Skip to Main Content

Honors English Research

A guide for those engaged in advanced or honors-level research in English language and literature.

Why use tertiary sources? 

Tertiary sources, which you can think of as broad background sources like textbooks or encyclopedias, have a tendency to be overlooked - but they can be incredibly valuable. Some of their uses include:

  • determining "correct" vocabulary for how things were called in the era they were created
  • getting basic contextual information about a topic
  • finding related issues  

Databases for Encyclopedias, Dictionaries, etc.

These general reference tools may be a place to find background info on matters related to your research topic. 

Tertiary Books

You may also find overviews of topics in books. Search in the library catalog as well as WorldCat to get the widest array of possibilities. 

Library Catalog

Books held in Swem or available online. 

WorldCat: Search outside of Swem

Sometimes the Libraries don't have books on your topic - but that doesn't mean they don't exist. Use WorldCat to search for books held worldwide, which you can request through Interlibrary Loan

Research Librarian

Profile Photo
Liz Bellamy
Swem Library, Room 127