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Humanities - Shuler (Dale Mabry): Reference

Use this guide to help you find sources for your research paper!

Reference sources have background info

reference books on a shelf

Reference resources - such as encyclopedias and dictionaries - can provide background info on your topic. Reading encyclopedias can also give you search terms to use in the library catalog and databases.

Find hard copy reference books in the library, and online reference resources right here on this page.

May I cite reference sources?

Your instructor may allow certain reference sources to be cited, especially subject-specific ones - for example, an encyclopedia of art. However, best to ask before including it in your cited sources!

How do I find reference sources?

In the library

Reference books on countries and cultures are in the Library's Reference room, 2nd floor of DLRC. Ask for help in finding what you need.


To find reference sources online in Primo, follow these easy steps:

  1. Enter your keywords or search terms and let results appear.
  2. Filter your results - first, by Resource Type - then, by Reference Entries.
  3. Immediately above the first result, select the option to Personalize.
    • Select the disciplines for which you want results.- and leave unchecked those that you want excluded.
    • You can also select the option to Prefer newer material.
  4. Scroll to the bottom of the screen, and adjust Results Per Page to 25.

Results appear in descending order from most relevant to least. Viewing at least the first 25 or so is recommended before trying a different search.