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Sociology Research Guide: Find Background Info

General Encyclopedias & Dictionaries

Sociology Subject Resources

Subject-specific encyclopedias contain entries focusing on one field of study.

Use an encyclopedia:

  • for background information on a topic
  • to find key ideas, important dates or concepts

These are a selection of the subject dictionaries in our collection.

Handbooks are collections of information that provide quick answers in a particular field or about a particular technique.

What About Wikipedia?

Wikipedia is not generally considered an appropriate source for academic research.

The credibility of the information is often questioned, as anyone is able to edit the pages.

Wikipedia can, however, be used as a starting point.

Check out the video below for more information: "Using Wikipedia for Academic Research"