Research is a process.
Fundamental to that process is a careful engagement with primary and secondary sources. However, if you are new to a topic, it is best to start with reference sources (sometimes called tertiary sources). These sources, such as dictionaries, handbooks, and encyclopedias, provide overviews of topics by condensing and summarizing primary and secondary sources. On this page you will find reference sources which are useful for gaining an understanding of the background and context of your topic. Such an understanding will help you frame your research project.
General Reference Sources
Topic Specific Reference Sources