Reference sources--like dictionaries and subject encyclopedias, provide overviews of topics and descriptions of concepts and ideas. They can also provide definitions, statistics, and other details. You can use this type of source to help narrow your research topic, find data to support your thesis, and identify keywords and main ideas to use as search terms.
The Companion to Latin American Studies: This guide gives a brief and accessible overview of the whole of Latin American Studies. Covers colonialism, race in Latin America, gender and sexuality in Latin America, and other topics.
Concise Encyclopedia of Latin American Literature: Contains topic-based essays, geo-historical surveys of individual countries, critical biographies on individual writers, and critical summaries of representative works. Topics and/or authors covered include Miguel Ángel Asturias, José María Arguedas, El Inca Garcilaso de la Vega, Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz, colonial literature, indigenism, etc.
Encyclopedia of Latin American History and Culture: Provides a comprehensive, multidisciplinary view of Latin American history and culture from prehistoric times to the present. Covers cultural issues and includes numerous biographical profiles of important figures in politics, letters and the arts.