyclopedias the articles come from. Finally, always read through more than one article to get multiple perspectives or views on an issue.
Click the article title to read the whole article.
Step 3: Saving and citing an article:
Once you click on an article title, look at the tools on the side for how to cite, send/email, download, etc., so you can take that article with you.
View or download this quick guide to learn more about what kinds of information this databases houses and how to access it.
Click the images below to open and view in a new window.
Navigating to search
You can search for reports using the search box, or browse for reports or topics.
Browsing through topics
Click on "Browse topics" to see a drop-down menu of potential broad topics to explore.
Viewing a full report
Full reports include a table of contents along the left side, where you can jump to specific sections. The right side includes an "Issue Tracker," where you can see additional, related reports. Be sure to use the "Cite Now!" tool to get an MLA or APA citation so you can cite the report for your assignment.
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