Skip to Main Content

Proviso High School District: Start with Reference

In the Beginning....

There are lots of different ways of starting the process of doing research. 

One place to start is with General Resources.

General Resources are encyclopedias, handbooks, dictionaries, and other reference sources that give you an overview or broad picture of your topic. You should consider starting your research process with General Sources if:

  • You are starting research on an unfamiliar topic
  • You need some background information on your topic
  • You find "holes" in your information as you do other research and want to fill them in

Another helpful source...

Here are a couple of other suggestions for sources to use as you begin to explore a topic. CQ Researcher is a great source for current events topics.

The Library also has several book series:

  • Opposing Viewpoints
  • Global Viewpoints
  • Current Controversies
  • Taking Sides

which are also good for beginning some research as well as exploring a range of possibilities for research questions and argument theses. I've linked to examples for the book series, but you can search for your topic in the catalog as well. Here's how:

  • Use Advanced Search
  • Put your topic words in the first box
  • Put the books series title (Opposing Viewpoints, Current Controverises, Global Viewpoints, etc) in the 2nd box
  • Drop open the "Search by" menu and choose Series Title

Library Resources From Proviso

General Resources in the A.C. Buehler Library

Some Print Reference Sources

Although we have many fine electronic reference sources, sometimes it's helpful (or necessary)  to use print resources as well. Here's a small sample fo print reference sources that you might find helpful. Don't forget that the library's print reference books are on the south side of the main floor of the library.

  • Bowling, beatniks, and bell-bottoms : pop culture of 20th-century America R 306.0973 B787
  • American Presidents R 973.099 A512w
  • The Greenwood guide to American popular culture R 306.40973 G816
  • The Encyclopedia of Popular MusicR781.6403 E56 1998
  • Facts on File encyclopedia of art R 703 F147
  • Encyclopedia of African-American culture and history R 973.0496073 E56
  • Encyclopedia of criminology and deviant behavior R 364.03 E56C
  • Encyclopedia of Civil Rights in America R323.1196 E56
  • Encyclopedia of applied ethics R 170.3 E56A
  • Censorship : a world encyclopedia R 363.31 C396W
  • Encyclopedia of Science and Technology R503 M147D 2007
  • Eating Disorders SourcebookR616.8526E14d
  • The Oxford Handbook of Global ReligionR200.9 O98
  • Routledge International Encyclopedia of Women, R305.403 R869