Reference sources noted in the box to the left provide background information, an overview of a topic, specialized vocabulary and terminology, and critical concepts. They're often a great starting point. The Library has reference materials both online and in print.
Credo Reference database contains more than 600 dictionaries and encyclopedias, along with thousands of topic pages, mind-maps, images, audio files and videos to help you start research projects. This is a good place to look for background information on your broader topic.
CQ Researcher (Congressional Quarterly) is both a database and a periodical published 44 times a year that provides in-depth, non-biased coverage of political and social issues. There are regular reports on topics in health, international affairs, education, the environment, technology and the U.S. economy. It is a good resource to explore a topic in the early stages of research.
The following titles are representative of sources found in the Reference Area. More history books are in the 900-999 call number range on the 3rd Floor of Ryan Library. Books on political science are in the 320-329 call number range on the 2nd Floor.