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ENGL 4039 Literature and the City (Ho): Topic Development

Encyclopedias and other reference sources are a great way to quickly learn about your topic. They will help you develop more keywords to search, as well as pointing you to other resources in their bibliographies.


  • They have gone through an editorial process.
  • They are often written by specialists in the field.
  • They do not use jargon.
  • They tend to be short and concise.
  • They are intended as an overview and are not the best source for up-to-date developments.
  • They are not a complete look at the scholarship and research on a topic.
  • They are a good starting point and a great place to establish keywords and research leads.

Search for Encyclopedia

Try searching: "your topic keyword" AND encyclop*
   You may also try searching dictionary, handbook, or guide.

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