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Global Studies Senior Capstone Project

This guide provides support for students completing the Global Studies Senior Capstone Project

Using Reference Sources to Develop a Research Question

Reference sources are great places to get started when researching a new topic. Specialized reference sources can be very helpful for gathering background information on various topics in Global Studies research.

Encyclopedias are great for providing brief overviews, while handbooks and companions provide more detailed information. In both types of reference works, the articles are authored by field experts. As well as getting to know your topic, these sources are also great ways to build search vocabulary that you can use when finding books, journal articles, and dissertations or theses.

Purdue Libraries subscribes to several large online reference collections that include specialized reference sources, such as dictionaries, encyclopedias, handbooks, and companions.

  • Credo Reference - Online reference library provides advanced searching and full-text of hundreds of dictionaries and encyclopedias in the humanities, social sciences, and sciences. Cross-reference links and interactive concept maps provide answers and enable further exploration of topics. Images include 17,000 works of art from the Bridgemann Art Library Archive.
  • Gale eBooks - Database of encyclopedias, almanacs, and specialized reference sources. Fully searchable across all files by single or multiple titles, by keyword, ISBN, or full text.
  • Oxford Reference Online - Searchable full-text of more than 150 reference books published by Oxford University Press on many subjects in the arts, history, and sciences. Includes dictionaries, encyclopedias, and several of the Oxford Companion series.

Basic Global Studies Reference Sources

Specialized reference sources can be helpful for gathering background information about various topics and approaches in global studies research. The following sources provide brief overview articles on these.

These resources can be checked out through Purdue Libraries or, if it's an online resource, may require you to login with your Purdue Career Account.

More In-Depth Information on Global Studies Research

Handbooks and companions contain edited collections of articles that provide more detailed information on research methods in global studies research, as well as on current issues, which are authored by field experts.

Accessing these resources will require you to login with your Purdue Career Account.

Other Exploratory Tools

In addition to large reference collections, publishers also provide research tools that enable researchers to explore potential research topics and provide additional context surrounding those topics by immediately linking topic descriptions with various sources, including videos, news stories, scholarly journal articles, and relevant biographies.